JOURNAL ARTICLE
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OK-432 and lymphatic malformations in children: the Starship Children's Hospital experience.

BACKGROUND: Surgery has previously been the mainstay of treatment for lymphatic malformations but has attendant problems of marked scarring, high chance of recurrence and potential nerve damage. Alternative management for these lesions involves the intralesional injection of OK-432. The present paper reviews OK-432 use in lymphatic malformations in children.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review was carried out of children undergoing intralesional OK-432 therapy from the Departments of Paediatric Surgery, Paediatric Otolaryngology and Plastic Surgery at Starship Children's Hospital, Auckland.

RESULTS: Over the past 4 years, seven children under the age of 5 years underwent OK-432 therapy as day-case procedures requiring between one and seven procedures each. Four children had lesions involving the axilla/chest wall, two involved extra-mylohyoid tissues in the neck and one child had lymphatic malformation involving tongue, floor of mouth and an extra-mylohyoid component. Spontaneous haemorrhage into a cystic space may be the cause of the observed partial resolution of the lymphangiomas in two. A predictor of a successful outcome was the ability to aspirate fluid prior to injection. Ultrasound guidance was useful to localize the lesions for aspiration and injection. Macrocystic lesions respond well to OK-432 therapy but the response of microcystic or cavernous lesions to OK-432 is disappointing and surgery remains the definitive treatment for these microcystic lesions.

CONCLUSION: OK-432 appears to be a safe and effective treatment for the macrocystic component of lymphatic malformations.

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