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Rare case of cystic hygroma in the epidural space resulting in multilevel spinal cord compression
  1. Christopher Payne,
  2. Michael J Gigliotti,
  3. Alejandro Castellvi and
  4. Alexander Yu
  1. Allegheny General Hospital - Western Pennsylvania Hospital Medical Education Consortium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alexander Yu, alexander.yu{at}


Lymphangioma, or cystic hygroma, involving the epidural space and spinal soft tissue, is a rare benign lesion consisting of an abnormal collection of lymphatic tissue isolated from the normal lymphatic system. This case report is the most extensive case of cystic hygroma involving the spine reported in the literature. A 23-year-old man with a history of cystic hygromas of the neck and thorax presented with bilateral upper and lower extremity weakness that progressively worsened over 3 months. A left hemilaminectomy from C4 to T5 with endoscopic exploration and cyst drainage was performed. At last follow-up, the patient was ambulating and returned to work. Aggressive decompression of mass lesions resulting in myelopathy, such as the spinal cystic hygromas, resulted in improved motor function as well as overall function status.

  • neurological injury
  • neurosurgery
  • spinal cord
  • neuroimaging

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  • Contributors CP, AY and AC were the primary surgeons who operated and cared for the patient throughout the patient’s hospital stay and conducted the surgical procedure and administered both preoperative and postoperative care. AY was the senior author overseeing this article and provided input into the final content of the article provided today. AC also provided input regarding the final content contained in the article submitted to you. MJG contributed his efforts for the write-up of this article. MJG conducted the literature review and wrote the rough draft and contributed to the final edits of this article. CP obtained patient consent to write this article and provided input during the revision process. He provided full access to literature for MJG and oversaw his work during the editorial process. All authors CP, MJG, AC and AY confirm that the contents in the final article submitted to BMJ are of their own work and are in agreement to the contents of our work. Final approval for submission and publication was obtained and given from CP, MJG, AC and AY.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.