Objective: Summarize current knowledge of lymphatic malformation development, biology, and clinical outcome measures. Methods: Panel presentation of lymphatic malformation biology and measurement of head and neck malformation treatment outcomes. Results: Characterization of lymphatic malformation endothelial and stromal cells may lead to biologically based treatment. Traditionally, lymphatic malformation treatment outcomes have been measured according to reduction of malformation size. Currently, methods to measure functional outcomes following lymphatic malformation treatment are lacking. This is particularly apparent when the malformation directly involves the upper aerodigestive tract. Conclusions: The etiology and pathogenesis of head and neck lymphatic malformations are poorly understood, but understanding is improving through ongoing investigation. Reduction of lymphatic malformation size is generally possible, but further work is necessary to optimize methods for measuring therapeutic outcomes in problematic areas.
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