Percutaneous sclerotherapy of microcystic lymphatic malformations: the use of an innovative gravity-dependent technique

Alejandro Berenstein, Maximilian Jeremy Bazil, Michelle Sorscher, Francine Blei, Reade De Leacy, Tomoyoshi Shigematsu, Milton Waner, Johanna T. Fifi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background In the last few decades there has been development of innovative therapies for the treatment of craniofacial lymphatic malformations. Percutaneous sclerotherapy has demonstrated efficacy in the management of macrocystic lymphatic lesions, but it is less suitable for microcystic lesions given their size. The gravity-dependent technique is a novel augmentation of standard percutaneous sclerotherapy: the technique enables a sclerosing agent to permeate the small microchannels seen in microcystic lesions that would otherwise be difficult to treat. Methods Between 2005 and 2021, 124 patients with microcystic or mixed lymphatic malformations were treated using a novel gravity-dependent sclerotherapy technique. Bleomycin at a maximum dose of 15 IU per session was used as the main sclerosing agent. Fluoroscopy and ultrasound were used to ensure proper positioning of the catheter prior to injecting the sclerosing agent. The response to treatment was assessed clinically and with cross-sectional imaging. Results Nearly all cases showed significant improvement after the gravity-dependent technique. There have been no permanent complications from sclerotherapy treatment. There was a mild transient adverse effect from bleomycin in one case of erythema and tenderness that lasted several weeks then ameliorated. Conclusions The gravity-dependent sclerotherapy technique is a suitable treatment option for microcystic lymphatic malformations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-275
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of NeuroInterventional Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Technique
  • Vascular Malformation


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