Morphological and ultrasonographic study of fetuses with cervical hygroma. A cases series

Vol. 57 No. 4, 2016


Octavian Munteanu, Monica Mihaela Cirstoiu, Florin Mihail Filipoiu, Roxana Elena Bohiltea, Ioan Alexandru Bulescu, Costin Berceanu

Cystic cervical hygroma or cervical cystic lymphangioma is a congenital benign disease of the lymphatic system that is characterized by the accumulation of lymph in the jugular lymphatic sacs of the nuchal region. The factor that causes this pathology is not clarified yet but the physiopathological mechanism seems to be multifactorial. The incidence and prevalence of cervical hygroma are increased in patients with Turner syndrome, Down syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, Edwards syndrome, Patau syndrome, Noonan syndrome, pterygium syndrome, Cantrell pentalogy, Fryns syndrome, Apert syndrome, Pena-Shokeir syndrome and achondroplasia. The gold standard method in establishing the antenatal diagnosis is ultrasonography, a non-invasive and low-cost procedure. We report four cases of fetuses who were diagnosed antepartum with cervical hygroma in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the University Emergency Hospital in Bucharest, Romania. Two products of conception were send to the Department of Anatomy of the Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, for an extensive morphological analysis. Cervical cystic hygroma is a congenital condition of variable expression in terms of both morphology and chronology. A complete ultrasound examination, performed by an experimented specialist in maternal-fetal medicine is essential in establishing the diagnosis of cervical hygroma. Screening for aneuploidies, between the 11th and 14th weeks of pregnancy is also mandatory due to the frequent association between cervical hygroma and congenital anomalies.

Corresponding author: Roxana Elena Bohiltea, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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