Veterinary Society of
Surgical Oncology


  • lymphangioma is a benign tumor arising from lymphatic endothelial cells
  • lymphangioma arises as either a congenital malformation (i.e., hamartoma) or following failure of primitive lymphatic sacs to achieve venous communication
  • lymphangioma often presents as a large, spongy, and poorly circumscribed mass which may be associated with lymph oozing from the surface or single to multiple fistulae
  • treatment: surgical resection with wide margins (as local tumor recurrence is common due to infiltrative growth and poor margins), marsupialization, and radiation therapy


  • lymphangiosarcoma is a very rare tumor arising from lymphatic endothelial cells
  • lymphangiosarcomas are composed of lymphatic vessels forming capillary, cavernous, or cystic spaces
  • lymphangiosarcomas are associated with or sequelae to chronic lymphatic obstruction
  • sites: subcutaneous ± liver, pericardium and nasopharynx have been reported
  • gross appearance: soft, cyst-like, and edematous ± invasive
  • clinical signs are usually associated with extensive edema and drainage of lymph through the skin or mass
  • moderate to high metastatic potential
  • lymphangiosarcoma is differentiated from lymphangioma by pleomorphism, mitotic activity, and lack of dermal collagen support
  • prognosis: unknown but aggressive surgical treatment recommended and possibly responsive to radiation therapy


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