Hygroma are birth defects in which fluid filled sacs appear due to blockage in lymphatic system. The vessels that build the lymphatic system carry fluids to the blood and transports fatty material as well. Lymphatic vessels also help in disposing immune and interferon materials through the body. Cystic Hygroma are cysts that forms mostly in head and neck region of an unborn baby or can even develop after the child is delivered. These can be single in number or even can occur at multiple sites.
As the baby grows the cyst also grows in size developing into hydrops. Hydrops carry excess amount of fluid and sometimes may lead to fetal death on birth in rare cases. The cystic Hygroma can take any form of tumor in the neck area forming webbed neck, inflamed or swelled portion at the back of head or a lymphangioma on the skin.
The major causes for CH have been linked with defects in the chromosomal activity during formation of embryo and similar genetic defects during fetus development. Maternal infections from Parvovirus have been shown to have probable effect on the fetal CH development. OK-432 is recently being tested on patients in clinical trials and is indicating promising results in treating cystic hygromas and preventing it from reoccurring. Effect of OK -432 (Picibanil) has shown positive response on benign cysts on patients irrespective of their age.