Bipolar radiofrequency-induced interstitial thermoablation for oral cavity vascular malformations: Preliminary results in a series of 5 children

October 31, 2012
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We report our assessment of the effectiveness of bipolar radiofrequency-induced interstitial thermoablation (BRIT) for the treatment of certain oral cavity vascular malformations in 5 children. Two of these patients had lymphangiomatous macroglossia (LM), 1 had lymphangioma circumscriptum (LC), and 2 had a venous malformation (VM). Each patient underwent BRIT at least twice; treatment was delivered at 4- to 8-week intervals according to each patient's circumstances. The 2 patients with LM required three treatment sessions; although their tongue volume decreased after each session, both still required a partial glossectomy to achieve a satisfactory reduction in volume. The patient with LC underwent two BRIT treatments, which reduced the size of the lesion by half; the remainder was excised. The 2 patients with a VM (1 buccal and 1 lingual) responded well to BRIT, and their malformations almost completely disappeared. Our early results with BRIT suggest that it is an effective treatment for oral cavity vascular malformations-more so for patients with venous rather than lymphangiomatous lesions.


Vascular malformations represent errors of embryonic development. They can be capillary, lymphatic, venous, arterial, and combinations thereof.1 Vascular malformations in the tongue, which are always congenital, can cause severe swallowing and articulation difficulties.2

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