Endoscopic Nd:Yag and Bleomycin Injection for the management of a Hypopharyngeal Venous Malformation

Venous malformations (VM) are congenital lesions, frequently affecting the head and neck, with poor respect for tissue planes. Established treatments include observation, sclerotherapy, laser, and surgical resection.1  

Lesions affecting the upper airways present unique challenge due to frequent unresectability and difficult access/exposure for alternative standard treatments. We describe our approach of standard endoscopic airway techniques for the administration of advanced treatment modalities including simultaneous laser and sclerotherapy for an extensive airway VM.

Our patient is a 16-year-old female with an extensive multi-spatial VM with associated airway obstruction.  The patient suffered from severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) dependence as a result of airway compression. Direct laryngoscopy and bronchoscopy demonstrated extensive venous staining and large vascular channels of the hypopharynx. Lumenis Nd:Yag laser (Yokneam, Israel) via 550 micron fiber was passed under telescopic visualization. Treatment via previously described “polka dot” technique was performed (15W, 0.5 pulse duration) with immediate tissue response. The largest vascular channel was accessed via 25-gauge butterfly needle. Immediate return of blood following lesion puncture confirmed intralesional placement. Reconstituted bleomycin (1 U/kg; max dose = 15 U per treatment) was injected and hemostasis achieved with afrin pledgets. The patient was intubated overnight. She was extubated the next morning and advanced to a regular diet, discharging post-operative day two. Post-operative flexible laryngoscopy demonstrated significant improvement in the treatment areas, and follow up sleep study demonstrated sleep apnea resolution with liberation of her CPAP therapy.

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