Standardized outcome and reporting measures in pediatric head and neck lymphatic malformations

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)








consensus; Delphi technique; head and neck; lymphangioma; lymphatic malformation of face and neck; otolaryngology; outcome measures; pediatrics


© 2015 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. Objective. To develop general and site-specific treatment effect and outcome measures to standardize the reporting of head and neck lymphatic malformation (HNLM) treatments. Study Design. Consensus statement/expert opinion. Setting. Multiple tertiary academic institutions. Subjects and Methods. The modified Delphi method is an iterative process of collecting expert opinions, refining opinions through discussion and feedback, statistically aggregating opinions, and using these aggregates to generate consensus opinion in the absence of other data. The modified Delphi method was used by a multi-institutional group of otolaryngology and interventional radiology experts in the field of vascular anomalies to formulate a list of recommended reporting outcomes for the study and treatment of head and neck lymphatic malformations. Results. Through 3 rounds of iteration, 10 expert panelists refined 98 proposed outcome measures and 9 outcome categories to a final consensus set of 50 recommended outcome measures in 3 global categories (general, demographics, and treatment complications) and 5 site-specific categories (orbit, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, and neck). Conclusions. We propose the first consensus set of standardized reporting measures for clinical and treatment outcomes in studies of HNLMs. Consistent outcome measures across future studies will facilitate comparison of treatment options and allow systematic review. We hope that these guidelines facilitate the design and reporting of subsequent HNLM studies.

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