Although Baldauf described some tumors of the Meibomian gland in 1870, it was Allaire in 1891 who first identified an adenocarcinoma of the Meibomian gland. Since that time there have been approximately 120 Meibomian gland carcinomas reported in the literature (Bibliography). The Meibomian gland carcinomas comprise about 0.2% of all lid tumors (Welch and Duke). It appears that generalized metastases have occurred in 12 of these cases. The incidence of metastases may be even greater than this, as a good many cases had inadequate or no follow-up.
In their early stages, Meibomian gland carcinomas are frequently mistaken for chronic chalazia. The distinction between these two lid lesions becomes particularly important because these tumors do possess metastatic tendencies. Recently, we have had several cases in which the clinical diagnosis was "recurrent chalazion," but the pathologic specimen proved to be an adenocarcinoma of the Meibomian gland. We now have collected a total
SWEEBE EC, COGAN DG. Adenocarcinoma of the Meibomian GlandA Pseudochalazion Entity. AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1959;61(2):282-290. doi:10.1001/archopht.1959.00940090284015