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June 1959

Cystic Degeneration of the Meibomian Glands

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Institute of Ophthalmology of Presbyterian Hospital, New York, and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D. C. This study was supported in part by a Special Clinical Traineeship awarded by the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1959;61(6):918-927. doi:10.1001/archopht.1959.00940090920007

Relatively little attention has been given to the histopathologic alterations of the Meibomian glands, despite their functional importance and recognized participation in a large group of ocular disorders. Even this limited consideration has been focused on the tumors that may arise from these unique glandular structures, and very little emphasis has been given to the response of the Meibomian glands to obstruction by natural disease or surgical manipulation.

An example of Meibomian cyst was described as early as 1875 by De Vincentiis,1 and several subsequent reports of Meibomian gland obstruction and consequent cyst formation have appeared.2-10 In general, these papers present isolated glandular cysts of variable size or refer to Meibomian gland obstruction and cyst formation secondary to trachomatous cicatrization of the lid. A number of recognized ophthalmic textbooks11-14 mention the occurrence of Meibomian cysts and state that they may also result from congenital maldevelopment of the

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