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March 1961

Primary Tuberculosis of the Lacrimal Sac

Author Affiliations

New York
Eye Service—Harlem Eye & Ear Hospital.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1961;65(3):450-452. doi:10.1001/archopht.1961.01840020452022

Dacryocystitis in adolescents is frequently caused by tuberculosis.1 The infection of the sac by the tubercle bacillus may be primary or secondary. Some authors have claimed that primary infection does not occur. However, several cases have been reported where a diagnosis of tuberculous dacryocystitis was made without any other demonstrable tuberculous lesion in the body.2

The mode of infection may be incidental contamination of the conjunctiva by the tubercle bacillus which could be carried by the normal flow of tears into the lacrimal sac where the organism lodges and causes an infectious process. It is possible that the sac is invaded hematogenously. This belief is based on the theory that a large percentage of the population are carriers of the organism, which settles and infects an organ when the general immunity of the host and specific resistance of the organ are decreased.3

Several types of tuberculous dacryocystitis

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