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October 1968

Fibrous Xanthomas of the Conjunctiva

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md
From the Ophthalmology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service, US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Bethesda, Md. Dr. Smith is currently in the Department of Ophthalmology, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY. Dr. Albert's present address is Ophthalmology Branch, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1968;80(4):474-479. doi:10.1001/archopht.1968.00980050476012

Xanthomas are nodular masses of lipid-laden histiocytes which may contain scattered Touton giant cells. They occur in the systemic lipoidoses, in patients with increased serum lipids, and in apparently normal individuals. These lesions may be solitary or may be seen as multiple plaques or papules with a characteristic distribution.

The ophthalmologist encounters this abnormality most frequently as the xanthelasma palpebrarum. The present report describes a patient with xanthomata involving the conjunctivae. A review of the literature and of cases on file at the Registry of Ophthalmic Pathology indicate this to be an extremely unusual site. The lesion had the appearance of fibrous xanthoma, a type that may be less benign than other types of xanthoma.

Report of a Case  The patient was a 44-year-old white woman with rheumatoid arthritis and Sjögren's Syndrome referred by the Arthritis and Rheumatism Branch, National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases to the Ophthalmology Branch,

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