MALIGNANT epithelial tumors of the lacrimal drainage system are rarely encountered. In over 100 cases of malignant lacrimal sac tumors reported, about one half have been carcinomas.1-5 Predominant among these carcinomas is a nonkeratinizing epidermoid carcinoma which is usually moderately well differentiated. The tumor has been called transitional carcinoma, cylindrical cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Similar tumors have been reported arising in the nasal cavities, nasopharynx, and paranasal sinuses.1 When such a lesion occurs in the lacrimal drainage system, it may produce early epiphora despite patency of the system to probing and irrigation.6 Later, tumefaction develops in the medial canthal area. After dacryocystectomy, the lesions often recur locally and sometimes metastasize to distant organs.7
A case which illustrates this lesion and its sequelae has been observed. It involved both lacrimal canaliculi and the lacrimal sac. Canalicular involvement by such neoplasms may account for some of
Paxton BR, Davidorf FH, Makley TA. Carcinoma of Lacrimal Canaliculi and Lacrimal Sac. Arch Ophthalmol. 1970;84(6):749–753. doi:10.1001/archopht.1970.00990040751010
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.