[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
March 1971

Intraocular Involvement in Burkitt's Lymphoma

Author Affiliations

Washington DC; Kano, Nigeria
From the Registry of Ophthalmic Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC (Drs. Karp and Zimmerman), and the Sudan Interior Mission Eye Hospital, Kano, Nigeria (Dr. Payne). Dr. Karp is now with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1971;85(3):295-298. doi:10.1001/archopht.1971.00990050297009

BURKITT'S lymphoma, which is a poorly differentiated lymphocytic lymphoma1,2 with unique epidemiologic features and a characteristic clinical and histologic pattern, is the most common malignant tumor among children in tropical Africa.3-6 It is also by far the most common of all orbital tumors, regardless of age, in Uganda.7 The tumor often arises in the superior portion of the maxilla and erodes the orbit to such an extent that exophthalmos, which may be extreme, is frequently the outstanding clinical feature and presenting symptom (Fig 1). Other clinical manifestations related to the infiltration of orbital soft tissues by the tumor may include chemosis and edema of the lid, tortuosity of retinal vessels, corneal anesthesia, exposure keratitis, corneal ulcers, and panophthalmitis.3-9

Recently we had an opportunity to study an eye that was enucleated from a patient with Burkitt's lymphoma, one in which there was massive invasion of the globe