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Clinical Sciences
Oct 2011

Malignant Lymphoma of the Lacrimal Gland: A Nation-Based Study

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Eye Pathology Section (Drs Rasmussen, Prause, and Heegaard), and Public Health, The Research Unit, Section of General Practice (Dr Siersma), University of Copenhagen; Department of Pathology, Copenhagen University Hospital (Drs Ralfkiaer and Sjö), Copenhagen; and Department of Ophthalmology, Glostrup University Hospital, Glostrup (Dr Heegaard), Denmark.

Arch Ophthalmol. 2011;129(10):1275-1280. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2011.270

Objective To characterize the clinicopathologic features of lacrimal gland lymphoma.

Methods All cases of lacrimal gland lymphoma from January 1, 1975, through December 31, 2009, were retrieved from The Danish Registry of Pathology. Histologic specimens were reevaluated using a panel of monoclonal antibodies. Clinical files from all patients with confirmed lymphoma were collected.

Results Twenty-seven patients with lacrimal gland lymphoma were identified. Eight of the patients were men and 19 were women; the median (range) age was 69 (43-87) years. The distribution of lymphoma subtypes was as follows: extranodal marginal zone lymphoma, 10 (37%); follicular lymphoma, 5 (19%); diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, 4 (15%); mantle cell lymphoma, 3 (11%); chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphatic lymphoma, 2 (7%); and unclassified B-cell lymphoma, 3 (11%). Twenty-two patients (81%) had stage I or II lymphoma, 1 patient (4%) had stage III lymphoma, and 4 patients (15%) had stage IV lymphoma. Patients with stage I or II lymphoma were treated with radiotherapy (15 [67%]), chemotherapy (3 [14%]), chemotherapy plus radiotherapy (1 [5%]), and surgery (3 [14%]). Patients presenting with stage III or IV lymphoma were treated with chemotherapy alone. Complete remission was observed in 23 of the patients (85%), although 12 (44%) of these had a relapse, independent of subtype, stage, or treatment. The 5-year overall survival was 70%.

Conclusions Malignant lymphoma of the lacrimal gland is relatively rare and is mostly prevalent in elderly women. The distribution of lacrimal gland lymphoma subtypes resembles that of lymphoma subtypes of the salivary glands. The majority of lacrimal gland lymphomas are low grade, and the prognosis is relatively good.