Conjunctival lymphoma masquerading as chronic conjunctivitis

Ophthalmology. 1999 Apr;106(4):757-60. doi: 10.1016/S0161-6420(99)90163-X.


Objective: Malignant lesions of the conjunctiva may present with slowly evolving signs resembling inflammation. The authors describe the clinical and histopathologic findings of two patients with bilateral conjunctival lymphoma who presented with a history of chronic conjunctivitis without clinically noticeable subconjunctival nodules.

Design: Case report.

Participants: Two patients.

Intervention: Both patients underwent conjunctival biopsy for evaluation of persistent conjunctival inflammation that did not respond to various medical treatment methods.

Results: Histopathologic examination revealed extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue type) in one patient and follicle center lymphoma in the other patient. Both patients subsequently received radiation therapy and achieved a complete remission with no evidence of recurrence in the follow-up period of 20 and 16 months, respectively.

Conclusions: Conjunctival lymphoma should be included in the differential diagnoses of chronic conjunctivitis. Persisting signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis not responding to standard treatment should prompt biopsy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Chronic Disease
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Conjunctivitis / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / pathology*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / radiotherapy
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / pathology*
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / radiotherapy
  • Middle Aged