Management and complications of congenital dacryocele with concurrent intranasal mucocele

J AAPOS. 2000 Feb;4(1):46-53. doi: 10.1016/s1091-8531(00)90011-9.


Introduction: The association of dacryocele and intranasal mucocele has been previously reported. Its incidence and optimal treatment are unknown.

Patients and methods: A retrospective review of 22 patients with 30 dacryoceles was performed to determine the mean age at presentation, sex distribution, and prevalence of associated intranasal mucocele, associated dacryocystitis, and respiratory distress. The components of the examination, ancillary tests, treatment modalities, and treatment outcomes were then summarized.

Results: Unilateral dacryoceles were seen in 16 (73%) of the infants, and bilateral dacryoceles were seen in 6 (27%) of the infants. Four (25%) of the 16 patients who initially had unilateral dacryoceles later developed bilateral dacryoceles. Dacryocystitis, preseptal cellulitis, or both were present on presentation or developed in 18 (60%) of 30 dacryoceles. Nasal endoscopy was performed on 13 (59%) of 22 patients. Nasal examination with nasal speculum and headlight was performed on 7 patients (32%). A concurrent intranasal mucocele was diagnosed in 23 (77%) of 30 dacryoceles. Respiratory distress arose in 5 (71%) of 7 patients with bilateral intranasal mucoceles and in 2 (22%) of 9 patients with a unilateral intranasal mucocele. Thirty-four procedures were performed. Seven dacryoceles (21%) were treated with nasolacrimal duct probing under topical anesthesia. Another one (3%) was treated with needle aspiration with later definitive therapy. All other procedures were managed under general anesthesia. These included 2 nasolacrimal duct probings (6%), 2 probings with silicone tube placement (6%), 10 probings with intranasal mucocele marsupialization and silicone tube placement (29%), and 12 probings with marsupialization alone (35%). Two (29%) of the 7 probings performed under topical anesthesia failed, whereas all other procedures were successful. One dacryocele spontaneously resolved.

Conclusions: Congenital dacryoceles are commonly associated with intranasal mucoceles, dacryocystitis, and preseptal cellulitis. Respiratory distress is common in bilateral cases. Bilateral nasolacrimal duct probing should be considered in unilateral cases because of the high incidence of occult contralateral involvement.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Endoscopy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lacrimal Apparatus Diseases / congenital
  • Lacrimal Apparatus Diseases / diagnosis
  • Lacrimal Apparatus Diseases / surgery*
  • Male
  • Mucocele / diagnosis
  • Mucocele / surgery*
  • Nasolacrimal Duct / surgery*
  • Nose Diseases / complications
  • Nose Diseases / diagnosis
  • Nose Diseases / surgery*
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome