Bilateral conjunctival mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma misdiagnosed as allergic conjunctivitis

Cornea. 2001 May;20(4):427-9. doi: 10.1097/00003226-200105000-00019.


Purpose: This report aimed to discuss two nearly identical cases of primary conjunctival mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma mimicking allergic conjunctivitis.

Methods: Two patients were referred for intractability to conventional treatment of initial diagnoses of allergic conjunctivitis. On ocular examination, normally pigmented, giant papilla-like lesions were found bilaterally in the upper conjunctiva. Excisional biopsies were performed.

Results: Histopathologic and immunohistochemical examination of the conjunctival biopsies indicated MALT lymphoma in both patients. The patients subsequently received radiation therapy and achieved complete remission with no evidence of recurrence during follow-up periods of 13 and 11 months.

Conclusion: Conjunctival low-grade lymphoma may share similar clinical features with allergic conjunctivitis. Ophthalmologists should be concerned that primary conjunctival low-grade malignant lymphoma can be misdiagnosed as allergic conjunctivitis

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Conjunctivitis, Allergic / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Errors*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / diagnosis*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / radiotherapy
  • Male