Squamous metaplasia of the canaliculi associated with 5-fluorouracil: a clinicopathologic case report

Ophthalmology. 2002 Dec;109(12):2359-61. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(02)01290-3.


Objective: To illustrate a newly recognized histopathologic change in a patient with canalicular obstruction after weekly administration of 5-fluorouracil for colon cancer.

Design: Interventional case report.

Methods: A full-thickness section of canaliculus was obtained during surgical repair.

Main outcome measure: Histopathologic changes in the specimen.

Results: The prominent histologic feature of the canalicular specimen was severe squamous metaplasia with narrowing of the lumen.

Conclusion: Canalicular obstruction may follow systemic use of 5-fluorouracil due to squamous metaplasia.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / adverse effects*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Dacryocystorhinostomy
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / drug effects*
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / pathology*
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / surgery
  • Lacrimal Duct Obstruction / chemically induced*
  • Lacrimal Duct Obstruction / pathology
  • Metaplasia


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Fluorouracil