A case of primary botryoid conjunctival rhabdomyosarcoma

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2006 Apr;244(4):517-9. doi: 10.1007/s00417-005-0085-5. Epub 2005 Sep 3.


Background: Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common childhood primary orbital malignancy, but the occurrence of this tumour in the conjunctiva is rare.

Methods: A 14-year-old girl presented with a visible case of conjunctival mass in the left eye. The year before, the patient was referred to another hospital for a biopsy of a conjunctival mesenchymal tumour in the same site, which was periodically checked after the excision. We intervened by partially removing the conjunctival mass.

Results: The histopathology revealed a botryoid rhabdomyosarcoma. The patient underwent chemotherapy and fractionated radiotherapy. The follow-up after three years revealed that the patient remained clinically tumor-free, with no ocular complication from the radiotherapy.

Conclusion: It is evident that by not excising the tumour in its entirety it is therefore possible to preserve the underlying rectus muscles and not interfere with ocular motility. Subsequent radiotherapy and chemotherapy helped to destroy any residual tumour. Alternatively, surgical excision of the mass alone could lead to recurrence of the tumour after some months or years.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / therapy
  • Dactinomycin / therapeutic use
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ifosfamide / therapeutic use
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / chemistry
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / pathology*
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / therapy
  • Vincristine / therapeutic use


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Dactinomycin
  • Vincristine
  • Ifosfamide

Supplementary concepts

  • IVA protocol