Metastatic Embryonal Conjunctival Rhabdomyosarcoma in a 4-Year-Old Boy

Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 2017 May/Jun;33(3S Suppl 1):S125-S127. doi: 10.1097/IOP.0000000000000583.


The authors report the case of a 4-year-old boy who presented with unilateral ptosis and a mass lesion of palpebral conjunctiva of the left upper eyelid, that had been present for 2 weeks, and had rapidly enlarged. The lesion was salmon colored and was easily distinguished from the conjunctiva. There was no obvious orbital extension in the MRI studies. Excisional biopsy was performed through a conjunctival approach. The histopathology was consistent with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma. Thoracoabdominal CT scans revealed nodules in both lungs, indicating stage 4 disease. The patient received chemotheraphy and intensity-modulated radiation therapy. Rhabdomyosarcoma confined to the conjunctiva and distant metastasis without orbital involvement is rare. It should be included in the differential diagnosis of any atypical conjunctival mass lesions in children, and histopathology is necessary to establish proper treatment. As the case indicates, detailed systemic evaluation and careful systemic follow up of these patients are mandatory.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Child
  • Conjunctiva / pathology*
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma, Embryonal / diagnosis
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma, Embryonal / secondary*