Epidemiology and Prognosis of Primary Periocular Sweat Gland Carcinomas

Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 2017 Mar/Apr;33(2):101-105. doi: 10.1097/IOP.0000000000000658.


Purpose: To characterize the clinical presentation, management, and outcomes of patients with sweat gland carcinoma of the periocular region. To review the pathologic classification scheme, compare the clinical behavior between subtypes, and discuss treatment recommendations for periocular sweat gland carcinomas.

Methods: Retrospective study from 2 tertiary centers, which are part of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Oncology Database.

Results: Twenty-two patients, of whom 13 (59%) were female, were included in the study. The median age was 69 years. The median follow-up time was 23 months. Twenty (91%) patients had lesions that were slow growing and were present for several months to years before diagnosis. Presentation was varied, and pathology included mucinous carcinoma (7; 32%), microcystic adnexal carcinoma (4; 18%), endocrine mucin-producing sweat gland carcinoma (4; 18%), eccrine carcinoma (2; 9%), apocrine carcinoma (2; 9%), poorly differential adnexal carcinoma (2; 9%), and hidroadenocarcinoma (1; 5%). Microcystic adnexal carcinoma tended to present with the largest tumor dimension (range: 25-32 mm) and mucinous carcinoma the smallest (range: 5-13 mm). Treatments included Mohs micrographic excision in 10 patients (45.5%), wide local excision in 10 patients (45.5%), and orbital exenteration in 2 patients (9%). No lesions ≤T2b (by AJCC 7th edition classification for eyelid carcinomas) had local recurrence or nodal metastasis. No patients had distant metastasis.

Conclusions: Sweat gland carcinomas tend to grow slowly and be present for several months to years before diagnosis. Overall, microcystic adnexal carcinoma subtype showed more aggressive clinical behavior than mucinous subtypes. Eyelid carcinomas AJCC category T2b or less were associated with better outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Carcinoma / surgery
  • Eyelid Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Eyelid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Eyelid Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mohs Surgery
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Orbital Neoplasms / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sweat Gland Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Sweat Gland Neoplasms / pathology
  • Sweat Gland Neoplasms / surgery
  • United States / epidemiology