Intraductal sebaceous papilloma of a meibomian gland: a new entity possibly associated with the MSH6 subtype of the Muir-Torre syndrome

Surv Ophthalmol. 2020 Mar-Apr;65(2):227-238. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2019.09.002. Epub 2019 Sep 23.


Over several months, a painless, multinodular, non-erythematous swelling of the deep tissues of his left upper eyelid developed in a 63-year-old man. An excisional biopsy with histopathologic evaluation disclosed a unique sebaceous papilloma within a cyst lined by non-keratinizing squamous epithelium that focally displayed a variably thick, superficial, eosinophilic cuticular layer. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that the tumor and its epithelial cystic lining had a profile consistent with Meibomian gland duct epithelium. Adipophilin highlighted cytoplasmic vacuolar lipid positivity. The encapsulation of the lesion, absence of nuclear atypia, and Ki-67 nuclear positivity restricted to the basilar cells established its intrinsically benign nature. The patient's clinical history was remarkable for pulmonary and colonic carcinomas resected, respectively, 20 years and 8 years earlier. DNA mismatch repair protein expression studies disclosed loss of nuclear immunostaining of MSH6 protein, pointing to the possibility of an underlying rare MSH6 variant of the Muir-Torre syndrome, not yet described in the ophthalmic literature. p16 nuclear positivity was also found in the tumor cells, indicating the possible role of high-risk human papillomavirus as an additional factor in the genesis of the tumor. Genetic evaluation of normal and tumoral tissues in future similar cases will detect if there is an underlying germline mutation versus a somatic mutation limited to the tumor. This will be required to fully establish a predictable linkage with this new subtype of the Muir-Torre syndrome.

Keywords: DNA mismatch repair genes; Meibomian gland; Muir-Torre syndrome; eyelid; intraductal papilloma; sebaceoma; sebaceous adenoma; sebaceous carcinoma; sebaceous epithelioma; sebaceous papilloma.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Eyelid Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meibomian Glands / diagnostic imaging*
  • Middle Aged
  • Muir-Torre Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Muir-Torre Syndrome / genetics
  • Papilloma / diagnosis*