Unusual Metastasis to Eyelid from Extraocular Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Turk J Ophthalmol. 2024 Apr 19;54(2):116-119. doi: 10.4274/tjo.galenos.2024.25686.


Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an unusual skin tumor that has a significant rate of distant and local metastases. It is known that primary MCC of the eyelid usually occurs at the upper eyelid. Here we report an unusual case of MCC metastasis to the eyelid. A 63-year-old male was diagnosed with MCC three years earlier after initially presenting with a mass in his right thigh. After histopathological diagnosis, the patient received medical therapy. During treatment, he developed multiple distant metastases and a firm, purple, vascularized lesion on the upper eyelid. We confirmed the lesion was an eyelid metastasis of MCC by histopathological examination and imaging methods. This case shows that extraocular MCC can metastasize to the eyelids, particularly the upper eyelid, where primary periocular MCC usually appears.

Keywords: Merkel cell carcinoma; eyelid; metastasis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Carcinoma, Merkel Cell* / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Merkel Cell* / secondary
  • Eyelid Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Eyelid Neoplasms* / secondary
  • Eyelids / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Skin Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms* / secondary