Epithelial malignancies of the lacrimal gland: survival rates after extensive and conservative therapy

Ann Ophthalmol. 1993 Nov;25(11):422-6.


We reviewed 96 cases of lacrimal gland tumors; 20 patients had epithelial malignancies (11 adenoid cystic carcinomas, 7 carcinomas in pleiomorphic adenomas, 1 mucoepidermoid tumor, 1 adenocarcinoma, and 1 carcinoma in an epidermoid cyst). Classic computed tomographic scan changes associated with lacrimal gland malignancies were found in only 55% of cases. The median survival was 6.75 years in the seven patients treated with extensive surgery (orbital exenteration, possibly associated with osseous resections) and nine years in the 12 cases treated with eye-saving procedures (tumor excision, possibly followed by radiotherapy). Our data demonstrated that extensive surgery for lacrimal gland malignancies does not improve survival. Therefore, a therapeutic protocol is suggested, in which all suspected epithelial tumors (discriminated from inflammatory and lymphoid lesions by computed tomographic scan findings) undergo dacryoadenectomy, without a previous biopsy. Subsequently, in the case of carcinomas, the choice between extensive and eye-saving procedures is based on the extent and aggressiveness of the tumor and clinical findings.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lacrimal Apparatus Diseases / mortality*
  • Lacrimal Apparatus Diseases / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / mortality*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / therapy*
  • Survival Rate
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed