Human papillomavirus in primary epithelial tumors of the lacrimal sac

Ophthalmology. 1993 Apr;100(4):569-73. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(93)31629-5.


Background: The lacrimal sac epithelium can give rise to benign and malignant neoplasms. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is known to be causal in the development of epithelial neoplasias elsewhere in the body. The authors have examined primary lacrimal sac tumors for the presence of HPV.

Methods: Nine primary lacrimal sac tumors (3 benign papillomas and 6 carcinomas) submitted to the Eye Pathology Laboratories at the Wilmer Institute between 1960 and 1991 were examined for the presence of HPV sequences by in situ hybridization and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Results: Of the nine tumors, only six were suitable for analysis by PCR or in situ hybridization. All three papillomas were positive for HPV type 11. Three of the carcinomas were positive for HPV sequences, and one case could be further characterized as HPV type 18.

Conclusions: Human papillomaviruses appear to be involved in the genesis of both benign and malignant neoplasms of the lacrimal sac epithelium. As in the genital tract, HPV type 11 is associated with benign lesions, whereas HPV type 18 is associated with malignancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma / microbiology*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lacrimal Apparatus Diseases / microbiology*
  • Lacrimal Apparatus Diseases / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Papilloma / microbiology*
  • Papilloma / pathology
  • Papillomaviridae* / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tumor Virus Infections / microbiology*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / pathology


  • DNA, Viral