Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

: 2019  |  Volume : 67  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 1240--1245

Solitary orbital myofibroma in a child: A rare case report with literature review

Bejjanki Kavya Madhuri1, Devjyoti Tripathy1, Ruchi Mittal2,  
1 Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery, Orbit and Ocular Oncology Services, The Operation Eyesight Universal Institute for Eye Cancer, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
2 Kanupriya Dalmia Ophthalmic Pathology Laboratory, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Mithu Tulsi Chanrai Campus, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ruchi Mittal
Kanupriya Dalmia Ophthalmic Pathology Service, L. V. Prasad Eye Institute, Mithu Tulasi Chanrai Campus, Patia, Bhubaneswar - 751 024, Odisha


Myofibroma is a rare benign mesenchymal tumor of uncertain histogenesis. A six-year-old boy presented with a unilateral lower eyelid mass of six weeks' duration. MRI revealed a circumscribed mass in the inferolateral orbit with bony erosion. A systemic examination was unremarkable. Excision with histopathology revealed a partially infiltrative spindle cell tumor with bland nuclear morphology expressing smooth muscle actin and muscle-specific actin, compatible with myofibroma. Solitary myofibroma is a rare childhood orbital tumor and may clinico-radiologically closely mimic a malignancy. Histopathology and immunohistochemistry can help reach a definitive diagnosis. Systemic evaluation and close follow up are crucial in such cases.

How to cite this article:
Madhuri BK, Tripathy D, Mittal R. Solitary orbital myofibroma in a child: A rare case report with literature review.Indian J Ophthalmol 2019;67:1240-1245

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Madhuri BK, Tripathy D, Mittal R. Solitary orbital myofibroma in a child: A rare case report with literature review. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Apr 8 ];67:1240-1245
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Full Text

Myofibromas are benign soft tissue neoplasms, and were previously classified as fibroblastic/myofibroblastic in origin. WHO classification of tumors of the soft tissue in 2013, reclassified them as pericytic tumors.[1] They commonly occur in early infancy, and are clinically classified as solitary, multicentric without visceral involvement and multicentric with visceral involvement (generalized).[2],[3] Though labeled as the commonest fibrous tissue tumor of infancy,[1],[2] they are still quite rare. The term “myofibroma” is used to describe the solitary form and is the commonest form of presentation, whereas “myofibromatosis” denotes the multicentric form.[2] The most common site is the head and neck regions followed by limbs and trunk.[4]

Orbital myofibromas are extremely rare. Herein, we report a case of an orbital myofibroma presenting in a six-year-old child and a review of literature of pediatric orbital myofibromas.

 Case Report

A six-year-old male child presented with a painless progressive swelling over the lateral left lower eyelid of about six weeks' duration. There was no other associated ocular or systemic complaint.

On examination, a well-defined, firm, nodular, non-tender soft tissue mass was palpated in the lower eyelid at the lateral edge of the inferior orbital rim [Figure 1]a and [Figure 1]b. The lower fornix and overlying skin were uninvolved. There was no globe displacement, proptosis or ocular motility restriction. Visual acuity in both eyes, and the ocular examination was normal. A detailed systemic clinical examination was unremarkable. A chest radiograph and ultrasonography of the abdomen and the pelvis were both within normal limits. On MRI of the orbits, the mass appeared hypointense on T1W images [[Figure 1]c, red arrow] and lay adjacent to the left zygomatic bone with changes suggestive of underlying bony erosion. On T2W images, it was isointense, relatively homogeneous, and well circumscribed [[Figure 1]d, yellow arrow].{Figure 1}

An excision biopsy was performed. Intraoperatively, the mass appeared pinkish and firm. The underlying bony orbital rim was eroded [[Figure 2]a, yellow arrow]. The mass was excised from its bony attachment with a ragged base [Figure 2]a. Clear surgical margins were not obtained. The eroded bony base was curetted. Intra-operative squash and imprint cytology demonstrated bland appearing spindle cells suggestive of a benign spindle cell tumor.{Figure 2}

Gross examination showed a partially circumscribed mass, with a pseudocapsule surrounding three-quarters of the tumor [[Figure 2]b, red arrow]. One-quarter displayed irregular edges [[Figure 2]b; yellow arrow]. The tumor comprised predominantly of variably sized spindle cells in fascicles, and whorls intersecting at places [Figure 3]a and [Figure 3]b. It displayed a rich vascularity [Figure 3]c with thin-walled slit-like branching vessels imparting a staghorn appearance [[Figure 3]c, black arrow]. Individual cells showed ill-defined cell membranes, abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm, bland, elongated, oval to round nuclei with uniform nuclear morphology. Scattered pale myxoid foci were noted around vessels. Mitotic count was 7 per 20 HPF. There was no necrosis, cytological atypia, or inflammation. A fragment of curetted bony tissue showed spicules of lamellar bone encircled by tumor cells with bland nuclear morphology [[Figure 3]d, yellow asterix].{Figure 3}

Tumor cells showed strong cytoplasmic expression of vimentin [Figure 4]a, smooth muscle actin [SMA, [Figure 4]b], and muscle-specific antigen (MSA), and were negative for desmin, ALK-1, and S-100. CD34 decorated the vessels [Figure 4]c, but not the tumor cells. Ki-67 showed a labeling index of 1–2% [Figure 4]d. The morphological and immunohistochemical features were consistent with myofibroma. A systemic evaluation was unremarkable, and a diagnosis of solitary orbital myofibroma was made.{Figure 4}


Myofibroma has a diverse clinical presentation varying from aggressive multicentric to benign localized forms. It is rarely self-regressing and was historically identified by several names, such as infantile myofibromatosis (IM), congenital-infantile hemangiopericytoma (CIH), and congenital-infantile fibrosarcoma (CIF). A systematic review of similar lesions had led to the introduction of the term juvenile fibromatoses. The disease was described to have solitary, multiple, and generalized forms.[5] Subsequently, the skin tumors and tumors of soft tissue and bone working groups advocated usage of the terms “myofibroma”, “solitary myofibroma”, or “solitary cutaneous myofibroma” to denote solitary lesions of IM and the term “myofibromatosis” for the multicentric forms.[6]

Solitary and multicentric forms can involve the skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscle, and bone. In solitary myofibroma, visceral involvement is very rare.

Multicentric forms with visceral involvement can involve heart wall, pulmonary parenchyma, pleura, thyroid gland, adrenal gland, kidney, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, mesentery, liver, and rarely the central nervous system. Multicentric forms may demonstrate familial inheritance, present earlier in life, and the number of lesions may widely vary (even upto 100). Mortality due to mass effect and visceral involvement, recurrence, and spontaneous regression on observation has been reported in multicentric forms.

Orbital myofibromas are a group of rare, benign, but locally infiltrative tumors of infants with only a few case reports described in children.[3] Kodsi et al. reported only a single case of myofibroma in a review of 340 orbital tumors in children accumulated over a period of sixty years.[5]

A review of English literature revealed 25 cases of orbital myofibroma [Table 1] of which one case had limited information and was excluded from tabulation. There was male preponderance with a M:F ratio of 2.12:1.00. One-third of the cases were congenital, with 60% presenting at the age of less than two years. In total, 72% of the cases had involvement on the left side.{Table 1}

The commonest presentation was a gradually progressive unilateral (100%) orbital mass with soft tissue and bony involvement [47.8%, [Table 1].[3],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22],[23],[24],[25] The presence of bony erosion can make the clinicoradiological diagnosis of myofibroma more challenging. None of the orbital myofibromas demonstrated recurrence at a mean follow up of 20 months (range 6–84 months).

The major differential diagnoses include fibrous histiocytoma, nodular fasciitis, fibromatosis, infantile fibrosarcoma, solitary fibrous tumor, neurofibroma, and hemangiopericytoma.[3],[9] Rarely, malignant lesions like Ewings sarcoma family of tumors and rhabdomyosarcoma may need exclusion. Fibrous dysplasia and non-ossifying fibroma may also need exclusion in cases with predominant osseous involvement. In recent years, studies have revealed consistent pathological findings with a typical fascicular pattern of a rich vascular spindle cell tumor with occasional staghorn-like channels. The centre of the lesion might display more cellularity. Review of published literature showed that all the cases in which IHC was performed (15/25) expressed SMA [Table 1]. These tumors were also found to have strong expression of vimentin, muscle-specific actin, and were negative for desmin, CD34, ALK-1 and S-100.

Though recurrences in myofibroma are extremely rare in spite of positive surgical margins,[4] complete surgical excision should still be the goal.[12] Conservative debulking followed by close observation can be considered in cases with difficulty in total excision. There is no conclusive evidence supporting the benefit of adjunctive radiotherapy or chemotherapy in solitary orbital myofibromas.[11] Therefore, a regular follow-up is probably the best-recommended policy.


In conclusion, myofibroma can rarely present in children as a progressive orbital mass with bony erosions simulating a malignant tumor. A conservative/complete excision may cure the tumor with a very low rate of recurrence. A definitive diagnosis and differentiation from other tumors are dependent upon the microscopic findings and immunohistochemistry.


The authors acknowledge the technical support of Kalandi Charan Muduli.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship

Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation and Operation Eyesight Universal Institute for Eye Cancer.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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