• Users Online: 8258
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

   Table of Contents      
Year : 1966  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 124-127

Reticulosarcoma of the eye treated with cyclophosphamide

Department of Ophthalmology and Haematology, Bai Yamunabai Nair Hospital, Bornbay, India

Date of Web Publication16-Jan-2008

Correspondence Address:
A M Gokhle
Department of Ophthalmology and Haematology, Bai Yamunabai Nair Hospital, Bornbay
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Rights and PermissionsRights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Gokhle A M, Desai A J. Reticulosarcoma of the eye treated with cyclophosphamide. Indian J Ophthalmol 1966;14:124-7

How to cite this URL:
Gokhle A M, Desai A J. Reticulosarcoma of the eye treated with cyclophosphamide. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1966 [cited 2021 Oct 19];14:124-7. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1966/14/3/124/38639

Primary involvement of the eyes in lymphomas is uncommon. A case of reticulosarcoma of the eye responding dramatically to intravenous cyclophos­phamide (endoxan) is reported below.

  Case Report Top

Mr. L. J., a 51-year old Christian farmer from Goa, was seen for the first time on 12th Dec. 1964. He gave a history of an insect bite on the left upper eye lid three months ago. A month later, he observed watering from the eyes and a rapidly growing swelling of the left eye lids. He was not able to see with the left eye at all. Two weeks later, the right eye lids were found to be involved. No systemic manifesta­tions were noted. [Figure - 1].

On examination, the left eye was closed with a marked swelling of both the eye lids. It was hard, nontender, nodular and the overlying skin was red and stretched, but freely moving. On separating the lids, a marked swelling of the conjunctiva was noted. Cornea could be barely seen.

The vision of the right eye was nor­mal. A hard swelling of the right lower eye-lid was also seen. The cornea and conjunctiva were normal. The right fundus was normal.

Small discrete lymph nodes were palpable in the posterior cervical re­gion on both sides. and the tonsils were markedly enlarged. Epitrochlear nodes on the right side were massively enlarged and on the left side they were just palpable. Other lymph nodes, liver and spleen were not palpably enlarged. The other systems were normal.

  Investigations Top

i) Hemoglobin: 13.5 gm. %, Packed cell volume 45 ml % Mean cor­pusuar hemoglobin concentration 33%; white blood cells: 9800 per cmm. Polymophs: 78% Lymphocytes: 12%; Eosinophils : 1%; Monocytes : 9%.

ii) Chest X-Ray did not show any enlargement of mediastinal lymph nodes.

iii) Biopsy from the tonsil and left eye lid showed a similar histology which was diagnostic of reticulo­sarcoma. [Figure - 2],[Figure - 3],[Figure - 4]

The patient was treated with 200 mg. of cyclophosphamide intravenously daily for twenty days. Within three days of starting the treatment he felt better and the swelling of the eyes was markedly diminished a fortnight later. By the 20th day no swelling of the lids was perceptible and the tonsils had regressed in size completely. Epitrochlear glands could just be felt. No ill effects of the drug were no­ticed. Eosinophil count was normal before giving the cyclophosphamide. It was noticed to be higher on the second day following cyclophospha­mide therapy and has remained high till today. Stools were examined for parasites but none were found. The patient denied any history of asthma and had no symptoms suggestive of tropical eosinophilia. Besides, chest X-Ray was normal. It is thought that the high eosinophil count resulted from the cyclophosphamide therapy. [Figure - 5]

He discontinued the treatment on his own by middle of February '65. He was readmitted on 15th of April with a recurrence of the cervical, epi­trochlear, and tonsillar lymphadeno­pathy [Figure - 6]

No swelling of the eye lids was observed. A white necrotic patch was seen on the right tonsil. Liver and spleen were not palpable. A repeat chest X-Ray did not reveal any me­diastinal lymph nodes. Blood counts were as follows: Hemoglobin 14 gms: Packed cell volume 45 ml %; white blood cells 9000 cmm. with 18% eosinophils, 50%, polymorphs, and 32% lymphocytes. He was treated intravenously again with cyclophosphamide 200 mgm. for 20 days and again res­ponded very well with regression of lymph adenopathy. He is now on a maintenance therapy of cyclophos­phamide 50 mgm. three times a day orally.

  Discussion Top

From primitive multipotent mesen­chymal cells are developed fully dif­ferentiated connective tissue cells and tissue elements whose basic structure is a sponge like reticulum. From these are developed lymphoid, hoemic, and phagocytic cells which are bound to­gether by fine fibres of reticulin. Hyper­plasia of this system is pleomorphic and may give different clinical forms which are grouped together under the generic name of 'Reticuloses or malig­nant Lyphomas'. Out of this the fol­lowing five may affect the eye lids--­(1) Lypmphoma, (2) Lymphosarcoma, (3) Giant follicular adenopathy, (4) Reticulosarcoma and rarely (5) Hodg­kin's disease.

(I) Lvmphoma has a structure ap­proaching that of normal tissue. It is benign. It consists of dense mass of lymphocytes with occasional mitotic figures.

(2) Lymphosarcoma is a highly in­vasive tumour of lymphocytes and lymphoblasts. This and lymphoma may be associated with Leukemia. It is locally invasive. Multiple metastasis on pleuricentric dissemination of the disease may occur, some time or other involving all lymphoid tissue of the body. Leukaemia depends upon malig­nant cells entering the blood stream in demonstrable numbers. It shows lym­phocytes with many mitoses.

(3) In Giant follicular lymph ade­nopathy similar neoplasia of multicen­tric origin occur throughout the body, sometimes benign but usually of low malignancy. Tonsils and lymphoid tissue of gastro-intestinal tract are not affected. Lymph nodes show lymphoid tissue with large follicles and germinal centres.

(4) In Reticulosarcoma reticular cells predominate. Any variant of reti­cular cell may be involved, but in a particular tumor, the type of cell is uniform. Fine reticulum is present throughout. It is locally invasive and spreads by lymphatics and blood stream. These nodules may ulcerate.

(5) Hodgkin's desease shows consi­derable pleomorphism with preponder­ance of lymphoid and reticular ele­ments. It rarely affects the eyelids.

Involvement of eyelids is uncommon in the first two. Primary involvement of the eyes without simultaneous sys­temic disease is very rare. Of 21 cases of lymphomatoid disease in the region of the eye, Mc Carvic (1943) found that in 17 the periocular lymphoblas­toma was primary; while in 4 it ap­peared after the generalized disease had become apparent. Of these 21 tumors. 10 involved the eyelids and 20 the orbit. Gall and Mallory (1942) found only one case of lympho­sarcoma of eye in their large series of 618 cases of malignant lymphomas. When the eyelids are involved, lympho­sarcoma or reticulosarcoma are the usual causes.

The tumor forms an ill defined mass in the lids and may have a variable involvement of all the four lids. Orbit may be encroached upon. Usually the overlying skin is free. There may be a very rapid spread of the disease in case of reticulosarcoma and may prove fatal in a few months.

The treatment on the whole is un­satisfactory, though, the tumor seems to be a little less malignant in this area. Partial or rarely a complete remission is known to occur due to radio therapy. Recurrence rate is very high. Cyclo­phosphamide to our knowledge is not tried in this situation. The dramatic response in our patient has been very encouraging. Cyclophosphamide is se­lectively concentrated by the malignant cells and hence a long term mainten­ance therapy is possible. Besides the absence of recurrence at the same site is very noteworthy and so is the res­ponse of the recurrence of growth to the drug.

We are grateful to Dr. C. K. Deshnande. Prof. of Pathology for the histopathological studies.

  Summary Top

A case of rapidly growing reticulo­sarcoma of the eye is described. He res­ponded very well to cvclophosphamide on two occasions.[2]

  References Top

Gall and Mallory (1942). Amer. .1. of Path. 18: 381.  Back to cited text no. 1
Mc Garie (1943). Amer. J. of Ophthal. 30:179: 1943.  Back to cited text no. 2


  [Figure - 1], [Figure - 2], [Figure - 3], [Figure - 4], [Figure - 5], [Figure - 6]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
Case Report
Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded0    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal