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Year : 1981  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 289-291

Meibomian gland carcinoma

Department of Ophthalmology, Medical College, Gauhati, India

Correspondence Address:
A Hussain
Department of Ophthalmology, Medical College, Gauhati
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 7346445

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How to cite this article:
Hussain A, Gogoi H N. Meibomian gland carcinoma. Indian J Ophthalmol 1981;29:289-91

How to cite this URL:
Hussain A, Gogoi H N. Meibomian gland carcinoma. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1981 [cited 2023 Jun 1];29:289-91. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/ijo/pages/default.aspx/text.asp?1981/29/3/289/30903

The incidence of Meibomian gland carci­noma though appears to be rare yet it projects a perplexing clinical picture for its early dia­gnosis. Metastasis usually occurs to the regional lymphnodes and it metastatise to the distant organs are very slow.

Meibomian gland carcinoma simulates to a number of pathological conditions affecting the lids. Among these papilloma, keratoacan­thoma, chalazion, seborrhic keratitis, benign calcifying epithelioma, inverted follicular eratitis need to be differentiated.

Four cases of meibomian carcinoma were studied and the important points in their management are discussed in this paper.

  Materials and methods Top

Case No. I S.A. aged 50 years, male Muslim, complained of swelling of the upper eye lid of right eye for the last three years [Figure - 1]. The swelling was painless and gradu­ally increasing in size. It was operated once but the swelling had recurred again. On exa­mination a mass measuring ˝" X ˝" at the junction of medial 2/3rd and lateral 1/3rd of the lid presented with firm in consistency with irregularity of surface towards tarsal con­junctiva. Small blood vessels are seen runn­ing over the growth. Preauricular or subman­dibular lymphnodes were not enlarged. All other laboratory examinations were normal. The case has been labelled as Meibomian gland carcinoma and excission with plastic reconstruction of upper eye lids was done following Mustarde's technique. Post opera­tive period was uneventful. He has been advised to come back for further treatment. Histopathological report of the excised mass was adenocarcinoma of meibomian gland.

Case No. 2 M.A. aged 60 years, male Muslim, attended OPD with a complaint of painless progressive swelling right upper lid, since 6 months. When the swelling was small, he was operated upon it about 6 months back and since then the swelling is increasing day by day. On examination a mass measuring 2x2 cm firm in consistency, with irregular surface could be seen. Vision was 6/18 in that eye. Excission of the growth with plastic reconstruction of upper eye lid as had been done in case 1 was done. Follow-up of 1 year showed no recurrence. Histopathological report was adenocarcinoma of Meibomian gland.

Case No. 3 K.B., female, aged 40 years Muslim, she gave the history of swelling in the right upper lid for the last 10 months. The swelling was painless, gradually increasing in size. On examination a firm lobular mass was felt. On eversion of the lid the surface of the growth towards tarsal conjunctiva was found to be irregular. No involvement of regional lymph-gland has been observed. Excission and reconstructive surgery of the upper lid follow­ing Mustarde's technique has been done. The histopathological section came out to be adenocarcinoma of Meibomian gland. [Figure - 2]

Case No. 4 P.B. aged 35 years female, muslim, complained of a swelling in left lower lid since I month. It is painless and rapidly progressing. On examination a firm mass, was felt in left lower lid, skin ever the mass was adherent. Towards the tarsal conjunctival face, the growth was having irre­gular fungating surface. Draining lymph glands were not enlarged. 2/3rd of the lower lid was excised and reconstruction of lower lid was done by mobilizing the tarsoconjunc­tival layer of upper lid (Hughe's operation). Histopathological report of the excised tissue came to be adenocarcinoma of meibomian gland. After 4 weeks she was again admitted and lash grafting was done taking the graft from eye brow. Again after 4 weeks, the lid has been splited and palpebral aperature was make opened. Follow up was satisfactory with out any recurrence.

Histopathological findings

Acinar arrangement of polygonal carcino­matous cells were found in the subepithelial connective tissue. The epidermis and hair follicles were free. Normal sebaceous gland elements were also noted. The adenocarcino­matous cells show necrotic centres of the acinous and vacuolated appearances and at places as solid cords.

  Discussion Top

Meibomian gland carcinoma mistaken as Chalazion is a common occurrence and early diagnosis of this growth increases the cure and survival rate. Usually the growth occurs bet­ween 40 to 60 years involving either sex as has been noted by all workers and also tailing with our reported cases. Hence a painless growth in the lid in an aged person, persisting inspite of medication and once or twice operations should be viewed with suspicion. The cases reported above had the history of operations and recurrence of a swelling considered by eye specialists as chalazion Clinically, in all 4 cases the swelling gradually increased in size and showed irregular surfaces towards the terso conjunctival surface and are important for early diagnosis.

So far treatment is concerned besides saving life, due consideration is to be given for proper function and cosmetic appearance of the eye and therefore selection of method of treatment is important. In our 4 cases, radia­tion therapy has not been considered because the growth is in its early stage and within amnable limit without any evidence of secon­dary metastasis.

The method of Mustarde that have been followed in 3 of our cases proved to be best for early case of Meibomian gland carcinoma because it is less mutilating and less time con­suming with excellent results. Only in one case we followed the Hughes reconstruction method of lower lid from upper lid tissue, and we got satisfactory result.

  Summary Top

Early Meibomian gland carcinoma is usua­lly mistaken as chalazion. Hence repeated occurrence of chalazion in the same place of the lid necessitate a thorough clinical and histo­pathological assessment. 4 cases of early Meibomian gland carcinoma have been des­cribed with their histopathological findings. Operation of early cases by Mustarde's method has been considered to be most suitable pro­cedure.

  Acknowledgement Top

I am grateful to Principal, J. Mahanta, of G.M.C. and Prof. 1.K.S.M. Barua of Depart­ment of Pathology and to my departmental colleagues for their help[13].

  References Top

Cutler, N.L. and Beaid, C., 1955, Amer. J. Ophthalmol. 39:1.  Back to cited text no. 1
Harts, P.H. A. 1955, J. Clin. Pathology 25:636.  Back to cited text no. 2
Hogan, J.M. and Zimerman E.L. 1962, Ophthalmic pathology 2nd Ed., Page 214-216. W.B. Saunders Co. London.  Back to cited text no. 3
Hughes, W.L. : in "Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery" 3rd L d. P. 196.198. Edited by Fox. S.A. New­york, Gruine & stratta.  Back to cited text no. 4
Kanedy and King, 1964. Amer. J. Ophihalmol. 37: 259.  Back to cited text no. 5
Knapp, H., 1903, Tr. Am. Ophthalmol. Soc. 10: 57.  Back to cited text no. 6
Mustarde, C.J., 1969, "Repair and Reconstruction in the Orbital Region" E.S. Livingston Ltd. London.  Back to cited text no. 7
Murrah, W.R. 1951, Amer. J. Ophthalmol 34, 633.   Back to cited text no. 8
Rice M.L., 1950, Amer. J. Ophthamol, 33, 1434.   Back to cited text no. 9
Reese A.B., 1963, "Tumours of eye" P. 5-23.  Back to cited text no. 10
Speath, E.B., 1951, A.M.A. Atch. Ophthalmol. 46 ; 421  Back to cited text no. 11
Straatsma, B.R. 1956 : Arch. Ophthalmol. 56, 71.  Back to cited text no. 12
Sweebe, E.C. and Cogan D.G, 1959, Arch. Ophthalmol, 61, 130.  Back to cited text no. 13


  [Figure - 1], [Figure - 2]


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