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28.11.2018 | Oculoplastics and Orbit

Asymmetric lacrimal gland enlargement: an indicator for detection of pathological entities other than thyroid eye disease

Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Eri Ishikawa, Yasuhiro Takahashi, Ma. Regina Paula Valencia, Marian Grace Ana-Magadia, Hirohiko Kakizaki



To examine the clinicopathological characteristics of patients with thyroid eye disease (TED) who showed asymmetric lacrimal gland enlargement.


Sixteen patients were included in this retrospective, observational case series. The following data were collected: sex, age, laterality, past medical history, laboratory results for thyroid function and other autoimmune disorders, pathological results, other systemic lesions related to lacrimal gland pathology, and the clinical course after treatment.


The results of pathological examinations were consistent with non-specific dacryoadenitis in seven patients, immunoglobulin G4-related dacryoadenitis in four patients, sarcoidosis in two patients, and xanthogranuloma in one patient, respectively. The remaining two patients were proven to be extra-nodal marginal zone lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue type (MALT lymphoma). One patient with sarcoidosis was noted to have another related systemic lesion. After treatment or observation, the lesions were either improved or stable in almost all patients, except for the two patients with MALT lymphoma.


Patients with TED who present with asymmetric lacrimal gland enlargement need to be further evaluated. Biopsy of the lacrimal gland and full systemic work-up should be considered as these may lead to detection of other pathological entities, especially malignancies, which could help in saving patients’ lives.

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