Giant dacryocystomucopyocele in an adult: a review of lacrimal sac enlargements with clinical and histopathologic differential diagnoses

Date Published:

2012 Sep


Dacryocystocele is an umbrella term that refers to any diffuse, centrifugal enlargement of the lacrimal sac that results from combined proximal and distal obstructions in the tear drainage system. In adults, the presence of mucus in the cyst's contents leads to the modified term of dacryocystomucocele. If infection supervenes, which almost always occurs in protracted cases and adds the clinical dimension of a dacryocystitis, then a dacryocystomucopyocele is created. Dacryocystocele and its congeners are much rarer in adults than in children. We describe a 95-year-old woman with an acquired, enormous dacryocystomucopyocele, larger than any previously reported, that developed over 25 years and produced globe displacement with an associated conspicuous enlargement of the nasolacrimal duct. The aspirated sac fluid was mucopurulent and harbored low-virulence bacterial organisms of the Prevotella and Petosteptococcus species. In infants, dacryocystoceles are transitory as the result of spontaneously reversible factors. In adults, secondary proximal irreversible fibrotic strictures or bony changes around the nasolacrimal duct typically arise from chronic inflammation or low grade infection. Other possible causations of duct obstruction, in addition to florid mucosal edema, include encroachment on the duct by enlarged contiguous ethmoid air cells; a sinus mucocele or sinusitis; idiopathic, post-traumatic or dysplastic bony remodeling of the wall of the duct; and a neoplasm-all of which require some form of surgical intervention, typically dacryocystorhinostomy. The differential diagnosis of medial canthal swellings centered on the lacrimal sac spans malformations, diverticula, dermoid/epidermoid cysts, sac inflammations/infections causing swelling without generalized sac enlargement, encephaloceles and primary epithelial tumors, as well as extrinsic tumors impinging on the sac.

Last updated on 12/12/2018