IMPORTANCE: To describe presenting patterns of breast cancer metastases to the orbit and eyelids BACKGROUND: To provide clinical, radiographic, and pathologic correlations of breast metastases to the orbit or eyelids and evaluate radiographic volumetric orbital changes DESIGN: Retrospective review in an academic center PARTICIPANTS: Ten female patients with periocular metastatic breast carcinoma who were seen at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Oculoplastics Clinic METHODS: Retrospective review of patient records, imaging and pathology findings. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Presenting clinical characteristics, radiographic findings, and histopathological features were assessed and correlated to discover distinctive presenting patterns. Volumetric measurements of the tumors and orbital soft tissue structures were made on magnetic resonance imaging studies. RESULTS: The breast metastases included 9 orbital and 1 eyelid lesions. Two distinct clinical presentations were observed. The first consisted of seven patients who had either enophthalmos or euphthalmos in the setting of a retrobulbar lesion, a radiographically indistinct lesion, and a classic microscopic invasive lobular breast carcinoma (ILBC) with a prominent fibrotic stroma. The second group consisted of two proptotic patients with mass lesions on imaging and an atypical ILBC pathological subtype (pleomorphic or alveolar). One patient had diffusely indurated eyelid fullness. Volumetric analyses demonstrated variable tumor sizes with an inconsistent impact on the orbital volume and fat. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This correlative study provides the clinical-radiographic-histopathologic basis for separating two overarching phenotypic presentations of metastatic breast carcinoma to the orbit. Previously postulated mechanisms for the distinctive finding of tumor-induced enophthalmos are re-examined in the light of the foregoing conclusions.
Painless low-grade right proptosis with 20/25 visual acuity developed slowly in a 49-year-old woman with a past history of breast cancer. Imaging studies disclosed an oval-to-round superotemporal mass in the right lacrimal fossa without bone erosion. Excisional biopsy revealed a pseudoencapsulated, bosselated tumor with a spindled, hypocellular, and heavily periodic acid Schiff-positive stroma constituted of abundant basement membrane material and collagen. Scattered lumens and focal cribriform cellular clusters were present in the peripheries of several of the lobules. Immunohistochemistry showed epithelial membrane antigen+ and cytokeratin (CK) 7+ in many small luminal structures. The spindled cells were calponin+, CK5/6+, CK14+, and p63+, confirming their myoepithelial nature. The Ki67 proliferation index was 2-3%, and upregulation of nuclear p53, a tumor suppressor gene product which may be aberrantly overexpressed in malignancy, was observed in rare cells. Immunohistochemical probes for HMGA2 and PLAG1 oncoproteins, characteristic of pleomorphic adenoma, were stained intensely and less intensely, respectively. MYB and c-KIT (CD117) were negative, thereby strongly arguing against the diagnosis of adenoid cystic carcinoma. In atypical epithelial tumors of the lacrimal gland, genetic probes identifying distinctive gene translocations or their oncoprotein products complement traditional immunohistochemical biomarkers such as cytokeratins and other structural or secretory molecules. Characteristic genetic abnormalities demonstrated by immunohistochemistry for their upregulated protein products, or by in situ hybridization for translocations, are increasingly being relied on for diagnostic precision.
A 55-year-old woman had a right orbital cyst detected incidentally on radiographic imaging. The patient's symptoms were mild and included intermittent pain and vertical diplopia; the patient was not aware of any visual decline. There was a palpable mass beneath the superior orbital rim. Radiographic imaging revealed a well-demarcated cystic lesion in the right superior orbit between the levator palpebrae superioris and superior rectus muscles. The mass was completely excised via a transconjunctival approach. Histopathologic evaluation disclosed a conjunctival cyst lined by nonkeratinized squamous epithelium with scattered, rare goblet cells. This case combined with 5 other similar reported cases suggests that an intermuscular cyst located in the superior rectus-levator complex is most likely of congenital embryonic conjunctival origin.