Case Study: May 2007


A 45-year man presented to the ophthalmologists with a 1 year history of an expanding mass on the right lower lid.

A full thickness lower lid excision was performed.

Histology showed an expansile lesion, composed of a glandular elements. Nuclear pleomorphism and mitotic activity were identified. The cells were eosinophilic and showed bubbly to granular cytoplasm.

Fig1-low power of full thickness lid excision. Fat black arrow=tarsal conjunctiva. Thinner black arrow is skin.

Fig 2-Higher power of lesion.

Fig 3-the lesion was strongly positive for GCDFP-15 (as shown), CK-7 and EMA.



What is the diagnosis?


Click to show answers

This is a primary apocrine adenocarcinoma of the eyelid. It has probably arisen from the Moll glands that are a type of apocrine gland. The strong GCDFP-15 staining corroborates the histological findings nicely.

In a woman, it is important to exclude metastatic breast carcinoma with apocrine differentiation, before entertaining a diagnosis of primary eyelid apocrine carcinoma.


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Shintaku M, Tsuta K, Yoshida H, Tsubura A, Nakashima Y, Noda K. Apocrine adenocarcinoma of the eyelid with aggressive biological behavior: report of a case.Pathol Int. 2002 Feb;52(2):169-73.

Seregard S. Apocrine adenocarcinoma arising in Moll gland cystadenoma.
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Thomson SJ, Tanner NS. Carcinoma of the apocrine glands at the base of eyelashes; a case report and discussion of histological diagnostic criteria.
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