Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The diagnosis and management of ocular lymphoma.

The diagnosis and management of ocular lymphoma.

Feb 2013


*OD, FAAO Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.



Lymphoma is the most common malignancy of the ocular adnexa. Most of the ocular adnexa lymphomas are non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphomas. The most common type of ocular adnexa lymphoma is primary extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of the MALT (mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue). Most of these neoplasms are primary extranodal lymphomas, although 10% to 32% are secondary tumors from disseminated disease.


A 58-year-old woman presented for a comprehensive examination, with the chief complaint of ocular discomfort in both eyes. Anterior segment examination revealed bilateral salmon-colored lesions of the inferior and superior conjunctivae. The patient was referred for systemic evaluation and histopathology of the conjunctival lesions. She was diagnosed as having marginal zone lymphoma of the MALT and underwent radiation therapy (RT).


Ocular lymphoma may present on routine examination or with mild symptoms. Although most commonly a primary extranodal neoplasm, the condition may be associated with disseminated lymphoma and requires thorough evaluation and staging of the disease for determination of appropriate treatment. The primary eye care provider plays an important role in the identification and staging of the disease, as well as managing complications from RT. It is also important to recognize that concurrent conditions requiring treatment with topical medications, such as glaucoma, may be complicated after treatment because of the inflammation and ocular surface irritation after RT. The necessity and benefit of the addition of intraocular pressure medications during that time should be measured on a case-by-case basis. Patients should be followed closely after treatment for relapse of disease and identification of complications from ocular RT.

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