Clinicopathologic features of biopsied lacrimal gland masses in 95 Korean patients

  • Chanjoo Ahn
  • Sunah Kang
  • Ho-Seok SaEmail author
Oculoplastics and Orbit



To investigate the clinicopathologic features of lacrimal gland masses biopsied in a tertiary referral hospital in Korea.


Records from 95 Korean patients who underwent lacrimal gland mass biopsy were retrospectively reviewed. Data included demographics, clinical presentation, imaging findings, histopathologic diagnosis, and associated systemic disease.


The median age was 52.0 years (range, 16–76 years), and 51 patients (53.7%) were female. Thirty-three patients (34.7%) had bilateral disease. The histopathologic diagnoses were as follows: chronic dacryoadenitis (52.6%, n = 50;29 non-specific and 21 immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD)), lymphoproliferative disease (25.5%, n = 24; 18 lymphoma and six lymphoid hyperplasia), benign epithelial tumour (13.7%, 13 pleomorphic adenoma), malignant epithelial tumour (3.2%, three adenoid cystic carcinoma), dacryops (3.2%, n = 3), solitary fibrous tumour (1.1%, n = 1), and xanthogranulomatous inflammation (1.1%, n = 1). Patients with chronic dacryoadenitis were significantly more likely to be younger (mean 47.5 years), have bilateral involvement (52.0%), and have a longer symptom period (mean 15.6 months) than those with lymphoproliferative disease (60.0 years, 25.0%, and 6.7 months, respectively; p < 0.05, each comparison). Patients with IgG4-related dacryoadenitis were significantly more likely to have bilateral involvement (85.7%) and have associated systemic involvement (52.4%) than those with non-specific dacryoadenitis (37.9 and 0%, respectively; p < 0.05, each comparison). Sixteen patients (16.8%) had associated systemic involvement: 11 with IgG4-RD and 5 with lymphoma.


Chronic dacryoadenitis and lymphoproliferative disease were the most common causes of lacrimal gland masses in our cohort. Younger patients with bilateral involvement and a longer symptom period were more likely to have chronic dacryoadenitis than lymphoproliferative disease. Associated systemic involvement was not rare in patients with IgG4-RD or lymphoma. Our results suggest that biopsy of chronic lacrimal gland masses should be performed for proper evaluation and management.


Dacryoadenitis Histopathologic aetiology Lacrimal gland mass Lymphoproliferative disease 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Author Chanjoo Ahn declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Author Sunah Kang declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Author Ho-Seok Sa declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Asan Medical CenterUniversity of UlsanSeoulSouth Korea

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