Floretlike Cells in In Situ and Prolapsed Orbital Fat

Katayoon B. Ebrahimi, Shiquan Ren, W. Richard Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: Orbital pleomorphic lipoma has been rarely reported in the literature. Although floretlike cells are characteristic of pleomorphic lipoma, they are not pathognomonic. We reviewed cases of prolapsed orbital fat and exenteration specimens to determine the significance of presence of these cells in the diagnosis of orbital pleomorphic lipoma. Design: Retrospective interventional case series with clinicopathologic correlation. Participants: Seventy-two specimens of 45 patients with prolapsed orbital fat and 74 exenteration specimens as controls. Intervention: Histologic review of the specimens including light microscopy, Masson trichrome staining, immunostaining for S100, CD34, CD68, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL) assay, and transmission electron microscopy and review of clinical records and analysis of the data with generalized estimation equation. Main Outcome Measure: Evidence of histologic abnormalities in histologic specimens and clinical and demographic data. Results: Floretlike cells were present in 31 of 72 (43%) specimens of prolapsed orbital fat and in 12 of 74 (16%) orbital exenterations. Fewer than 6 florets were present in twenty 40× high-power fields in 15 (48%), 6 to 10 in 9 (29%), and >10 in 7 (23%) specimens. The florets stained positive for CD34 but not for S100 or CD68. TUNEL assay revealed significant nuclear pyknosis, and transmission electron microscopy disclosed spindle-shaped cells with abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum and no basement membrane. The mean age of patients with prolapsed orbital fat with florets was 67 years (range, 52-86). Of 31 samples, 29 (94%) were from males. Of 30 samples, 29 (97%) were located in the superotemporal conjunctiva; only one was located in the lower lid. There was significant association between the presence of florets and location of the prolapsed orbital fat (P = 0.0013) and gender (P = 0.0015). Conclusion: Floretlike cells may be present in in situ and prolapsed orbital fat as a degenerative process. What some have called "orbital pleomorphic lipoma" is in fact only age-related orbital fat prolapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2345-2349
Number of pages5
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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