Squamous cell carcinoma presenting as an orbital cyst with radiologic evidence of perineural invasion

V. Limawararut, E. Hoyama, Dinesh Selva, G. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE. To report clinical and radiologic findings of cystic squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the orbit with evidence of perineural involvement. METHODS. Analysis of clinical findings and radiology with a literature review. RESULTS. A 66-year-old man with SCC of the forehead 8 years prior presented with paresthesias, diplopia, and proptosis. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a well-defined, cystic mass of the orbit with a single, linear structure running through its center. Lateral orbitotomy revealed a cyst adherent to adjacent periorbita containing viscous, clear, yellow substance and a nerve coursing through the center. Histopathology confirmed poorly differentiated spindle cell carcinoma with positive staining for cytokeratin markers, consistent with SCC. CONCLUSIONS. Orbital cysts associated with altered sensation are suggestive of SCC with perineural spread, requiring prompt investigation and treatment to minimize morbidity and mortality. The involved nerve may be seen as a single, linear structure within the mass on imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)970-972
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean journal of ophthalmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007


  • Cystic orbital mass
  • Cystic squamous cell carcinoma
  • Orbital cyst
  • Orbital squamous cell carcinoma
  • Periocular squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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