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Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 1993; 91: 99–129.
PMCID: PMC1298462

Periocular xanthogranulomas associated with severe adult-onset asthma.


This article describes six patients who presented, usually bilaterally, with yellow-orange, elevated, indurated, and nonulcerated xanthomatous eyelid lesions, typically extending into the anterior orbital fat, and sometimes involving the extraocular muscles and the lacrimal gland. Because the eyelids remained intact and because the process did not reach the deep orbital and perioptic connective tissues, visual acuity was well preserved. There is cosmetic morbidity and occasionally motility restriction with advancing involvement of the extraocular muscles. All patients had variably severe adult-onset asthma that required treatment with systemic prednisone and inhalants. No evidence of Erdheim-Chester disease was found in any patient, but the appearance in one patient, after 25 years of follow-up, of a separate subcutaneous necrobiotic xanthogranulomatous lesion in the mandibular region with an associated paraproteinemia, suggests that at least some of our cases might be a mild form of necrobiotic xanthogranuloma. For this reason, we would suggest repeated periodic serum protein immunoelectrophoretic studies as well as evaluation for lymphoma. Therapy probably should consist of low doses of periorbital radiotherapy coupled with high doses of corticosteroids. Should this not be successful, then systemic administration of corticosteroids with chemotherapeutic agents might be efficacious, as in necrobiotic xanthogranuloma.

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