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Lacrimal gland cyst
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Lacrimal gland cyst

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Contributors: Octavio Viramontes, D. Chimene Richa MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Lacrimal gland cysts, also known as dacryops, are benign ductal cysts. They are uncommon and can occur wherever lacrimal gland tissue is present. It was previously thought that they arose due to obstructions and subsequent buildup of secretion, but now the cause is thought to be multifactorial, arising from chronic inflammation, an immune response, and IgA hypersecretion.

There are four classifications based on location:
  • Palpebral lobe cysts are found between the medial and lateral canthi
  • Orbital lobe cysts are found in the orbit of the eye
  • Cysts in the accessory lacrimal glands
  • Cysts are ectopic in the lacrimal glands
The most common of the lacrimal gland masses, dermoid and epidermoid cysts, are congenital choristomas (resulting from embryonic epidermal entrapment within the frontozygomatic suture) that grow into palpable subcutaneous nodules. They require excision due to risk of spontaneous rupture or cutaneous fistula formation.


H04.139 – Lacrimal cyst, unspecified lacrimal gland

27038009 – Lacrimal Gland Cyst

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Typically, a lacrimal gland cyst falls under the category of lacrimal gland mass. Other etiologies should be considered before making this diagnosis.
Usually these diagnoses present with progressive swelling of the outer one-third of the upper eyelid, pain, double vision, proptosis, and/or extraocular motility restriction. If any of these signs are present, a deeper workup is needed.

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Last Reviewed: 08/18/2017
Last Updated: 09/29/2017
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Lacrimal gland cyst
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Lacrimal gland cyst : Eyelid edema, Unilateral, Ectropion
Clinical image of Lacrimal gland cyst
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