Clinical features and surgical outcomes of primary canaliculitis with concretions

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The purpose of our study is to analyze the clinical, ultrasonic, microbiologic, and histopathologic characteristics, management, and outcomes in a series of primary canaliculitis with concretions patients who underwent canaliculotomy with curettage.

Thirty-six patients were reviewed for age, sex, location and laterality, duration of symptoms, clinical symptoms, ultrasonic signs, result of microbiologic culture and histopathologic examination, treatment, and outcomes. Main outcomes were the clinical, ultrasonic, and microbiological characteristics of the canalicular concretions; the histopathologic profiles; and the treatment effect.

Thirty-six patients were identified with concretions in all 37 cases of the patients with canaliculitis. There were 30 (83.3%) female patients with a mean age of 54.2 years. Twenty-eight (77.8%) patients were misdiagnosed or delayed diagnosed, and the mean duration was 17.1 months. The common most clinical presentations were discharge (100%), epiphora (66.7%), erythema (52.8%), and swelling (47.2%), and concretions were found in 31 of 37 patients by typical clinical manifestations and in 5 of 6 patients by ultrasonic. Actinomyces was found in 8 of 13 histopathologic specimens, and microbiological cultures were positive in 13 of 24 patients. All patients underwent canaliculotomy with curettage to completely remove all concretions and contents; 35 of 36 patients’ symptoms improved and 1 recurred after treatment at a median of 21.7 months follow-up according to the telephonic questionnaires.

Canalicular concretions play an important role in primary canaliculitis. Canaliculotomy with curettage is a standard therapy with canalicular concretions, and the surgical removal of all possible concretions is essential for cure.

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