Characterization of Dacryops Infections

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The purpose of this study was to characterize the clinical entity of dacryops infections through imaging with or without histopathology in the differential of ocular adnexal masses in the setting of infection.


A retrospective chart review was performed on 5 patients seen at 1 clinical practice in which a complete ophthalmologic examination and imaging of the lesion had been obtained. Two of these patients additionally obtained surgical intervention with histopathologic examination.


The main lacrimal gland was involved in all 5 patients with dacryops infection presenting unilaterally. The average age of the patients was 44.6 years. Predisposing factors of eyelid margin disease, conjunctivitis, and contact lens usage were highlighted. CT provided useful information on the location and size of the lesion. Excision with or without marsupialization appears to prevent recurrence and provides a histopathologic diagnosis although spontaneous (or self-induced) drainage of the cyst in addition to antibiotic therapy can successfully manage the infection and cyst size, wherein affected individuals may not pursue further surgical management.


Dacryops infection is a rare but important consideration in the differential of a mass lesion in the upper fornix associated with inflammation that may be confused with orbital cellulitis or abscess. Orbital imaging is helpful in delineating the extent of the lesion, whereas surgical excision with histopathology can confirm the diagnosis. The authors described 5 cases with this acute presentation and highlighted concomitant factors that may predispose certain patients to the development of infection.

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