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Concept: Lacrimal apparatus


Background: The results of endonasal dacryocystorhinostomies (DCR) with transillumination and intubation are presented.Materials and Methods: In the period from 1999 to 2009 follow-up examinations of 50 endonasal DCRs were carried out. All patients over 18 were included. The files were systematically evaluated. The follow-up examinations were performed after a minimum of 6 months with anamnesis of epiphora.Results: 50 endonasal DCRs were performed on 40 patients. Initial surgery was performed on 27 lacrimal ducts, 16 patients had already had operations. Corrective surgery was required in 8 cases (7 endonasal DCRs, 1 external DCRs). 78 % women and 22 % men were included. The median age at the time of operation was 48 years; the median duration of preoperative symptoms was 24 months. In 42 % of the cases a chronic dacryocystitis was found. Pre-existing conditions were sarcoidosis in three cases and one case of Wegener’s granulomatosis. As well as lacrimal duct obstruction, additional pathologies were treated in the same session [septoplasty (n = 12), sinus operations (n = 10), and cauterisation of the nasal concha (n = 7), removal of a dacryocele (n = 1), conchectomy (n = 1)]. 20 operations were performed on the right side, 26 on the left side and two bilateral. The median duration of the operation was 51 minutes. No operative complications were encountered. The length of stay in hospital was on average four days. The median of follow-up was 23 months. The success rate was 78 %.Discussion: The success rate of endonasal DCRs is about 70 to 95 %. Thus, the achieved rate in this study is acceptable, especially as 16 of 40 patients underwent revision surgery. Probably this is attributed to the technique of transillumination. The safe intraoperative localisation of the lacrimal sac with a light probe seems to have a positive effect on the removal of obstructions.

Concepts: Hospital, Surgery, Wegener's granulomatosis, Granuloma, Lacrimal canaliculi, Lacrimal sac, Lacrimal apparatus, Nasolacrimal duct


BACKGROUNDS: We report successful outcomes of monocanalicularnasal intubation with Monoka tubes and endoscopic findings for Hasner valve area. This method is presented as a primary treatment modality in congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction (CNLDO) with an enlarged lacrimal sac and chronic dacryocystitis. METHODS: In a prospective noncomparative consecutive case series, 23 eyes of 18 patients with CNLDO with an enlarged lacrimal sac and chronic dacryocystitis underwent endoscopic probing and monocanalicularnasal intubation under general anesthesia. Demographic information, including age, sex, duration of preoperative symptoms, operative endoscopic findings, timing of silicone tube removal, follow-up periods, complications, and outcomes, was analyzed. RESULTS: The study included 23 eyes of 18 patients. Mean (SD) age was 19.7 (12.2) months (range, 9-48 mo). Under nasal endoscopic view, the probe tip protruded through a balloon-like nasal mucosa around the Hasner valve. In all cases, tubes were removed in an office setting under topical anesthesia. Mean follow-up period was 24.6 (5.4) weeks. Complications, such as punctal slitting and corneal abrasion, were not observed. All patients showed successful results until the final follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: In cases of CNLDO with an enlarged lacrimal sac and chronic dacryocystitis, monocanalicular intubation is recommended rather than simple probing. Monoka tube intubation has the advantages of technical ease of insertion and tube removal. Moreover, the tubing does not threaten the unprobed part of the lacrimal drainage system. Endoscopic findings revealed that the probe tip protruded through a balloon-like nasal mucosa with pus around the Hasner valve.

Concepts: Anesthesia, Ophthalmology, Mucus, Tears, Lacrimal sac, Lacrimal apparatus, Nasolacrimal duct, Nasolacrimal canal


Abstract Introduction: There are currently no routinely used imaging modalities for the proximal lacrimal system. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a safe and non-invasive method of high resolution cross-sectional imaging of tissue microstructures using infra-red radiation. In this study we investigate whether OCT may be used to image the punctum and proximal canaliculus. Methods: A cohort of healthy subjects with normal ocular anatomy and no symptoms of epiphora were prospectively invited to enrol. Spectral OCT images of the lower punctae were captured with a Topcon 3D Optical Coherence Tomography 2000 machine. Measurements were made of the maximal punctal diameter, canalicular diameter and canalicular depth. Our data for depth of the vertical canaliculus was compared to the widely quoted figure of 2 mm using a two-tailed t-test to check for a statistically significant difference at p < 0.05. Results: Thirty-six punctae of 18 subjects were scanned. The punctum was recognisable on the OCT image in all cases. The mean depth, width and cross- sectional area of the visualised canaliculi were 0.753 mm (SD 0.216), 0.110 mm (SD 0.067) and 9.49 × 10(-3 )mm(2), respectively. The mean width of the punctum was 0.247 mm (SD 0.078). Discussion: We have demonstrated the first in-vivo high resolution images of normal punctal and vertical canalicular anatomy using spectral OCT. There is currently no other practical way to accurately image punctal and proximal canalicular morphology in vivo. OCT is a convenient and readily available tool in most eye clinics with resolution ideally suited for imaging of the punctum and proximal canaliculus.

Concepts: Statistics, Optics, In vivo, Optical coherence tomography, Lacrimal canaliculi, Lacrimal sac, Lacrimal apparatus, Canaliculus


Purpose: To describe a patient with nasolacrimal duct obstruction (NLDO) caused by dental impaction.

Methods: This is an interventional case report of an 18-year-old man presenting epiphora of the right eye. Previous surgical management was unsuccessful. Computed tomography (CT) of the orbits and sinuses was performed. Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) on the right lacrimal sac resulted in complete remission of symptoms. The DCR surgical outcome at last follow-up was recorded.

Results: The CT imaging showed ankylosis of deciduous canines and impaction of persistent canines. The root of the right impacted dental element was involved with the nasolacrimal duct, leading to NLDO. Endoscopic DCR resulted in complete remission of symptoms. The patient was symptom-free at last follow-up.

Conclusions: Our case adds NLDO to the long list of complications arising from dental impactions, highlighting the importance of correct early management of the latter condition. This case also shows that dental impaction can be included among the secondary mechanical causes of NLDO.

Concepts: Medical terms, Tears, Lacrimal sac, Lacrimal apparatus, Nasolacrimal duct, Fecal impaction, Impaction, Nasolacrimal canal


The authors retrospectively evaluated the use of botulinum toxin injections to treat epiphora in children secondary to proximal obstruction of the nasolacrimal drainage system. Three patients (ages 8, 9, and 16 years) received botulinum toxin injections in the palpebral portion of the lacrimal gland. Two patients experienced symptomatic relief immediately following botulinum toxin injection. Both required subsequent injections, with an average symptomatic relief lasting 7 months. The only noted side effect was papillary conjunctivitis in one patient that resolved without treatment. The third patient was lost to follow-up. Although conjunctival dacryocystorhinostomy with Jones tube is the surgical procedure of choice for treating proximal lacrimal system obstruction, complication rates in children are high. Botulinum toxin injections provide a safe and effective alternative. [J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus 2014;51:e75-e77.].

Concepts: Ophthalmology, Conjunctiva, Lacrimal nerve, Tears, Botulinum toxin, Lacrimal apparatus, Nasolacrimal duct, Nasolacrimal canal


The cleft lip/palate (CLP) deformity negatively affects the anatomy of the nasal cavity and maxilla. The effects of this deformity on the lacrimal system have been unidentified yet. This study aimed to evaluate the morphometric changes in the nasolacrimal duct using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) in patients with unilateral CLP.

Concepts: Medical imaging, Radiology, Facial nerve, Lacrimal sac, Lacrimal apparatus, Nasolacrimal duct, Nasolacrimal canal, Palatine bone


The prevalence of tumours of the lacrimal duct system is very low (1.43%) (1). Tumours developing in this region cover a large spectrum of entities that fall into two categories: primary epithelial neoplasms and primary non-epithelial neoplasms. The typical symptoms of a dysfunction of the lacrimal duct system, such as epiphora, secretion, and swelling of the lacrimal sac, can be caused by stenosis or inflammation as well as by benign and malignant proliferative diseases of the tear duct system. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Cancer, Medical terms, Tears, Lacrimal canaliculi, Lacrimal sac, Lacrimal apparatus, Nasolacrimal duct, Lacrimal gland


The aesthetic outcome of a well-planned and executed vascularized composite tissue face allotransplant is unquestionable; however, complete functional restoration is necessary. The authors studied the possibility of restoring tear duct function in face transplant recipients. They also examined the technical specifics and feasibility of incorporating a lacrimal drainage apparatus into facial allografting. The authors performed a standardized face vascularized composite allograft on 4 hemi-faces (2 fresh cadavers). On one side of the face, a soft tissue myocutaneous alloflap was raised. They attempted to incorporate the nasolacrimal apparatus into the allograft to develop and describe an efficient harvest method. On the contralateral side, an osteocutaneous alloflap was raised with the midface and mandible. The authors describe 2 techniques to incorporate the lacrimal drainage system. The authors retrieved the graft in a consistent and replicable fashion within conventional alloflap retrieval times. The authors successfully incorporated the entire nasolacrimal drainage system into the conventional soft tissue-only myocutaneous alloflap by transforming it into a modified mini-osteomyocutaneous alloflap. They demonstrated that the contralateral conventional bi-maxillary osteocutaneous alloflap procedure, as an alternative comparative technique, provided another means to restore lacrimal drainage. In conclusion, surgically harvesting the nasolacrimal apparatus is technically feasible in vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation. Before translating this to a clinical setting, further dissections are necessary to explore the technical specifics of how to insert the harvested nasolacrimal apparatus into the recipient to restore a conduit for tear drainage. This study is the first step towards a fully functioning lacrimal drainage system in face transplant recipients.

Concepts: Organ transplant, Harvest, Tears, Lacrimal sac, Lacrimal apparatus, Nasolacrimal duct, Allotransplantation, Lacrimal gland


Objective: To investigate the static and dynamic features of the normal lacrimal sac (LS)-nasolacrimal duct (NLD), and find out if tear flows while the subject is in supine position with eyes closed.Methods:Cross-sectional study. Healthy volunteers and patients whose head were examined by MRI in Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine with normal LS-NLD were recruited. The normal lacrimal ducts of the candidates were scanned, while candidates remained in supine position, by static or dynamic imaging procedures with a 1.5T MRI system, which adopted the thinnest slice thickness, consecutive sections (no spacing) and two scanning planes (axial and coronal planes of LS-NLD). The static and dynamic imaging procedures were done in June and July 2014 and October 2015, respectively. The static imaging was performed with conventional T(2)WI, contrast-enhanced 3D FIESTA-C, contrast-enhanced T(1)WI and heavy T(2)WI pulse sequences under normal physiological condition, and 104 eyes with normal LS-NLD from 39 patients and 13 healthy volunteers (21 male and 31 female) aged 10 to 75 years were scanned with the static procedure. The dynamic imaging was done with heavy T(2)WI pulse sequence. The coronal dynamic imaging was done only after 0.9% NaCl was instilled in the conjunctival sacs, and 20 eyes with normal LS-NLD of 10 volunteers (6 male and 4 female) aged 23 to 53 years were scanned with the coronal dynamic procedure. The axial dynamic imaging was done under normal physiological condition and after 0.9% NaCl was instilled in the conjunctival sacs respectively, and 20 eyes with normal LS-NLD of 10 volunteers (8 male and 2 female) aged 20 to 40 years were scanned with the axial dynamic procedure. The incidences on the axial dynamic imaging under the two conditions were compared with χ(2) test.Results:A total of 104 eyes with normal LS-NLD (52 candidates) were scanned with the static imaging sequences. In all LS-NLDs, an indentation located at the posterior-lateral side wall of the junction of LS-NLD was discovered, and its depth was variable. In 28.8% (30/104) of LS, 64.4% (67/104) of the junctions and 22.1% (23/104) of NLD, lumens were closed. As for the coronal dynamic imaging (20 eyes with normal LS-NLD in 10 subjects), segmental tear transit was observed in 15/20 of NLD. As for the axial dynamic imaging (20 eyes with normal LS-NLD in 10 subjects), after 0.9% NaCl was instilled, dynamic changing of their lumen size was revealed in 17/20 of LS-NL and the occurrence rate of the lumen size changing (29.3%, 94/321, the number of the axial slices with lumen changes/total number of the axial slices imaged) was higher than that (16.4%,52/317) under normal physiological condition. The difference between the two rates was statistically significant (χ(2)=14.993,P<0.001). LS contained more tear than NLD.Conclusion:While the candidates are in supine position with eyes closed (absolutely no blinking), an indentation is at the posterior-lateral side wall of the junction of LS-NLD, and there are autonomous, segmental lumen open-close actions in normal LS-NLD and tear transit in their lumens.(Chin J Ophthalmol, 2018, 54: 205-211).

Concepts: Magnetic resonance imaging, Eye, Anatomy, Tears, Lacrimal canaliculi, Lacrimal sac, Lacrimal apparatus, Nasolacrimal duct


A middle aged woman presented to us with a localised well defined swelling of 3 months duration. It was located just below the lower eyelid punctum and was constantly discharging whitish granules. We suspected it to be arising from the lacrimal apparatus and posted the patient for Dacryocystectomy. On the operating table we found a swelling in the region of the lacrimal sac which was later excised. Histopathology revealed Botryomycosis and Chronic Dacryocystitis. Botryomycosis is a rare condition and requires a high index of suspicion to diagnose it. It is confirmed by histopathology and culture. Surgical debridement is the treatment of choice in such cases with an assessment of the immune status. Long term antibiotic treatment is required in all conditions as recurrence is common.

Concepts: Tears, Lacrimal sac, Lacrimal apparatus