• Vol. 35 No. 10, 719–722
  • 15 October 2006

Orbital Metastatic Tumour as Initial Manifestation of Asymptomatic Gastric Adenocarcinoma



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Introduction: Metastatic orbital tumour from gastric cancer is rare. Patients with metastatic disease may present initially to the ophthalmologist with symptoms from metastases instead of from the primary cancer.

Clinical Picture: We report a case, with clinicopathological correlation, of metastatic gastric adenocarcinoma presenting first in the orbit with diplopia. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the orbit showed a well-defined enhancing right intraconal tumour.

Treatment and Results: Excisional biopsy was performed and histopathology confirmed a metastatic adenocarcinoma. Focused gastrointestinal screening revealed an otherwise asymptomatic Stage IV gastric adenocarcinoma. Chemotherapy was initiated with good tumour response.

Conclusion: Early biopsy of unusual orbital tumours is critical as orbital metastases may be the initial manifestation of an asymptomatic primary. Histopathological diagnosis can aid localisation of the primary tumour and allow prompt treatment to be instituted.

Metastatic orbital tumour from gastric cancer is rare. In a Japanese survey of metastatic orbital tumours seen over 95 years, gastric metastases accounted for only 8.6% (11 patients) of cases. A series of orbital tumours from 1976 to 1999 by Rootman et al reported only 2 cases of metastasis from gastrointestinal malignancy.

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