Malignant syringoma of the eyelid

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Two cases of malignant syringoma of the eyelid are reported. The first patient, a 20-year-old woman, presented with a one year history of a slowly growing nodule in the left lower eyelid. The lesion recurred five months after excision, slowly grew over the ensuing two and one-half years, and was reexcised. The second case was an 18-year-old man who was first examined by an ophthalmologist because of a slowly enlarging, painless induration of his right lower eyelid for two years. Histologic examination of the excised lesions from both patients disclosed proliferated ducts lined by two layers of epithelium infiltrating the dermis and subcutaneous tissue; there was skeletal muscle and perineural invasion, but only minimal cellular atypia. Malignant syringomas are rare forms of sweat gland carcinoma, which most often occur on the upper lip and to our knowledge have not been reported on the eyelid. These tumors probably arise from eccrine ducts, are more common in women, and have a peak incidence in the fifth decade. The histologic feature that best indicates prognosis is the degree of cellular atypia. Patients with cytologically well-differentiated tumors do well following complete local excision. Features that help to distinguish malignant syringoma from its benign counterpart are the larger size, solitary nature, and subcutaneous, muscular, and perineural invasion.