Giant cell angiofibroma or localized periorbital lymphedema?



Giant cell angiofibroma represents a rare soft tissue neoplasm with a predilection for the orbit. We recently encountered a mass removed from the lower eyelid of a 56-year-old female that histopathologically resembled giant cell angiofibroma. The process consisted of haphazardly arranged CD34-positive spindled and multinucleated cells within an edematous, densely vascular stroma. However, the patient had recently undergone laryngectomy and radiotherapy for a laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma. A similar mass had arisen on the contralateral eyelid, and both had developed several months post-therapy. Lymphedema of the orbit can present as tumor-like nodules and in some cases may share histopathologic features purported to be characteristic of giant cell angiofibroma. A relationship between giant cell angiofibroma and lymphedema has not been established, but our case suggests there may be one. The potential overlap of these two conditions should be recognized, as should other entities that may enter the differential diagnosis.