Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 30 April 2018, last major update November 2015

Copyright: (c) 2004-2018, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Rhabdomyosarcoma conjunctiva

Cite this page: Pernick, N. Conjunctiva: rhabdomyosarcoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/eyeconjrms.html. Accessed October 17th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • See also Rhabdomyosarcoma of orbit
  • Botryoid subtype of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma affects mucosal surfaces, including conjunctiva
  • Children present with rapidly enlarging mass
  • Considering all ocular sites combined, recurs in 18%, metastasizes in 6%, causes death in 3% (Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc 2001;99:133)
Case reports
  • Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy
Gross description
  • Fleshy, gelatinous mass that may resemble a cyst
  • No inflammation, lid edema or conjunctival redness
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Hypercellular myxoid tumor separated from surface epithelium by cambium layer (multiple layers of condensed tumor spindle cells)
  • Tumor cells are spindled with minimal cytoplasm and bland nuclei or are round rhabdomyoblasts with eosinophilic cytoplasm (cross striations in < 10% of patients) and large hyperchromatic and pleomorphic nuclei
  • Background is extracellular mucopolysaccharide resembling cystic spaces
Positive stains
Additional references