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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 74-76

Proptosis due to "isolated" soft tissue orbital metastasis of prostate carcinoma

1 Department of Urology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029, India
2 Department of Ocular Pathology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029, India

Date of Web Publication12-Jan-2010

Correspondence Address:
R Nayyar
Department of Urology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.58867

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How to cite this article:
Nayyar R, Singh P, Panda S, Kashyap S, Gupta N P. Proptosis due to "isolated" soft tissue orbital metastasis of prostate carcinoma. Indian J Cancer 2010;47:74-6

How to cite this URL:
Nayyar R, Singh P, Panda S, Kashyap S, Gupta N P. Proptosis due to "isolated" soft tissue orbital metastasis of prostate carcinoma. Indian J Cancer [serial online] 2010 [cited 2022 Jun 26];47:74-6. Available from:


Despite the frequent occurrence of skeletal metastasis in advanced prostate cancer, visceral metastases are uncommon and oculo-orbital soft tissue metastasis is rare. Per se, prostate accounts for the third most common primary site to metastasize to the orbit.[1] Most such cases involve the bony orbit. Isolated soft tissue orbital metastasis as a presenting symptom for cancer prostate has not been reported earlier, though there are few case reports suggesting proptosis due to retro-orbital mass in conjunction with bony involvement. [2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7]

A 74-year-man presented to ophthalmologic clinic with right-sided proptosis of gradual onset, over the last 6 months. Physical examination demonstrated right exomphthalmos and lateral rectus palsy. On contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) of orbit [Figure 1], a right intraorbital soft tissue mass occupying the central and lateral portion of orbit was seen with normal adjacent fat and bone planes. The bony orbit was normal. Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) from the mass revealed a metastatic adenocarcinoma [Figure 2]. Efforts were then made to search for the primary lesion. Otolaryngologic examinations, CECT chest and abdomen showed normal results. Digital rectal examination revealed a grade I, hard, nodular prostate and serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) was markedly elevated at 211 ng/ml. A sextant prostate biopsy revealed adenocarcinoma, Gleason score 7(4+3) [Figure 2]. Immunohistochemical staining for PSA and low-molecular-weight cytokeratin on FNAC slides from the orbital mass were also strongly positive, confirming the diagnosis of carcinoma prostate with orbital metastasis. Other metastatic evaluation in the form of bone scintigraphy, chest x-ray, CECT abdomen and pelvis showed normal results. The patient was offered hormonal therapy. He preferred surgical over medical castration. The ocular symptoms improved rapidly and antiandrogens, radiotherapy or steroids were not required given the excellent clinical response and resolution of metastatic mass. At 6 weeks, patient's PSA was 12 ng/ml and proptosis had completely subsided. By 6 months, PSA was 5.1 ng/ml and repeat CT orbit [Figure 3] revealed complete resolution of the soft tissue mass. At 18-month follow-up patient is doing well with no evidence of disease progression and PSA of 0.4 ng/ml.

Tumor metastasis to the orbit may occur through two routes.[2],[5],[8] First, through the carotid/ophthalmic artery, that is the general hematogenous route. Second path involves the Bateson's venous plexus, which may pick up the tumor emboli directly from the prostate to the vertebra. Through this plexus the emboli may reach the cranial venous sinuses/ophthalmic vein. We did a thorough Medline search and found that "isolated" deposition of such tumor emboli "in the soft tissue" of the orbit is a rare occurrence, reported for the first time in our case. Considering its rarity, the diagnosis was questioned even after obvious diagnosis of carcinoma prostate was made because as many as 50% males may harbor a histopathological focus of adenocarcinoma prostate by the age of 60 years.[9] In this case, it was even more questionable because of absence of any other focus of metastasis, not even in the adjacent/distant bones. Therefore, we confirmed the prostatic origin of the metastatic lesion by performing PSA staining of the FNAC slides from orbital mass. Resolution of proptosis after orchiectomy was further evidence for the metastatic origin of the mass from the prostate. In the end, proptosis as a presenting feature helped the patient to seek medical advice before generalized metastasis had occurred. Treatment options for such orbital metastasis include steroids to reduce orbital edema, radiotherapy, evisceration, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy, with all therapies aiming at the control of disease and palliation of symptoms.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5] Palliative radiotherapy has often been used in conjunction with hormonal treatment as it provides relief of pain, with regression of tumor size and restoration of vision. However, it also has side effects in the form of cataract and retinopathy. The choice of therapy should be individualized to the patient depending on the aggressiveness of disease, number of metastasis and emergency of the situation to prevent vision loss. This case reminds the clinicians to keep a high index of suspicion for prostate cancer, especially in elderly men presenting with orbital metastasis as this tumor has good treatment options available with good survival outcomes compared to some other sites of tumor origin.

  References Top

1.Ahmad SM, Esmaeli B. Metastatic tumors of the orbit and ocular adnexa. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2007;18:405-13  Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
2.Gandhi HA, Shah MK. An unusual case of orbital metastasis from adenocarcinoma of prostate. Hospital Physician 2005;41:41-3  Back to cited text no. 2      
3.Green S, Som PM, Lavagnini PG. Bilateral Orbital Metastases from Prostate Carcinoma: Case Presentation and CT Findings. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 1995;16:417-9.   Back to cited text no. 3  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
4.Gonzalez CM, Kuzel T, Carter MA. Metastatic Adenocarcinoma of the Prostate to the Orbit As a Presenting Symptom. J Urol 1997;157:625  Back to cited text no. 4  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
5.Baltogiannis D, Kalogeropoulos C, Ioachim E, Agnantis N, Psilas K, Giannakopoulos X. Orbital metastasis from prostatic carcinoma. Urol Int 2003;70:219-22.  Back to cited text no. 5  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
6.Vissamsetti B, McArdle PA, Adams CJ, Hotiana Z, Morton AL, Alexander RJ. Proptosis - An Uncommon Presentation of Orbital Metastases Secondary to Prostate Cancer. Urol Int 2007;79:374-5  Back to cited text no. 6  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
7.Autorino R, Zito A, Di Giacomo F, Cosentino L, Quarto G, Di Lorenzo G, et al. Orbital metastasis as a first indication of prostate cancer: a case report. Arch Ital Urol Androl 2005;77:109-10.  Back to cited text no. 7  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
8.Batson OV. The function of the vertebral veins and their role in the spread of metastasis. 1940. Clin Orthop Relat Res.1995;312:4-9.  Back to cited text no. 8      
9.Grönberg H. Prostate cancer epidemiology. Lancet 2003;361:859-64.  Back to cited text no. 9      


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

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