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Surg Neurol. 2001 Oct;56(4):242-6.

Solitary fibrous tumor of the orbit. Case report and review of the literature.

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Department of Neurological Sciences, La Sapienza University of Rome, Via Seneca 34, 00136 Rome, Italy.



Solitary fibrous tumor (SFT), which usually presents in the pleura and is thought to be mesothelial in nature, has been recently discovered in extrapleural sites, including the orbit. Presently ultrastructural studies show absence of epithelial-mesothelial features, and reactivity of the tumor cells to CD34 antigen on immunohistochemical analysis suggests the mesenchymal origin of such tumors.


A 40-year-old woman had a 4-year history of progressive swelling of her right upper lid and a slow-growing palpable mass of the orbit. CT and MR imaging showed a well circumscribed, nonenhanced extraconal mass with mild erosion of the right orbital roof. The tumor was totally excised. Histological examination disclosed a spindle-cell tumor in a dense fibrous tissue. Immunohistochemistry showed positive staining for vimentin and CD34. We review the clinical, diagnostic, and surgical features of 22 orbital SFTs including the present case.


Orbital SFT generally pursues a slow, indolent, and nonaggressive course, reaches a size up to 4.5 cm, and can be cured by a single excision. It must be immunohistochemically differentiated from other spindle-cell tumors of the orbit.

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