April 2011
Volume 52, Issue 14
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2011
Ectopic Eyelid Cilia: Clinical Presentation and Surgical Strategies
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Amy R. Kulak
    Ophthalmology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York
  • Tanuj Nakra
    Ophthalmology, University of Texas, Austin, Austin, Texas
  • Sean Blaydon
    Ophthalmology, University of Texas, Austin, Austin, Texas
  • Vikram Durairaj
    Ophthalmology, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado
  • Roma Shinder
    Ophthalmology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Amy R. Kulak, None; Tanuj Nakra, None; Sean Blaydon, None; Vikram Durairaj, None; Roma Shinder, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2011, Vol.52, 1072. doi:
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      Amy R. Kulak, Tanuj Nakra, Sean Blaydon, Vikram Durairaj, Roma Shinder; Ectopic Eyelid Cilia: Clinical Presentation and Surgical Strategies. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):1072.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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There is a spectrum of congenital cilial anomalies including agenesis, row duplication, and ectopic placement. Choristomas of ectopic cilia aberrantly protruding through the eyelid skin represent a rare congenital anomaly, with few reported cases in the literature. Affected children typically present with an asymptomatic cluster of ectopic cilia involving the lateral upper eyelid. We detail the presentation, clinical and histologic findings, and management of 3 patients with ectopic upper eyelid cilia, two of whom were treated by surgical excision and achieved good cosmetic outcomes without recurrence.


The charts of 3 patients who were referred for ectopic eyelid cilia were reviewed.


3 males with median age of 4 years of age (range 8 months - 5 years, Table 1), presented with a tuft of cilia involving the lateral upper lid between the lid margin and eyelid crease (Fig 1). 2 patients underwent surgical excision, 1utilizing a vertical ellipse incision with simple reconstruction, the other patient underwent a pentagonal wedge resection. In both cases histologic examination revealed normal cilia. Both patients obtained satisfactory cosmetic results without evidence of recurrence at 4 and 5 month follow up. The 3rd patient is awaiting surgical resection.


Ectopic cilia of the anterior tarsal plate, is a rare congenital eyelid choristoma most commonly presenting as an isolated asymptomatic anomaly likely formed during embryogenesis. To our knowledge the current study represents the largest series to date. Complete surgical excision is the definitive treatment modality to achieve a good cosmetic outcome without recurrence.References;1. Dalgleish R. Ectopic cilia. Br J Ophthalmol. 1966;50:592-2. Riffle JE. Ectopic cilia and preseptal orbital cellulitis. Am J Ophthalmol. 1984;98:119-20.3. Gordon AJ, Patrinely JR, Knupp JA, et al. Complex choristoma of the eyelid containing ectopic cilia and lacrimal gland. Ophthalmology. 1991;98:1547-50.  

Keywords: eyelid • anatomy • development 

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