Polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma with cavernous sinus involvement presenting as third nerve palsy

Alison X. Chan, Aimee Chang, Jiun L. Do, Sonya J. Koo, Grace Lin, Derek S. Welsbie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma is a tumor of the salivary glands that typically localizes within the oral cavity. We present a case of isolated third cranial nerve palsy as the initial presentation of polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma involving the left cavernous sinus in a patient status post glaucoma surgery. Observations: A 68-year-old woman status post glaucoma drainage device implantation in her left eye presented with an isolated left third nerve palsy ten weeks postoperatively. Differential diagnoses included microvascular ischemic neuropathy, postoperative ptosis, and compressive mass. MRI revealed a left cavernous sinus mass, and subsequent excisional biopsy revealed a diagnosis of polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma. Conclusions: There are few cases reporting polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma originating from and extending beyond the nasopharynx. This report emphasizes an unexpected neuro-ophthalmic manifestation of this salivary gland tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101460
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Glaucoma
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma
  • Third nerve palsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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