Archives of Medicine and Health Sciences

: 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 159--160

Radiological signs on orbital imaging of immunoglobulin G4-related disease

Sunny Chi Lik Au, Edwin Chan 
 Department of Ophthalmology, Tung Wah Eastern Hospital, HKSAR, Hong Kong

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sunny Chi Lik Au
9/F, MO Office, Lo Ka Chow Memorial Ophthalmic Centre, Tung Wah Eastern Hospital, 19 Eastern Hospital Road, Causeway Bay, HKSAR
Hong Kong


Immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4)-related disease has strong organ predilections, and orbital involvement is not rare. Eyelid puffiness with erythema, extraocular movement deficit with proptosis are common presentations, which could sometimes mimic thyroid-associated orbitopathy. With a better understanding on orbital radiology, these “hot eyes” could be managed better.

How to cite this article:
Lik Au SC, Chan E. Radiological signs on orbital imaging of immunoglobulin G4-related disease.Arch Med Health Sci 2020;8:159-160

How to cite this URL:
Lik Au SC, Chan E. Radiological signs on orbital imaging of immunoglobulin G4-related disease. Arch Med Health Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Sep 30 ];8:159-160
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Full Text

A 45-year-old female presented with bilateral puffy eyelid swelling and proptosis. She had a recent history of salivary gland swelling and cervical lymphadenopathy, with submandibular gland biopsy showing dense lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate rich in plasma cells. Immunostaining showed IgG4/IgG ratio >40%, with IgG4+ plasma cell count of 80–100/high-power field. Serum IgG4 level was elevated 4.456 g/L (laboratory reference range: 0.168–1.000). Orbital computed tomography revealed proptosis, lacrimal glands, and orbital soft tissue swelling. Extraocular muscles were swollen without tendon sparing, and bilateral infraorbital nerves were enlarged together with the bony infraorbital canal [Figure 1]. Biopsy of the lacrimal gland revealed similar immunohistopathological findings as above and confirmed the diagnosis of IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD).{Figure 1}

Proptosis could be unilateral arising from localized pathology or bilateral due to systemic inflammatory diseases. Unilateral pseudoproptosis could occur when there is enophthalmos over the contralateral eye, such as in orbital blowout fracture or phthisis bulbi [Figure 2]. Common etiology of unilateral proptosis includes orbital cellulitis, elongated eyeball in high myopia, and space-occupying lesion within or of the bony orbit. In contrast, bilateral proptosis is commonly seen in thyroid-associated orbitopathy (TAO), IgG4-related ophthalmic disease, or idiopathic orbital inflammatory disease. TAO usually gives the characteristic of swelling of extraocular muscle belly with tendon sparing,[1] which differentiates it from IgG4-RD. Lagophthalmos must be addressed in proptotic eye, to prevent corneal exposure keratopathy.{Figure 2}

Infraorbital nerve enlargement is an uncommon radiological sign and strongly relates to IgG4-RD.[2] Histologically, mainly the epineurium was involved by the inflammatory process, whereas perineurium and nerve fascicules were spared.[3] The presence of infraorbital nerve enlargement correlates with proptosis, diffuse, and inferiorly located orbital inflammation, with a higher rate of steroid dependency and recurrence.[4] However, associated medical history is important, as enlargement of infraorbital canal could also be seen after maxillary sinus surgery.[5]

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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