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Computed Tomographic Dimensions of the Lacrimal Gland in Healthy Orbits

Lee, Joon Sik MD*; Lee, Hwa MD, PhD*; Kim, Jung Wan MD*; Chang, Minwook MD, PhD*; Park, Minsoo MD, PhD; Baek, Sehyun MD, PhD*

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: May 2013 - Volume 24 - Issue 3 - p 712–715
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e31827fecc0
Original Articles

Purpose The aims of this study were to evaluate the normal range of the dimensions of lacrimal glands in the healthy orbits of Korean subjects and to evaluate their association with clinical findings.

Methods A retrospective survey of patients who had visited the Korea University Medical Center and had undergone orbital computed tomographic scan was performed. One hundred eighty Korean patients (90 men and 90 women) who were older than 20 years and without orbital disease were included. Patients with trauma to the orbits or any known lacrimal gland disease were excluded. The length and width of the lacrimal gland were measured in axial and coronal sections using the largest image. The primary outcome was a descriptive analysis of the distribution of dimensions in normal orbits. We analyzed the results and identified associations with age, sex, and laterality and compared our results with a previous study on normal white lacrimal gland dimensions.

Results The mean lacrimal gland axial length was 14.9 mm in the right orbit and 14.7 mm in left orbit. Coronal lengths averaged 20.9 mm in the right orbit and 20.7 mm in the left orbit. The axial width was 4.1 mm in the right orbit and 4.3 mm in the left orbit. The coronal width averaged 3.6 mm in the right orbit and 3.8 mm in the left orbit. A significant inverse linear relationship was observed in both orbits between gland size and age in all dimensions, with the exception of axial width.

Conclusions This study presents a normal range of Korean lacrimal gland dimensions as measured by computed tomography. This range can aid in differentiating diseased and nondiseased lacrimal glands, especially when used in combination with physical examination. These data may also be useful in clinical trials that involve lacrimal gland size.

From the *Department of Ophthalmology, Korea University College of Medicine; and †Department of Ophthalmology, The KEPCO Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.

Received September 21, 2012.

Accepted for publication October 5, 2012.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Sehyun Baek, MD, PhD, Ansan Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, 516, Gojan-dong, Ansan-shi, Kyunggi-do, 425-707, Republic of Korea; E-mail:

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2013Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins