Non-specific inflammation of orbital tissues is known as orbital pseudotumour. It tends to be unilateral and accounts for 25% of all cases of unilateral exophthal-mos. Spontaneous regression can occur and a response to steroids is often seen. However, orbital pseudotu-mours can also be chronic and progressive. The diagnosis has to be confirmed by an incision biopsy, especially in cases in which the pseudotumour appears as a discrete mass and simulates a neoplastic lesion. Histology shows oedema of the orbital fibrous tissue

A variety of tumours and pseudotumours can involve the orbit. Most orbital lesions are benign (65%). The percentage of malignant tumours increases with age, with 60% of malignancies in patients over 60 years of age, because of the higher incidence of lymphoma and metastatic tumours in the elderly. Orbital tumours of childhood are distinct from tumours that occur in adults. Many are congenital with early presentations. Most paediatric orbital tumours are benign (80%); developmental cysts comprise half of orbital cases, with capillary haeman-gioma being the second most common orbital tumour in children. The most common orbital malignancy in children is rhabdomyosarcoma. Whereas the malignant tumours may be life-threatening, both malignant and benign tumours may be vision-threatening. Almost all lymphomas, soft tissue and bone tumours may involve the orbit.

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