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Arch Ophthalmol. 2002 May;120(5):554-8.

Human immunodeficiency virus infection, Bcl-2, p53 protein, and Ki-67 analysis in ocular surface squamous neoplasia.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Natal Medical School, Private Bag X10, Dalbridge 4014, South Africa.



To determine the age and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status of patients with ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN), and to analyze tumor proliferation, Bcl-2, and p53 oncoprotein expression in OSSN.


Only patients with histologically proved neoplasia were included in this study. The HIV status was obtained only with informed consent. Monoclonal antibodies to p53 and Bcl-2 protein were used after microwave antigen retrieval to enhance immunohistochemical staining of the sections. Proliferation was assessed by means of Ki-67 antigen expression. Positive staining in each specimen was expressed as a percentage and graded accordingly.


Forty-one eyes in 40 black patients with a mean age of 37 years were found to have OSSN. Of the 41 lesions, 35 represented in situ or invasive carcinoma. The remaining 6 had mild or moderately dysplastic lesions. Seventeen patients agreed to an HIV test and, of these, 12 (70.6%) were HIV positive. All 12 were younger than 50 years, and 11 had either carcinoma in situ or invasive lesions. Twenty-two of 40 lesions expressed significant (greater than 50% of neoplastic cells) p53 positivity, while Bcl-2 expression was detected in 10. Ki-67 expression was low, even in the HIV-positive lesions.


At our institution, OSSN occurs in young patients, many of whom are HIV positive. Expression of p53 is a common finding, whereas Bcl-2 immunoexpression occurs in the minority of cases. Ki-67 analysis showed that OSSN is a slow-growing tumor, even in the presence of HIV infection.

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