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Br J Ophthalmol. 1997 Apr;81(4):308-13.

Detection of human papillomavirus infection in squamous tumours of the conjunctiva and lacrimal sac by immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridisation, and polymerase chain reaction.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.



Squamous tumours of the ocular surface, including the lacrimal pathway, range from benign lesions to invasive carcinomas. Some of these tumours are associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, with the types of HPV differing among papillomas and dysplastic or malignant lesions.


The relation between squamous tumours of the conjunctiva and lacrimal sac and HPV infection was investigated in 17 individuals with such tumours. Nine of the 17 tumours were benign, four were dysplastic lesions, and four were carcinomas.


Eight specimens showed positive immunohistochemical staining with antibodies to HPV; four of these eight were papillomas, three were dysplastic lesions, and one was a carcinoma. Koilocytosis was detected in seven of these eight tumours. Five of the eight specimens positive for immunohistochemical staining were also positive for HPV DNA by in situ hybridisation, and all eight were positive for HPV DNA by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method.


Approximately 50% of squamous tumours of the ocular surface and lacrimal sac were associated with HPV infection. This is the first report, to our knowledge, of the detection of HPV in the field of ophthalmology by a combination of immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridisation, and PCR.

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