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Cornea. 2003 Jan;22(1):1-4.

Prevalence of HIV with conjunctival squamous cell neoplasia in an African provincial hospital.

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Division of Ophthalmology, Sanz Medical Center, Laniado Hospital, Netanya, Israel.



To evaluate the prevalence of HIV seropositivity among patients with malignant conjunctival squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and carcinoma in situ (CIS) and to reassess the potential linkage, albeit well documented, between ocular surface epithelial dysplasia (OSED) and HIV infection.


A case-control design study was conducted in an African provincial hospital. Twenty-three African black patients underwent excisional biopsy of conjunctival malignant lesions. In 18 of these patients, ELISA for HIV antibodies was performed prior to the excisional biopsy.


Pathological evaluation revealed SCC in 12 (52%) patients, CIS in six (26%) patients, and Kaposi sarcoma (KS) in five (22%) patients. Eighteen patients (78.3%) agreed to take a serological HIV test, and among these, seropositivity for HIV was significantly (p < 0.01) higher (92.3%, 12 of 13) in the SCC/CIS subgroup than in a control group with benign conjunctival lesions (28.5%, two of seven). The most common (91.7%) clinical finding in the SCC/CIS/HIV group (12 patients) was corneal overriding. Conjunctival malignancy was the first presenting sign for AIDS in 50% of our patients.


A significantly high rate of HIV seropositivity was found in a group of African black patients with conjunctival SCC/CIS compared with a control group with benign conjunctival lesions. The direct correlation between HIV infection and SCC/CIS was reconfirmed in a case-control study. Therefore, an HIV test should probably be performed in cases of conjunctival SCC/CIS or dysplasia, especially among patients in high-risk populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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