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J Cutan Pathol. 2005 Aug;32(7):502-5.

Lacrimal caruncle primary basal cell carcinoma: case report and review.

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Department of Ophthalmology, 12 de Octubre Hospital, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain.



Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a common malignant skin neoplasm. The surface of the caruncle contains sebaceous glands, hair follicles, and lacrimal and sweat gland elements. Consequently, the caruncle may spawn any neoplasm that occurs in the conjunctiva, skin, or lacrimal gland. We report a patient with a primary BCC located on the lacrimal caruncle.


An 80-year-old man with a 5-month history of a gradually enlarging left caruncular neoplasm was seen. The lesion was nodular and irregularly brown-black colored, with no involvement of adjacent conjunctiva or skin. He had a history of sun exposure, but no personal or family history of other malignant neoplasms.


The mass was excised completely. Histopathologic examination revealed a BCC originating in the basal layer of the conjunctival epithelium. No tumor recurrence has been noted after 7 years of follow-up. Primary BCC of the caruncle is unusual, and only four cases have been described in the PubMed. BCC should be considered in the differential diagnosis of caruncle and adjacent skin lesions.

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