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J Fr Ophtalmol. 2005 Oct;28(8):817-23.

[Conjunctival tumors in children. A histopathologic study of 42 cases].

[Article in French]

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Service d'Ophtalmologie, Hôpital Edouard Herriot, Lyon.



The aim of this study was to describe the clinicopathological characteristics of 42 conjunctival tumors surgically removed in children.


Records of all conjunctival tumors surgically removed in children during the 11-year period 1990-2001 were collected from the records of the Department of Ophthalmology, Edouard Herriot Hospital, Lyon. In all cases, the tumor was resected with no additional treatment. Sections of all cases were reviewed by the same pathologist.


A total of 42 cases (40 patients) were included in the study. The mean age of the subjects at the time of surgical excision was 10 years, with a range of 1-17 years; 45% were male. The most frequent indication for tumor removal was suspected growth. The clinical diagnosis was accurate in 91% of cases. The tumor was localized at the limbus in 57% of cases. Most tumors were pigmented nevi, accounting for 83% of the lesions. The histopathological diagnoses in decreasing order of frequency were: nevi (35), angioma (2), dermolipoma (2), dermoid (1), papilloma (1), and squamous cell carcinoma (1). In one case, the histological study revealed squamous cell carcinoma in a child suffering from xeroderma pigmentosum.


This retrospective study suggests that malignancy of pigmented conjunctival lesions is extremely rare in children. Although squamous cell carcinoma is rare in children, surgical excision and histological study are necessary when a conjunctival lesion is associated with xeroderma pigmentosum or immunodeficiency.

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