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Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 2012 Jul;229(7):724-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1299158. Epub 2012 Mar 2.

[Diagnosis of conjunctival neoplastic lesions by confocal in-vivo microscopy].

[Article in German]

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Augenklinik, Universität Rostock.



There is a wide spectrum of benign and malignant conjunctival neoplastic lesions that are often impossible to distinguish clinically by slit-lamp microscopy. The current study was undertaken to compare in-vivo confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and histology for the preoperative assessment of benign or malignant status.


We present the clinical details of three patients. In two cases the neoplastic lesions were classified as benign (actinic keratosis). In-vivo CLSM revealed densely layered, sometimes hyperreflective conjunctival epithelial cells, together with multiple inflammatory cells and microcysts. Correlated findings on histology showed keratinisation with inflammatory infiltrates and intracellular oedema formation. In-vivo CLSM images in the third patient revealed interruptions of the layered epithelial structure with regular conjunctival epithelium co-existing with complexes of enlarged cells with polymorphic nuclei. Histology also showed an abrupt transition from regular squamous epithelium to hyperplastic, dysplastic squamous epithelium. In this case the neoplastic lesion was classified as carcinoma in situ.


The in-vivo CLSM images correlated positively with histology findings. Although in-vivo CLSM offers the capability to perform non-invasive examinations over time, associated histological assessment (because of its more precise detail and additional staining techniques) remains indispensable for planning further action and determining the prognosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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