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Aust N Z J Ophthalmol. 1997 Nov;25(4):269-76.

Retrospective study of ocular surface squamous neoplasia.

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Department of Surgery, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.



Ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN) encompasses the conditions of simple dysplasia to carcinoma in situ to invasive squamous cell carcinoma. It has a high rate of recurrence after treatment and the potential to metastasize. The present retrospective study was aimed at further defining the characteristics and clinical course of OSSN.


With ethical approval, the records of all major pathology laboratories in Queensland were surveyed. Two hundred and eighty-eight cases were identified: 155 dysplasia, 71 carcinomas in situ and 62 invasive squamous cell carcinoma. The records were analysed and an attempt was made to contact and re-examine the patients.


Ocular surface squamous neoplasia occurs mainly in males (78.5%) with a mean age of 60.1 years (range 20-88 years). They present as irritation (40.1%) and are located usually at the limbus (87.8%). The majority of OSSN are treated by simple excision (87.5%), after which there is a high rate of recurrence (23.3%). The main predictors for recurrence include histological grade of the lesion, corneal location and larger size (> 2 mm).


Management of OSSN requires adequate excision and careful follow up to monitor any recurrence. As with other ultraviolet light-related conditions, preventative measures must remain the key to disease control.

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