Eye
Conjunctiva
Squamous cell carcinoma

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 27 April 2018, last major update September 2013

Copyright: (c) 2004-2018, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Squamous cell carcinoma conjunctiva [title]

Related Topics: Squamous cell carcinoma of conjunctiva in HIV/AIDS patients

Cite this page: Pernick, N. Conjunctiva: squamous cell carcinoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/eyeconjSCC.html. Accessed December 9th, 2018.
Definition / general
Case reports
Treatment
  • Complete excision of superficial tumors
  • Radical surgery for deeply invasive tumors
  • 6% recur
  • Rarely metastasize to lymph nodes (more common if large or multiple recurrences)
Clinical images

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Nodular tumor with prominent vascularity at limbus

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Fleshy elevated lesion at limbus

Gross description
  • Papillary or exophytic gray-white mass, often at limbus
  • Occasionally jet black resembling melanoma (in heavily pigmented individuals)
  • Surrounded by inflamed conjunctiva
Gross images

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Large limbal tumor invades anterior chamber

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Tumor has destroyed eye and invaded orbit

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Atypia throughout full thickness of epithelium (conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasia) with individual tumor cells or nests extending into underlying stroma
  • Dense sclera usually limits deepest margins
  • Epithelium may be keratinized
  • Cells have eosinophilic or clear cytoplasm, intercellular bridges, dyskeratosis, coarse chromatin, prominent nucleoli
  • May have pigment within benign and malignant cells in heavily pigmented patients (Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging 2003;34:406)
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Early invasion with corneal involvement

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Well differentiated tumor with deep invasion

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Metastasis to preauricular node and parotid gland



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Thick layer of parakeratosis and microinvasion

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Lobules of invasive keratinizing carcinoma in stroma

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Papillomatous pattern

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Squamoid nests

Positive stains
Molecular / cytogenetics description
  • Usually aneuploid
Additional references