Spindle 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: Spindle cell carcinoma [title] conjunctiva [title]

Cite this page: Pernick, N. Conjunctiva: spindle cell carcinoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/eyeconjspindlecell.html. Accessed December 9th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Rare but more aggressive than squamous cell carcinoma
  • Elderly patients
  • Complete excision
  • May recur or invade sclera or intraocular contents
Gross description
  • Elevated or flat, smooth surface, red
  • Arises from limbus or bulbar conjunctiva
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Spindle cells are continuous with surface epithelium
  • Have oval vesicular nuclei with large eosinophilic or basophilic nucleoli
  • Often transition to squamous cells with individual cell keratinization
  • Also acanthosis, mitotic activity, desmoplasia, variable dysplasia
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:
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Sarcomatous pattern

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Large subepithelial tumor with
deep scleral and corneal invasion

Positive stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Desmosomes, tonofibrils
Differential diagnosis