Eye
Eyelid other tumors
Basal cell carcinoma of eyelid


Topic Completed: 1 February 2014

Revised: 29 March 2019

Copyright: 2004-2019, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Basal cell carcinoma [title] eyelid [title]

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Page views in 2018: 794
Page views in 2019 to date: 811
Cite this page: Pernick N. Eyelid: basal cell carcinoma of eyelid. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/eyeeyelidbasalcellcarcinoma.html. Accessed October 19th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Very common
  • 90% of eyelid malignancies
  • Probably secondary to sunlight
  • Rarely invades orbit or nose
  • Arises from cutaneous surface of eyelid (usually lower lid and medial canthus), only rarely from conjunctiva
  • Frozen section review of margins is helpful in reducing recurrence
  • Excision is important to preserve vision, since tumors may prevent proper eyelid closure and cause corneal exposure and ulceration
Case reports
Gross description
  • Ulcerated, pigmented, superficial or sclerosing
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Subtypes:
    • Nodular and nodular-ulcerative (anastomosing nests and cords of proliferative epidermal basal cells with minimal cytoplasm, dark nuclei and nuclear palisading at periphery)
    • Cystic (central necrosis with cystic spaces)
    • Multicentric
    • Morphea (infiltrates into dermis as branching cords of cells within a dense stroma; margins are difficult to assess clinically)
Microscopic (histologic) images

AFIP images
Missing Image

Adenoid type has lobules
with a cribriform pattern
and marginal palisading
of basaloid cells

Missing Image

Metatypical type has
islands of squamous
cell differentiation
within a basaloid tumor

Missing Image Missing Image

Morphea type in patient with heritable retinoblastoma: atrophic epidermis overlies irregular clusters of infiltrative basaloid cells

Missing Image

Nodular type with solid
lobules of neoplastic
basaloid cells

Differential diagnosis
Back to top