Topic Completed: 1 March 2013

Minor changes: 1 October 2019

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PubMed Search: Leukoplakia conjunctiva

Deepali Jain, M.D.
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Cite this page: Jain D. Conjunctiva: leukoplakia. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/eyeleukoplakiaconjunctiva.html. Accessed June 1st, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Clinical term referring to a white mass, usually on bulbar conjunctiva; NOT a diagnostic term
  • May be benign or malignant
  • May be associated with pigmented squamous cell carcinoma (Ophthalmology 2008;115:1673)
  • Benign lesions are often due to ultraviolet light damage or associated with advancing edge of pterygium
  • Bitot spot:
    • Sharply defined, bubbly, white focus of keratinization near limbus
    • Due to squamous metaplasia, epidermalization, hyperkeratosis and loss of goblet cells
    • Associated with early vitamin A deficiency
    • More common in children under age 3
  • Xerosis (drying of conjunctiva):
    • Associated with acanthosis, keratinization, loss of goblet cells
    • Due to keratoconjunctivitis sicca, Sjogren syndrome, radiotherapy, other conjunctival drying disorders
Case reports
Clinical images

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Raised, irregular white lesion

Gross description
  • Nodular, irregular, gray-white lesion due to parakeratosis and keratinization
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