Purpose: To determine the accuracy, specificity, and sensitivity of the clinical diagnosis of malignant tumor of the eyelid.
Method: Analysis of consecutively submitted biopsy specimens of the eyelid for 1 year to a regional ophthalmic pathology laboratory.
Results: Agreement was noted between clinical and histopathologic diagnoses on 72 (84%) of 86 eyelid biopsy specimens received over 12 months. Ten (11.6%) clinical diagnoses of suspected malignant eyelid tumor showed benign skin conditions, and four (4.6%) clinical diagnoses of presumed benign conditions proved to be malignant.
Conclusions: The clinical assessment of eyelid malignancy by ophthalmologists is reasonably good when evaluated in terms of sensitivity (87.5%) and specificity (81.5%) of diagnosis. Lesions giving rise to the false-negative diagnosis of malignancy tend to be nodules with unremarkable surface features.