Eyelid tumors: accuracy of clinical diagnosis

Am J Ophthalmol. 1999 Nov;128(5):635-6. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(99)00302-5.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Eyelid Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Eyelids / pathology
  • False Negative Reactions
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis