Squamous cell carcinoma of the conjunctiva in patients with atopic eczema

Cornea. 2003 Mar;22(2):135-7. doi: 10.1097/00003226-200303000-00011.


Purpose: To report squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the conjunctiva in patients with atopic eczema.

Methods: A retrospective study of six patients with conjunctival SCC associated with atopic eczema. Clinical and pathologic records were reviewed.

Results: Ten patients with conjunctival SCC were seen from October 1999 to May 2002 at the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Essen. Six of 10 patients had also atopic eczema. These six patients were treated either with local excision and ocular surface reconstruction or proton beam radiotherapy. None of the patients had local recurrences or metastases.

Conclusion: Atopic eczema is a common dermatological disease. An association with conjunctival SCC has not been reported so far. Squamous cell carcinoma has also been found in patients with AIDS and other immunosuppressed individuals. The dysfunction of T lymphocytes found in these disorders might play a crucial role in the malignant transformation of conjunctival tissue. Because of the reported frequency of SCC, patients with atopic eczema should be monitored for abnormalities.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / complications*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / complications*
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / pathology
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / surgery
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / complications*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies