Background/aims: To evaluate the need for routine histopathological analysis of enucleated/eviscerated eyes and changes in indications for eye removal.
Methods: Retrospective review of all enucleation/evisceration histopathology reports over 20 years. Clinical history was correlated with pathological findings. Two 10 year periods (1984-93, 1994-2003) were compared to detect changes in indications for eye removal.
Results: In total, 285 histopathology results were traced from 1984 to 2003; 161 and 124 were evisceration and enucleation specimens, respectively. Glaucoma, malignant melanoma, trauma, and retinal detachment were the most frequent diagnoses 1984-1993. Ocular trauma was the most frequent diagnosis 1994-2003, followed by phthisis bulbi and endophthalmitis. Three cases were diagnosed as metastatic carcinoma; all were suspected preoperatively. A fourth case was a diagnostic surprise: adenocarcinoma found in an eye removed for pain and phthisis. Comparison of two 10 year periods showed a decrease in the number of enucleations/eviscerations, perhaps reflecting a decrease in the number of specimens sent. A preference for eviscerations was evident over the 20 years.
Conclusion: The number of eyes removed and histologically analysed decreased in the period 1994 to 2003, perhaps because of better treatment options, allowing globe preservation. There was a significant shift in the diagnosis in the two time periods, and a preference for evisceration in both. Only one diagnostic surprise was discovered (0.35%). This study does not support the need to send all globes/contents for histopathological examination. However, because of the one unexpected finding, it is recommended where the examination is incomplete or the history of visual loss is unclear.