HMB-45 immunohistochemical staining of conjunctival melanocytic lesions

Ophthalmology. 1991 Apr;98(4):453-8. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(91)32281-4.


HMB-45 is a monoclonal antibody recently described as being highly specific for melanocytic proliferations of the skin and in metastases of melanotic lesions. To determine a possible role for HMB-45 in ophthalmic pathology, 45 conjunctival lesions, including 23 melanomas, were analyzed using immunohistochemical techniques with anti-S-100 and HMB-45 as primary antibodies. Nineteen (82.6%) of the melanomas exhibited HMB-45 positivity, and 19 (82.6%) contained S-100 protein, with concordance of all but two cases. Seven cases of primary acquired melanosis were studied; one (33%) of three with atypia was HMB-45 positive, as were two (50%) of four without atypia. Among nevi, 1 (9.1%) of 11 showed faint staining with HMB-45. Fifteen conjunctival epithelial dysplasias were negative with HMB-45. At present, HMB-45 appears to offer no great advantage over S-100 protein in the analysis of conjunctival melanomas. Its role in the distinction of benign from atypical or malignant junctional melanocytic proliferations remains unclear.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Melanocytes / metabolism
  • Melanocytes / pathology
  • Melanoma / metabolism*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanosis / metabolism*
  • Melanosis / pathology
  • Nevus, Pigmented / metabolism*
  • Nevus, Pigmented / pathology
  • S100 Proteins / metabolism
  • Staining and Labeling


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • S100 Proteins