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.