Objective: To determine the epidemiology and the clinical and therapeutic outcomes of conjunctival nevi and to identify the clinical variables statistically associated with operative excision.
Design: Prospective, observational, noncomparative case series.
Participants: Two hundred fifty-five patients with the clinical diagnosis of conjunctival nevus.
Methods: Consecutive cases of conjunctival nevi managed at a single institution were studied to identify the clinical risk factors for operative excision.
Main outcome measures: Reasons for operative excision.
Results: Of the 255 patients who were periodically observed for a mean of 5.3 years (range, 1-11), nevi were clinically diagnosed in 140 females and 115 males and modified operative excision was performed in 75 patients (29%). The decision of operative excision was made by the surgeon in 13 cases (17%) and by the patient in 62 cases (83%). In those 13 patients, the operative decision was prompted by our concern for possible malignant transformation based on suspicious biomicroscopic features in 10 patients (13%) and photographically documented tumor growth in 3 patients (4%). For the other 62 patients who elected to undergo surgery, their reasons for excision included patient's concern for cancer in 34 cases (45%), cosmetic arguments in 9 cases (12%), and patient's request owing to lesion-induced ocular surface irritation in 19 cases (25%). Comparison between groups showed that the clinical factors at initial visit that were statistically predictive of surgical excision were the older age of the patient (P = 0.001), the largest basal tumor diameter (P<0.001), tumor location (P = 0.023), and presence of clear cysts (P = 0.013), of intrinsic vasculature (P<0.001), of prominent feeder vessels (P<0.001), and of corneal involvement (P = 0.008). None of the excised lesions showed histopathologically malignant features.
Conclusions: In our series, documented tumor growth of conjunctival nevus remained relatively a uncommon event with a incidence of 4%. Conjunctival nevi in older patients, associated with dilated feeder vessels, prominent intrinsic vasculature, and corneal involvement were more likely to be treated with operative excision.
Financial disclosure(s): The authors have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.
Copyright 2010 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.