Cutaneous Horn of the Eyelid in 13 Cases

Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 2017 Jul/Aug;33(4):233-236. doi: 10.1097/IOP.0000000000000816.


Introduction: Cutaneous horn of the eyelid is uncommon. The authors evaluate the features of benign, premalignant, and malignant tumors at the base of cutaneous horn of the eyelid.

Objective: To describe the clinical and histopathologic features of cutaneous horn of the eyelid.

Design: A retrospective analysis of 13 cases of cutaneous horn of the eyelid treated between 1994 and 2014 was performed.

Participants: Thirteen patients participated in this study.

Main outcome measures: Main outcome measures include clinical and histopathologic features and outcomes of cutaneous horn.

Results: The mean patient age was 54 years (median 64 years, range 9-91 years), and 6 patients (46%) were women. The cutaneous horn affected the upper (n = 5), lower (n = 6) eyelid, or was not indicated (n = 2). The mean height of the cutaneous horn was 7.6 mm (median 8mm, range 4-12 mm) and mean basal diameter was 3.8 mm (median 3mm, range 2-6 mm). The cutaneous horn was comprised of superficial layers of keratin with hyperkeratosis and parakeratosis overlying a solid tumor at the base in all cases. The tumor base included benign (n = 6, 46%), premalignant (n = 4, 31%), and malignant (n = 3, 23%) conditions. The benign basal lesions included seborrheic keratosis (n = 1), nevus sebaceous of Jadassohn (n = 1), pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia (n = 1), trichilemmoma (n = 1), and inverted follicular keratosis (n = 2). Premalignant basal lesions were actinic keratosis (n = 4), and malignant basal lesions included squamous cell carcinoma (n = 2) and sebaceous gland carcinoma (n = 1).

Conclusions: The clinical significance of cutaneous horn of the eyelid lies not in the horn itself but the nature of the underlying base. Malignancy was found in 23% of patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Eyelid Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Eyelids / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratosis / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult