Pigmentation of the eyelid margin accompanying conjunctival melanoma

Am J Ophthalmol. 1989 Oct 15;108(4):435-9. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)73313-6.


In a review of patients with histologically verified malignant melanoma of the conjunctiva, we found 17 patients who had heavy pigmentation of the ipsilateral eyelid margin that was visible on external examination. Among nine patients in whom the histologic characteristics of the skin pigmentation could be studied, the features ranged from an increase in pigmentation of melanocytes within the basal layer to invasive malignant melanoma. The presence of heavy skin pigmentation in association with conjunctival melanoma appeared to be an ominous sign, even when the eyelid did not show histologic features of malignancy. Twelve of the 17 patients (70%) died of metastases after histologic verification of the conjunctival melanoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Eyelid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Eyelids*
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Pigmentation*