Clinical and pathological diagnosis and comparison of benign and malignant eyelid tumors

J Fr Ophtalmol. 2021 Apr;44(4):537-543. doi: 10.1016/j.jfo.2020.07.019. Epub 2021 Feb 18.


Purpose: To assess and compare demographic and clinical features of benign and malignant eyelid tumors from 2011 to 2018 in a tertiary medical center.

Materials and methods: The study was conducted retrospectively from medical records to compare demographic and clinical characteristics and recurrence of benign and malignant eyelid tumors after obtaining institutional review board approval. A total of 428 eyelid tumors with histopathologic diagnoses were studied. Premalignant lesions were not included. The lesions were classified into two groups according to malignancy: benign and malignant eyelid lesions.

Results: Among the 428 histopathologically confirmed eyelid lesions, 373 (87.1%) were benign and 55 (12.9%) were malignant. The patients with malignant eyelid tumors had a higher mean age at diagnosis than patients with benign eyelid tumors (P=0.012). The most common benign eyelid tumors were squamous papilloma (17.7%), xanthelasma (11.5%), and epidermal cysts (11.3%). The most common malignant eyelid tumors were basal cell carcinomas (65.5%), squamous cell carcinomas (14.5%), and sebaceous gland carcinomas (7.3%). There was no relative gender predominance between patients with benign and malignant eyelid tumors (P=0.287). Benign eyelid tumors were most commonly located on the right side and upper eyelid (P=0.027 and 0.036, respectively). Malignant tumors had a higher rate of recurrence (P=0.002).

Conclusion: Differentiation between benign and malignant eyelid lesions is important, since it may lead to cosmetic complications and serious morbidity, particularly in patients with malignant eyelid tumors.

Keywords: Benign eyelid tumors; Eyelid tumors; Malignant eyelid tumors; Tumeurs bénignes des paupières; Tumeurs des paupières; Tumeurs malignes des paupières.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell* / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell* / epidemiology
  • Eyelid Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Eyelid Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sebaceous Gland Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Sebaceous Gland Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Skin Neoplasms*