Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) in the human conjunctiva

J Pathol. 1994 Sep;174(1):33-7. doi: 10.1002/path.1711740106.


The recent description of conjunctival lymphomas with features of lymphomas that arise in mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) infers the presence of MALT in the human conjunctiva. Some authors suggest that organized MALT is found in the normal human conjunctiva, but others disagree. In order to resolve this problem, we have examined the conjunctival fornix from unselected autopsies with no prior history of conjunctival or ocular disease for the presence of organized MALT. In only 31 per cent of cases was organized lymphoid tissue found with the morphological and immunophenotypic features of MALT. This finding suggests that MALT is not found in the normal human conjunctiva but is acquired during life in a proportion of apparently asymptomatic individuals.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Child
  • Choristoma / immunology
  • Choristoma / pathology*
  • Conjunctiva / immunology
  • Conjunctiva / pathology*
  • Conjunctival Diseases / immunology
  • Conjunctival Diseases / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lymphoid Tissue*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology