Some fibroangiogenic factors have recently been shown to play potential roles in fibrovascular diseases. The aim of this study was to examine whether there is any relationship between growth factors and pterygium genesis. Twenty-three primary pterygia and 4 normal conjunctiva specimens were analyzed by indirect immunohistochemistry using specific antibodies against basic fibroblast growth factor (b-FGF), platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). Positive immunostaining of these growth factors was located in the epithelial cells, endothelial cells of vessels, basement membranes of vessels and epithelium, fibroblasts and infiltrating inflammatory cells in the pterygium. In the normal conjunctiva, positive immunolabeling for TGF-beta and PDGF was much weaker than in the pterygium. We conclude that growth factors may interact directly or indirectly in the pathogenesis of pterygium although proof of this awaits further studies.