Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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Squamous papillomas of the conjunctiva: A retrospective clinicopathological study

OA Ogun, GO Ogun, CO Bekibele, EE Akang


Background: There is very limited literature on squamous papillomas of the conjunctiva from Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa. In an attempt to contribute to the literature on the subject, we studied the clinicopathological characteristics of patients histologically diagnosed with squamous papilloma of the conjunctiva in Ibadan, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: Clinical and pathological records of patients with histological diagnosis of squamous papilloma of the conjunctiva made in the Department of Pathology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, between January 1985 and December 2004, were reviewed. Results: There were totally 26 cases. Patients’ ages ranged from 2 to 58 years with a mean age of 32 years. Male to female ratio was 1.4:1. Size of tumors ranged from 2 to 10 mm. Duration of presenting complaints was from 2 months to 10 years. The lesions in 10 cases were located in the medial canthus, at or close to the limbus in another 10 cases, and in the tarsal conjunctiva in a single case. Five cases had no documentation of location. Sixteen cases (61.5%) had multiple papillomas. Four cases had a history of chemical injury (alkaline based – hair relaxer in a single case, acid based – wet cell car battery fluid in two cases, and unknown chemical in a single case) preceding the lesion by at least 6 weeks. Fourteen cases had koilocytosis on histology suggestive of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) etiology. HIV screening test was negative in the three patients who had the screening done. Preoperative clinical diagnosis was squamous papilloma in 16 cases, pterygium in 6 cases and squamous cell carcinoma in 2 cases. Conclusion: In the environment where we practice, conjunctival squamous papilloma occurs most commonly in the fourth decade of life. Only very few cases are submitted for histological diagnosis. HPV infection and chemical injury are the main etiology. We strongly advocate that all excisions of the conjunctiva, irrespective of the clinical impression, should be submitted routinely for histological assessment.

Keywords: Squamous, papillomas, conjunctiva

Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice • Jan-Mar 2012 • Vol 15 • Issue 1
AJOL African Journals Online