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Conjunctival nevi are benign lesions with wide variation in clinical and histopathological features. The differentiation between benign nevi and other pigmented lesions is essential. The aim of our study was to identify the distribution of the histopathologic types of conjunctival nevi among the Saudi population and to provide the basic knowledge needed for proper clinical diagnosis.
This retrospective study of surgically excised benign conjunctival nevi was conducted at a tertiary care eye hospital from 1995 to 2006. Clinical data was collected from medical records and the histopathologic features reviewed by a single pathologist.
A total 105 conjunctival nevi were included from 104 consecutive patients (mean age, 26 years, 54 males and 50 females). The anatomical location was the bulbar conjunctiva in 83%, juxtalimbal in 12%, caruncle in 4% and palpebral in 1%. The lesion was removed for cosmetic reasons in 38% while 8% of the lesions were removed to rule out malignancy. The compound nevus was the commonest (72%) in all age groups, followed by subepithelial nevus (24%) and finally junctional nevus (3%).
The distribution of the histopathologic types of this tumor in our population matches the pattern in other areas of the world with the compound nevus being the commonest lesion. However, fewer lesions among our patients are removed to rule out malignancy.