Histopathological Rate of Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia in Clinically Suspected Pterygium Specimens: 10-Year Results

Milad Modabber, Daniella Lent-Schochet, Jennifer Y. Li, Esther Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of histopathologically confirmed ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN) in clinically diagnosed pterygium samples at a tertiary center in Northern California, over a 10-year period (2009-2019). Methods: A retrospective chart review of patients older than 18 years with clinically diagnosed benign pterygium requiring excision was conducted. Clinically suspected pterygia were excised using standard techniques and routinely submitted to the University of California Davis for pathologic evaluation. Demographic, clinical, surgical, and pathological information were recorded and analyzed. The prevalence rate of OSSN was calculated. Results: A total of 348 consecutive specimens were evaluated. The mean (±SD) age of the patients was 58 ± 12 years, with a near equal sex representation. A total of 57 (16%) pterygia were recurrent at initial presentation. Histopathologic results demonstrated a single case of OSSN. This patient did not have a documented history of carcinoma in other organs or any history of herpes virus, human papilloma virus, or human immunodeficiency virus infection. Conclusions: The prevalence of histopathological OSSN in clinically suspected pterygia within our sample was approximately 0.3%. Because of shared clinical characteristics of pterygia and OSSN, a high index of suspicion and judicious use of anterior segment optical coherence tomography enable for effective preoperative diagnosis of OSSN. However, in the absence of clinical expertise or high-resolution optical coherence tomography, routine tissue pathologic examination may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-154
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasia
  • Ocular surface squamous neoplasia
  • Pterygium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


Dive into the research topics of 'Histopathological Rate of Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia in Clinically Suspected Pterygium Specimens: 10-Year Results'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this