Intraocular Extension of Conjunctival Invasive Squamous Cell Carcinoma After Pterygium Surgery and Cataract Extraction

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Conjunctival squamous dysplasia can often be confused with pterygium and pinguecula. Incomplete excision of dysplastic tissue can lead to recurrence and rarely intraocular invasion. This study describes two cases in which invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the conjunctiva was originally partially resected as pterygium and eventually required enucleation for intraocular invasion.


In this clinicopathologic small case series, two cases of intraocular SCC managed at a single tertiary ocular oncology institution are described. Clinical features, pathologic characteristics, and relevant imaging are described.


In both cases, incomplete excision of conjunctival SCC was followed by rapid regrowth of the conjunctival lesion and signs of intraocular inflammation. An intraocular mass within the substance of the ciliary body was identified using ultrasound biomicroscopy in both the cases. Enucleation was performed. Pathologic features were typical to SCC.


Intraocular spread on conjunctival SCC occurs only rarely but tends to follow recurrence of the conjunctival lesion after attempted excision. Modes of invasion may include direct invasion through sclera, along the tract of the anterior ciliary vessels, or inoculation through intraocular surgery incision.

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