Conjunctival Squamous Cell Neoplasia Associated With Ocular Cicatricial Pemphigoid

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe a possible causal relationship between ocular cicatricial pemphigoid (OCP) and ocular surface squamous neoplasia. Two middle-aged female patients with already diagnosed OCP were studied in regard to the subsequent onset of conjunctival squamous neoplasia. Their clinical histories, ocular examinations, clinical photographs, and results of biopsies and any ancillary immunofluorescent laboratory evaluation studies were carefully reviewed. One patient had a preinvasive squamous dysplasia and the other an invasive squamous cell carcinoma, both in the unequivocal setting of OCP with bilateral conjunctivitis, symblephara, and forniceal foreshortening. The patients had been receiving intensive immunotherapy consisting of some combination of corticosteroids, rituximab, and interferon alpha. Both patients had a positive immunofluorescent study demonstrating immunoreactants at the level of the epithelial basement membrane. Each patient had 2 earlier negative immunofluorescent studies before a third was positive. While rare, there is 1 previous report of an association between OCP and conjunctival squamous neoplasia. The current report provides more data supporting the proposal that this conjunction is more than a random event. Repeat immunofluorescent studies after an initial negative result in a patient with strong clinical signs of OCP are imperative due to the frequency of false negative studies in the context of clinically persuasive disease.

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