Melanocytic nevi of the tarsal conjunctiva: Clinicopathologic case series with review of literature

Hyunjin Jane Kim, Steven A. Mccormick, Sanjeev Nath, Bruce Moskowitz, Tatyana Milman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


PURPOSE:: To describe 4 patients with histopathologically confirmed tarsal conjunctival nevi and to review the literature regarding nevi in this location. METHODS:: Clinicopathologic series of 4 cases diagnosed at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary between January 1990 and April 2009. PubMed was searched for reported cases of tarsal conjunctival nevi. RESULTS:: Four patients (mean age 44 years, median 50 years, range 5-70 years) with tarsal conjunctival nevi were identified (3.4% of all histopathologically diagnosed conjunctival nevi). These lesions presented in adulthood (3 cases) and were associated with elevation/nodularity (3 cases), gray-brown coloration (3 cases), physician-documented growth (1 case), madarosis (1 case), and intrinsic vessels (1 case). Histopathology revealed combined nevi centered in the posterior lamella of the eyelid, predominantly in peri-Meibomian gland distribution. Review of the literature identified 10 previously reported cases of tarsal nevi with detailed clinicopathologic correlation in 3 of these patients. CONCLUSIONS:: Tarsal conjunctival nevi are rare. Adult presentation; subjective and objective evidence of growth; and associated inflammation, vascularity, and eyelid margin changes may make clinical distinction of tarsal nevi from melanoma challenging. Biopsy, therefore, is prudent as histopathology alone allows documentation of the benign nature of these lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-442
Number of pages5
JournalOphthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


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