Conjunctival Biopsy - Pterygium

Pterygium is so common; why submit tissue for pathology examination? First, the relationship between the development of pterygium and sun-exposure raises the possibility of subclinical epithelial dysplasia or carcinoma in situ. Second, amelanotic melanoma may mimic a pterygium clinically (each year, this laboratory sees several cases of histologic melanoma that appeared to be pterygium clinically).

Histology of pterygium. Note the severe solar elastosis beneath the epithelium on the right-half of this photomicrograph. The dilated vessels beneath the epithelium to the left correspond to the "injection" seen clinically. There was no evidence of malignancy in this sample.

Please remember to handle the tissue gently and prepare the specimen properly for submission to the laboratory.


More Questions?

If you have more questions about pterygium specimens, please contact one of us:

Ophthalmic Pathologists

Robert Folberg, MD, FCAP, Director

Deepak P. Edward, MD

Consultation Coordinator

Marnie Pomeroy







Information about another test


about us research education laboratory research education laboratory services homepage education information research homepage