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Clinical Sciences
September 1999

Combined Nevi of the Conjunctiva

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1999;117(9):1121-1127. doi:10.1001/archopht.117.9.1121

Objective  To report the clinical and histologic features of combined nevi of the conjunctiva, a type of nevus that is not uncommon in the skin but rarely has been reported in the conjunctiva.

Methods  Conjunctival nevi and melanomas in the files of the University of California at San Francisco Eye Pathology Laboratory from 1984 to 1999 were reviewed for the presence of features of both standard nevocytic nevi and blue nevi. Clinical histories and, when available, clinical photographs were obtained.

Results  Thirty combined nevi were discovered between 1984 and 1999. One case before 1984 had been incorrectly diagnosed as a junctional nevus. The dendritic and spindle-shaped blue nevus cells had been overlooked because they were not recognized as distinct from the standard nevocytic nevus cells. The recognition of blue as well as a brown color, a deep as well as a superficial component in the lesion, or a history of pigmentation since birth may help to establish the correct clinical diagnosis and prevent an unnecessarily deep surgical resection. Although growth of the lesion or "satellites" in some may favor a clinical diagnosis of melanoma, no lesions in this series were malignant.

Conclusion  Despite a paucity of reports of combined nevi of the conjunctiva in the medical literature, this type of nevus, a combination of a nevocytic and a blue nevus, is common and has been overlooked in the past.