Aim: Inflamed juvenile conjunctival naevi (UCN) are often erroneously suspected to be malignant because of rapid growth. Their clinical and histopathological features have not been characterised in series of patients. The aim of the study is to characterise UCN clinically and histopathologically. Methods: This is a retrospective non-randomised clinicopathological study. All patients younger than 20 years with conjunctival naevi which were excised between 1990 and 2000 were included. The clinical signs of the affected patients and the histopathological findings of the excised lesions were characterised. Results: A total of 63 conjunctival naevi were resected. 25% of the patients had simple compound conjunctival naevi and 75% had compound naevi with prominent inflammatory histological features (discrete lymphocyte aggregates, plasma cells, and eosinophils). Epithelial cysts and solid epithelial islands were common in the UCN. The UCN were all located at or near the limbus, and characterised by recurrent periods of congestion and growth. 75% of the UCN patients with complete medical records had a history of allergic disease. Marked conjunctival papillary reaction was present in all of the patients, indicating a possible conjunctival allergy. Conclusions: UCN is a unique entity, different from simple compound conjunctival naevus. Its association with allergic conjunctivitis is suggestive, and despite periods of alarmingly rapid growth, is histologically benign.
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