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Intraepithelial growth pattern for eyelid sebaceous carcinoma: a cohort of 214 patients from a single institution


Aims To determine the distribution of three different intraepithelial growth patterns (pagetoid, bowenoid and papillary) in eyelid sebaceous carcinoma (SC) and correlate them with the clinical characteristics and prognosis.

Methods A retrospective cohort study. The medical charts and pathological sections were retrospectively reviewed. All eligible patients were followed up for recurrence, metastasis and tumour-related mortality. The clinical significance of each intraepithelial growth pattern was determined by Cox regression.

Results Of the 214 patients, 67 (31%) presented with intraepithelial invasion, among them, 34 (16%) were pagetoid, 27 (13%) were bowenoid and 6 (2.8%) were papillary. Patients of pagetoid intraepithelial spread showed significantly longer diagnostic delay (p=0.001) and more initial misdiagnoses of blepharitis (p=0.035). After a median follow-up period of 34.0 months, 67 (46%) patients in the non-intraepithelial group, 17 (50%) in the pagetoid group, 8 (30%) in the bowenoid group and 2 (33%) in the papillary group recurred. And 30 (20%) patients in the non-intraepithelial group, 9 (27%) in the pagetoid group and 4 (15%) in the bowenoid group developed metastasis. Moreover, 15 (10%) patients in the non-intraepithelial group, 6 (18%) in the pagetoid group and 1 (3.7%) in the bowenoid group died of SC. Cox regression indicated that pagetoid intraepithelial growth pattern was remarkably associated with increased chances of tumour-related mortality (HR=2.95, 95% CI 1.14 to 7.64, p=0.026).

Conclusions Intraepithelial tumour invasion was presented in nearly one third of patients with eyelid SC. Pagetoid intraepithelial neoplasia, the predominant growth pattern, significantly increased the risk of tumour-related mortality. Meticulous histopathological intraepithelial examination is recommended for every patient of eyelid SC. Special attention should be paid to those with pagetoid invasion, who may require more intensive managements.

  • eye lids
  • pathology

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Our data are available upon reasonable request.

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