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Amniotic membrane transplantation in the management of conjunctival malignant melanoma and primary acquired melanosis with atypia
  1. Dion Paridaensa,
  2. Houdijn Beekhuisb,
  3. Willem van den Boscha,
  4. Lies Remeyerb,
  5. Gerrit Mellesb
  1. aRotterdam Eye Hospital, Oculoplastic Service, bCorneal Service
  1. D Paridaens, Rotterdam Eye Hospital, Schiedamsevest 180, PO Box 70030, 3000 LM Rotterdam, Netherlandsparidaens{at}


AIM To evaluate the efficacy of amniotic membrane transplantation (AMT) for the management of conjunctival malignant melanoma and primary acquired melanosis (PAM) with atypia.

METHODS Four consecutive patients with histologically proved invasive, primary conjunctival malignant melanoma were treated with wide surgical excision and AMT. Amniotic membrane grafts were harvested and processed under sterile conditions according to a standard protocol. The grafts were sutured to the margins of the surface defect. In one case, AMT was combined with a corneoscleral graft.

RESULTS A satisfactory result and rapid postoperative recovery with few, transient side effects was noted in three patients with limbal/epibulbar melanomas. In another patient with an extensive lesion, involving the epibulbar, forniceal, and palpebral conjunctiva, AMT following wide excision was complicated by symblepharon formation and restricted ocular motility. Monitoring of local recurrence was facilitated by the transparency of the thin graft in all cases. The postoperative follow up time varied between several months and 3 years. In one case, local recurrence of PAM was observed and treated using topical mitomycin.

CONCLUSIONS AMT is a useful technique for the reconstruction of both small and large surface defects that result from the surgical excision of conjunctival malignant melanoma and PAM. This method facilitates wide conjunctivectomy, although its role in repairing larger defects involving the fornix or palpebral conjunctiva still needs to be established. The transparency of amniotic membrane allows for monitoring of tumour recurrence, which is—together with superior cosmesis—an advantage over thicker (for example, buccal) mucous membrane grafts.

  • amniotic membrane transplantation
  • conjunctival malignant melanoma
  • primary acquired melanosis
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