Histopathological review of sebaceous carcinoma of the eyelid

Patricia Rusa Pereira, Alexandre Nakao Odashiro, Abelardo A. Rodrigues-Reyes, Zelia Maria S. Correa, João Pessoa De Souza Filho, Miguel N. Burnier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background: Sebaceous carcinoma of the eyelid can clinically mimic benign conditions, such as recurrent chalazion and inflammation and histopathologically squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma (BCC). This retrospective study was undertaken as an attempt to improve the characterization and consequently the diagnosis of these tumors. Methods: Retrospective analysis was performed on eyelid specimens diagnosed as sebaceous carcinoma retrieved from Henry C. Witelson Ophthalmic Pathology Registry, Canada and Hospital Luis S. Bulnes Pathology Registry, Mexico. Two independent, masked pathologists reviewed the H&E microslides. Results: Forty-four cases were retrieved, 31 from Canada and 13 from Mexico. Cytoplasmic vacuoles were observed in 48% of the cases. Eighty-four percent of the cases were classified as poorly differentiated lesions. Of these, 75% had features similar to squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC), some with dyskeratosis (30%) and 7% resembled BCC. Solid growth pattern was seen in 26.2% of the cases and lobular growth pattern in 26.2%. Superficial spread resembling Bowen-like disease was observed in 33% of the cases, pagetoid features in 33% and comedocarcinoma in 31.8%. Conclusion: Sebaceous carcinoma presented as a poorly differentiated lesion in most cases of this series, which suggests a possibility of misdiagnosis because of its similarities to SqCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-501
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cutaneous Pathology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Dermatology


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