J Korean Ophthalmol Soc.  2019 Nov;60(11):1021-1026. 10.3341/jkos.2019.60.11.1021.

Clinicopathological Characteristics of Caruncular Tumors in Koreans

  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea. minjoung@hallym.or.kr
  • 2Department of Pathology, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.


To investigate the clinical characteristics and histological features of tumors in caruncles.
We conducted a retrospective chart review of 126 eyes of 126 patients who underwent incisional or excisional biopsy of conjunctival masses between March 2008 and December 2016.
Twenty-four patients (19.0%) including 10 males and 14 females had a mass located on the caruncle. The mean age at diagnosis was 41.8 ± 13.4 years (range, 15-67 years). Most patients (75%) visited us for a cosmetically visible mass without other symptoms. The mean duration of symptoms was 73.8 ± 113.0 months (range, 1-240 months). The most common histological diagnosis was a melanocytic tumor (50%) followed by a sebaceous gland tumor (12.5%), an epidermoid cyst (12.5%), and papilloma (12.5%). The symptom duration of the melanocytic tumor was significantly longer than other types of tumors (153.6 ± 139.8 months, p = 0.025).
Caruncular tumors accounted for 19% of all conjunctival tumors. The most common pathological diagnosis of a caruncular tumor was a melanocytic tumor, which had a characteristically long symptom duration.


Caruncular tumor; Clinical characteristics; Conjunctival tumor; Pathologic diagnosis

MeSH Terms

Epidermal Cyst
Retrospective Studies
Sebaceous Glands


  • Figure 1 Representative photographs of caruncular tumors. (A) Melanocytic tumor, (B) sebaceous hyperplasia, (C) epidermal cyst, (D) papilloma.

  • Figure 2 Representative histopathologic features of caruncular tumors. (A) Primary acquired melanosis. Increased number of melanocytes without defenite atypia is found at the basal layer of the epithelium (asterisk) (hematoxylin and eosin staining [H&E stain], ×400). (B) Sebaceous hyperplasia. Hyperplastic lobulesare found around a single duct (arrow) (H&E stain, ×12.5). (C) Epidermal cyst. Cyst wall consists of squamous epithelium and fills with keratinous materials (H&E stain, ×200). (D) Papilloma. The tumor shows papillary growth of squamous epithelium wrapped around fibrovascular cores (H&E stain, ×40).


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