The aim of this study is to describe the demographic, presenting features and associated risk factors of ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN) at a tertiary eye hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa.
An interventional prospective study of patients presenting with conjunctival masses was conducted. An electronic questionnaire was completed to document demographic data, presenting history, and associated risk factors. A slit lamp examination and photos were used to document and describe the clinical features at presentation. Cases (OSSN) and controls (benign lesions) were determined by histology.
There were 130 cases and 45 controls. Median age was 44 years (IQR: 35–51) with an equal gender distribution in cases. The prevalence of HIV in cases was 74% and was strongly associated with OSSN (p < 0.001). Vascularisation, leukoplakia and pigmentation were clinical features that distinguished cases from controls. A fibrovascular morphology was strongly associated with a benign histology (p < 0.001), whereas leukoplakic and gelatinous morphologies were associated with OSSN. Conjunctival intra-epithelial neoplasia made up 82% of cases.
Our study describes a sample of OSSN that is young and has no gender predisposition. The majority of cases presented with CIN lesions, rather than SCC reported in other African countries. HIV was the most significant risk factor in this study population.