What causes conjunctival melanoma?

Updated: Feb 16, 2021
  • Author: Manolette R Roque, MD, MBA, FPAO; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Together with mucus-secreting goblet cells within the stratified epithelium, melanocytic cells are found in the basal layer of the conjunctiva. These melanocytic cells are of neuroectodermal origin, and melanocytic tumors may arise from these cells.

Theoretically, conjunctival melanoma may originate from primary acquired melanosis, from preexisting nevi, or as de novo lesions (that is, without any histologic or clinical evidence of a preexisting lesion). It may be difficult to determine the precursor lesion in many cases. [4]


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