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Eyelid tumors: accuracy of clinical diagnosis.

PURPOSE: To determine the accuracy, specificity, and sensitivity of the clinical diagnosis of malignant tumor of the eyelid.

METHOD: Analysis of consecutively submitted biopsy specimens of the eyelid for 1 year to a regional ophthalmic pathology laboratory.

RESULTS: Agreement was noted between clinical and histopathologic diagnoses on 72 (84%) of 86 eyelid biopsy specimens received over 12 months. Ten (11.6%) clinical diagnoses of suspected malignant eyelid tumor showed benign skin conditions, and four (4.6%) clinical diagnoses of presumed benign conditions proved to be malignant.

CONCLUSIONS: The clinical assessment of eyelid malignancy by ophthalmologists is reasonably good when evaluated in terms of sensitivity (87.5%) and specificity (81.5%) of diagnosis. Lesions giving rise to the false-negative diagnosis of malignancy tend to be nodules with unremarkable surface features.

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