Pterygia - Correlations between histopathologic changes and
Purpose: To investigate the correlations between clinical findings and histopathologic changes in eyes with pterygium.

Methods: This prospective study included 70 eyes with primary pterygia undergoing surgical excision. Prior to surgery, clinical features of the pterygia including extension over the cornea, redness, fleshiness (based on obscuration of the underlying episcleral vessels), and obliteration of the plica semilunaris were determined. Postoperatively, pterygium specimens were examined by hematoxylin-eosin and trichrome staining to evaluate histopathologic characteristics including vascular density, leukocytic infiltration, stromal elastosis, stromal fibrosis and subepithelial fibrosis. Correlations between clinical findings and histopathologic changes were then investigated.

Results: There was a marginally significant correlation between the redness and the fleshiness of pterygium (P = 0.06). Both redness and fleshiness of the pterygium had significant positive correlation with dimensions of the lesion over the cornea. Moreover, larger pterygia were associated with obliteration of the plica semilunaris. Pterygium redness showed a significant correlation with vascular density (P = 0.04), and pterygium fleshiness had a significant correlation with stromal fibrosis (P = 0.04). Pterygium dimensions over the cornea demonstrated a positive correlation with vascular density and a negative correlation with stromal elastosis.

Conclusion: Redness and fleshiness of pterygium were only marginally correlated with each other, and each one showed a correlation with different histopathologic features. Larger pterygia were associated with more significant changes at the clinical and histopathologic levels.