Researchers recently uncovered more information about a rare post-pterygium surgery complication, conjunctival granuloma (CG), including the best treatment regimen for it.

Chinese investigators reviewed data from 3,851 pterygium eyes (3,330 patients) that underwent excisional surgery, 52 (1.4%) of which developed CGs within a 13-year period post-surgery—although most arose within 12 to 90 days. Biopsy found all the CGs developed around the free conjunctival flap and involved large amounts of inflammatory cell infiltration. As such, characterizing such lesions as pyogenic granuloma is a misnomer, they point out. “It is much more apt to call the conjunctival mass as conjunctival inflammatory granulation tissue” based on the immune cells noted on histology.

Factors unrelated to CG development were patient sex and the lesion’s status as a primary or recurrent pterygium. Treatment, which was successful for all patients, included surgical resection combined with corticosteroid eye drops.

Zhang Z, Yang Z, Pan Q, et al. Clinicopathologic characteristics and the surgical outcome of conjunctival granulomas after pterygium surgery. Cornea. 2018;37(8):1008-12.