Older male patients may be more prone to developing pterygium that contain conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) tissue, researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio suggest.

Their paper, presented at the ARVO 2021 virtual meeting, included 557 pterygium samples from 557 eyes of 525 patients who had been diagnosed with the condition. None of the subjects had clinical signs of CIN.

In addition to evaluating the samples for CIN, the investigators also considered the participants’ age, sex, self-reported race (white, African American or Asian) and ethnicity (Hispanic vs. non-Hispanic), and the involved eye.

Collectively, the subjects were about 53 years old, and more than half were men333 males vs. 224 females. The vast majority of the specimens (roughly 96%) were from white subjects, while only about 2% came from those who were African American or Asian. Self-identified ethnicity included Hispanic (70%) and non-Hispanic (30%). Among all specimens, 40 (7%) were positive for CIN.

Regarding how age factored into risk, patients with CIN tended to be older (59 years old) compared with those without the finding (53 years old). Males were also much more likely to have CIN compared with women, 80% vs. 58%.

Considering race and ethnicity, the researchers found no major differences in risk between those who had CIN and healthy patients.

Since the treatment and prognosis of pterygium and CIN differ significantly, clinicians should carefully evaluate all pterygium specimens, especially in those with the identified risk factors, the investigators concluded.

Zhu C, Weiss M, Scribbick F, et al. Prevalence of conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasia in pterygium specimens. ARVO Meeting 2021.