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Ocular pterygium - External and Internal Eye
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Ocular pterygium - External and Internal Eye

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Contributors: Brandon D. Ayres MD, Christopher Rapuano MD, Harvey A. Brown MD, Sunir J. Garg MD, Lauren Patty Daskivich MD, MSHS
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

A pterygium is a soft, fleshy benign growth on the bulbar surface of the eye in the perilimbal area, which may extend onto the corneal surface. These growths can vary from nearly flat and atrophic to large, rapidly growing fibrovascular lesions that can distort the corneal topography and even reach the optical center of the cornea. Most often they are found in the nasal interpalpebral part of the bulbar conjunctiva but can occur temporally as well. They are frequently bilateral yet unequal in size. The incidence is higher in men than in women and is far more frequent in warm or tropical climates. Patients present with either just the finding of the growth or complain of irritation, redness, blurring of vision, itching, difficulty wearing contact lenses, and/or foreign body feeling. Exposure to UV light, allergens, noxious chemicals, and irritants such as wind, dirt, dust, and air pollution all contribute to the etiology of pterygiums. There may also be a genetic component as well.

Codes

ICD10CM:
H11.009 – Unspecified pterygium of unspecified eye

SNOMEDCT:
77489003 – Pterygium

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Pseudopterygia (eg, chemical or thermal burns, trauma, and marginal corneal disease)
  • Neoplasia
  • Pingueculae
Neoplastic lesions tend to be unilateral, gelatinous, ameboid in shape with deep irregular vascularization. Pingueculae, as noted, have a space between them and the edge of the cornea.

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Therapy

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References

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Last Updated: 05/01/2017
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Ocular pterygium - External and Internal Eye
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Ocular pterygium : Bulbar conjunctival plaque, Eye irritation
Clinical image of Ocular pterygium
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