University of Iowa Health Care

Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

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Conjunctival epithelial inclusion cyst

Contributor: Jesse Vislisel, MD

Phototographer: Brice Critser, CRA

Epithelial inclusion cysts of the conjunctiva may be congenital or acquired. Acquired cysts form when epithelial cells are displaced into the substantia propria where they proliferate to form a cystic cavity filled with clear fluid. The cysts are usually asymptomatic and can typically be observed only. Below are photographs of three different appearances of conjunctival epithelial inclusion cysts in three different patients. Only the largest of the three was symptomatic, requiring surgical resection.

Patient 1

Conjunctival epithelial inclusion cyst

Conjunctival epithelial inclusion cyst, slit lamp


Patient 2

Conjunctival epithelial inclusion cyst

Conjunctival epithelial inclusion cyst, slit lamp


Patient 3

Conjunctival epithelial inclusion cyst

Conjunctival epithelial inclusion cyst, slit lamp


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last updated: 02/26/2015
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