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High incidence of demodicidosis in eyelid basal cell carcinomas

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Abstract Background

Although UV radiation is the major cause of basal cell carcinoma (BCC), local factors, such as chronic trauma, irritation, or inflammation, may also have some role in its etiopathogenesis. The pilosebaceous follicle mites, Demodex folliculorum and D. brevis, inhabit most commonly and densely certain facial skin areas, including the nose and periorbital regions, where BCC also develops most frequently. Aim

To investigate, in a retrospective histopathologic study, whether a possible etiopathogenetic relationship exists between demodicidosis and eyelid BCCs. Methods

We examined 32 eyelid BCC specimens that contained at least five eyelashes or five hair follicles with respect to the presence and density of Demodex mites. As controls, we evaluated 34 matched specimens consisting of benign eyelid skin lesions. Results

Twenty-one of 32 BCC cases (65.6%) and eight of 34 control cases (23.33%) had demodicidosis. Mean mite counts were 1.31 ± 1.57 and 0.47 ± 0.99 in BCC cases and controls, respectively. The differences were significant for both prevalence (P < 0.001) and density (P = 0.0052). Although there was a significant positive correlation between increasing mite number and patient age in the control group (r = 0.47, P < 0.05), no significant correlation was found between these two factors in BCC cases (r = −0.102, P > 0.05). Conclusions

Demodicidosis may be one of the triggering factors of carcinogenesis in eyelid BCCs in otherwise predisposed people due to its traumatic/irritating effect or chronic inflammation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Departments of Dermatology, Ophthalmology, and Pathology, Gaziantep University Medical Faculty Gaziantep, Turkey

Publication date: 01 July 2003

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