Canine conjunctival hemangioma and hemangiosarcoma: a retrospective evaluation of 108 cases (1989-2004).

PubMed ID: 16771756

Author(s): Pirie CG, Knollinger AM, Thomas CB, Dubielzig RR. Canine conjunctival hemangioma and hemangiosarcoma: a retrospective evaluation of 108 cases (1989-2004). Vet Ophthalmol. 2006 Jul-Aug;9(4):215-26. PMID 16771756

Journal: Veterinary Ophthalmology, Volume 9, Issue 4, 2006

Canine conjunctival tumors of vascular endothelial origin are common, although under-reported. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the epidemiology of and potential risk factors for these tumors. This study evaluated 108 cases (70 hemangiomas, 38 hemangiosarcomas) from 8300 canine submissions between 1989 and 2004. Signalment, location, pigmentation, size, duration, diagnosis, margins, ancillary therapy, and geographic location were recorded. Follow-up information was available for 49 cases. Each case was matched with two unaffected controls and compared using logistic regression analysis. Average age upon presentation was 8.6 years; there was no sex predilection. Risk of conjunctival tumors was statistically different among breed groups (P = 0.0010), demonstrating a propensity to occur in groups likely to have increased outdoor activity. Primary involvement occurred within nonpigmented epithelium along the leading edge of the nictitating membrane (41/108) and temporal bulbar conjunctiva (33/108). The etiology remains unknown; however, the strong site predilection, involvement of nonpigmented epithelium, and development within specific breed classes strongly suggest ultraviolet (UV) light as a significant risk factor. In a full-logistic model including breed, gender, age, and UV exposure, UV was not a statistically significant variable (P = 0.1215). In a reduced-model including UV only, significance was approached (P = 0.0696) and posthoc contrast demonstrated a significant linear trend with increasing UV exposure (P = 0.0147). In separate analysis of risks associated with hemangiosarcoma, compared with hemangioma, breed was not significant while increasing UV exposure was significant (P = 0.0381). Early surgical therapy is recommended and may be curative; however, recurrence is possible and more likely with hemangiosarcomas (11/20).