Superficial corneal squamous cell carcinoma occurring in dogs with chronic keratitis.

PubMed ID: 21521439

Author(s): Dreyfus J, Schobert CS, Dubielzig RR. Superficial corneal squamous cell carcinoma occurring in dogs with chronic keratitis. Vet Ophthalmol. 2011 May;14(3):161-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-5224.2010.00858.x. PMID 21521439

Journal: Veterinary Ophthalmology, Volume 14, Issue 3, May 2011

OBJECTIVE Canine corneal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a rare tumor, with only eight cases previously published in the veterinary literature. The Comparative Ocular Pathology Lab of Wisconsin (COPLOW) has diagnosed 26 spontaneously occurring cases, 23 in the past 4 years. This retrospective study describes age and breed prevalence, concurrent therapy, biologic behavior, tumor size and character, and 6-month survival rates after diagnosis.

RESULTS A search of the COPLOW database identified 26 corneal SCC cases diagnosed from 1978 to 2008. There is a strong breed predilection (77%) in brachycephalic breeds, particularly those prone to keratoconjunctivitis sicca. The mean age was 9.6 years (range 6-14.5 years). Follow-up information >6 months was available for 15 of 26 cases. Recurrence occurred in the same eye in nine cases, seven of which were incompletely excised at the time of first keratectomy. No cases were known to have tumor growth in the contralateral eye and no cases of distant metastases are known. Where drug history is known, 16 of 21 dogs had a history of treatment with topical immunosuppressive therapy (cyclosporine or tacrolimus) at the time of diagnosis.

CONCLUSION Chronic inflammatory conditions of the cornea and topical immunosuppressive therapy may be risk factors for developing primary corneal SCC in dogs. SCC should be considered in any differential diagnosis of corneal proliferative lesions. Superficial keratectomy with complete excision is recommended, and the metastatic potential appears to be low.

© 2011 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.