Periocular basal cell carcinoma results and surgical outcome during a 5-year period in a larger Danish population

Sveina Björk Karlsdóttir*, Simon Johannessen, Nikolaj Carsting Bjerrum, Ulrik Frydkjær-Olsen, Søren Leer Blindbæk, Flemming Møller, Camilla Wellejus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Background: To report tumour pathology, surgical procedure, complication rates and overall outcome of periocular basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in the Department of Ophthalmology at Sygehus Lillebaelt, Southern Denmark Region over a 5-year period. Methods: Medical records for all patients who underwent surgery for periocular BCC between January 2016 and December 2020 were reviewed. All tumours were excised with a 3 mm margin beyond the clinically apparent delimitation of the tumour and analysed by frozen section histological examination. Paraffin sections were subsequently examined for a final histopathological diagnosis. Patient age, gender, date of resection, former cancer history, referring unit and follow-up time were recorded. Furthermore, histological subtypes identified from biopsy and resection, lesion location, lesion diameter, free margin after the first operation, lacrimal punctum involvement, reconstructive techniques and complications were also recorded. Results: A total of 242 surgical excisions from 237 patients were recorded. The mean age was 69.7 ± 12.6 with women significantly predominant compared to men (1.8:1, p < 0.0001, binomial test). The mean tumour diameter was 4.29 mm (range 0.5–20 mm). The most common location and histological subtype was the lower eyelid and nodular BCC respectively (64.9% and 74.0% of cases). In 17.4% of the patients, the initial resection margin on the frozen section histology was not free of tumour cells and the risk was significantly greater for BCC subtypes considered aggressive in terms of growth pattern (morphea form, infiltrative and micronodular features) as compared to non-aggressive BCC subtypes (nodular and superficial) (p = 0.002, X2). In 239 (98.8%) of the patients, the BCC was found to be radically removed after final histopathological examination. The sensitivity of identification of aggressive subtypes of periocular BCC in biopsies was 47.7%. No recurrences were found during the 5-year period. Conclusion: This study demonstrated a tendency towards more women than men being diagnosed with periocular BCC. The initial biopsy performed for all patients underestimated the aggressiveness of BCC in almost half of the cases while aggressive BCC subtypes were more likely to need further resection after frozen section compared to non-aggressive subtypes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number282
JournalBMC Ophthalmology
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 28. Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Basal Cell Carcinoma
  • Biopsy
  • Eyelids
  • Histology
  • Pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms
  • Surgery
  • Eyelid Neoplasms/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Skin Neoplasms/pathology
  • Denmark/epidemiology
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Aged
  • Retrospective Studies


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