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Severity and Determinants of Pinguecula in a Hospital-Based Population

Mimura, Tatsuya M.D.; Usui, Tomohiko M.D.; Obata, Hiroto M.D.; Yamagami, Satoru M.D.; Mori, Mikiro M.D.; Funatsu, Hideharu M.D.; Noma, Hidetaka M.D.; Dou, Kazuhiro M.D.; Amano, Shiro M.D.

doi: 10.1097/ICL.0b013e3181f91f2f

Objectives: Pinguecula is a relatively frequent disease; however, there have been no reports about the grade of pinguecula. We investigated the relationship between age and the prevalence and severity of pinguecula by using a grading system and compared the grade of pinguecula between men and women and between the nasal and temporal halves of the conjunctiva.

Methods: This was a prospective, randomized study of 1,040 patients aged 1 to 95 years, including 520 men and 520 age-matched women. The age, gender, medical history, ocular history, and grade of pingueculae located on the nasal and temporal conjunctiva were determined in all subjects.

Results: The prevalence of pinguecula increased dramatically with age. The mean grade was higher in male patients than in female patients for pingueculae located on both the nasal conjunctiva (P = 0.00072) and the temporal conjunctiva (P = 0.00035). However, there was no significant difference in the grade of pinguecula between the nasal and temporal conjunctiva.

Conclusions: This was the first assessment of the grade of pinguecula in a large series of patients. Our findings strongly suggest that pinguecula is an age-dependent lesion that occurs from young adulthood onward. The present grading system should also be useful for future clinical studies of pinguecula.

From the Department of Ophthalmology (T.M., T.U., S.Y., K.D., S.A), University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Ophthalmology (T.M., M.M., K.D.), Tranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan; Department of Ophthalmology (H.O.), Jichi Medical University, Tochigi, Japan; and Department of Ophthalmology (H.F., H.N.), Yachiyo Medical Center, Tokyo Women's Medical University, Chiba, Japan.

Supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

None of the authors have a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Tatsuya Mimura, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Ophthalmology, University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan; e-mail:

Accepted August 24, 2010.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.