Adequate treatment of juxtapapillary melanomas with episcleral plaque brachytherapy using lower energy radiation sources may be difficult because of uncertainties regarding the relationship of the plaque to the optic nerve and tumour base. We obtained magnetic resonance images of a dummy plaque placed in a juxtapapillary location in cadaver specimens. Although it is possible to place a plaque in close association with the optic nerve sheath, a tissue barrier exists which may prevent actual contact between the plaque and nerve. Posterior tilting of the plaque may also occur. Because of these uncertainties regarding plaque placement, juxtapapillary melanomas should be considered a distinct subgroup when evaluating the efficacy of radioactive plaque brachytherapy in the treatment of choroidal melanoma.
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