AIMS To evaluate the safety and efficacy of internal resection in the treatment of malignant melanoma of the choroid.
METHODS 32 consecutive patients with histopathologically proved malignant choroidal melanomas were treated with internal resection. 29 of the 32 (90.6%) tumours were within 2 disc diameters of the optic nerve or fovea. The surgery was performed at two university centres by one of the authors. Follow up was between 1 and 85 months (mean 40.1 months).
RESULTS Three patients developed distant metastases and died of malignant melanoma (metastatic and mortality rate 9.4%). In one case, distant metastases developed in association with an intraocular recurrence. There have been no other intraocular recurrences. The most common postoperative complication was vitreous haemorrhage, which occurred in 12 patients (37.5%); cataract occurred in eight eyes; and three patients developed retinal detachment postoperatively. Three of the operated eyes have been enucleated (9.4%); a total of four (12.5%) have lost light perception. 10 patients (31.2%) had visual acuities of 6/60 or better and 18 of 32 (56.3%) were between 6/120 and light perception.
CONCLUSION These data suggest that the internal resection of posterior uveal melanomas is a reasonable globe saving management option. This treatment modality is particularly well suited to elevated tumours in close proximity to the optic nerve or fovea.
- choroidal melanoma
- internal resection
- malignant melanoma
- posterior uveal melanoma
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