Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Retinoblastoma associated orbital cellulitis
  1. Paul B Mullaney,
  2. Zeynel A Karcioglu,
  3. Antonio M Huaman,
  4. Saleh Al-Mesfer
  1. King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  1. The Librarian, The Medical Library, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, PO Box 7191, Riyadh 11462, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


AIM Preseptal and orbital cellulitis are rare presenting features of intraocular retinoblastoma. The objectives of this study were to determine the frequency of retinoblastoma associated cellulitis, as well as to review its clinical and histopathological features.

METHODS The medical records of 292 retinoblastoma patients in the King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia were reviewed. Those indicating a history of, or presenting with, cellulitis were retrieved and their clinical, radiological, and histopathological variables were assessed. Patients with definite extraocular tumour extension on clinical or radiological examination were excluded.

RESULTS 14 patients were found to have retinoblastoma associated cellulitis (4.8%); nine had bilateral and five had unilateral retinoblastoma. Conjunctival and blood cultures were performed in 10 cases and were negative. 10 children were treated with intravenous steroids, often in conjunction with antibiotics, resulting in a prompt decrease in inflammation. Three other children were treated with antibiotics alone and one received no treatment. Computed tomographic scanning depicted large intraocular tumours occupying between 80% and 100% of the globe in each case. In eight patients, periocular inflammation was radiologically interpreted as possible extraocular extension. In one patient serial computed tomographic scanning showed a reduction in intraocular calcification over time which occurred in the presence of cellulitis. 12 patients underwent enucleation and histopathological examination revealed large necrotic, poorly differentiated tumours associated with uveal involvement and early optic nerve invasion. Focal perilimbal destruction was seen in one patient, and in another peripapillary extrascleral extension was present. 12 patients are alive with a mean follow up of 56.4 months.

CONCLUSIONS Radiological evaluation of scleral integrity may be hindered by periocular inflammatory changes. The orbital cellulitis correlated well with the presence of advanced intraocular retinoblastoma with massive necrosis and anterior chamber involvement. In the majority of patients, cellulitis was not indicative of an extension of retinoblastoma into the orbit. Intravenous steroid treatment reduced orbital inflammation, facilitating examination and subsequent enucleation.

  • retinoblastoma
  • orbital cellulitis

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.