AIM To evaluate until what age children in families with retinoblastoma should be screened.
METHODS A register based cohort (n= 685) study of Dutch retinoblastoma patients (1945–1998). The records of all familial hereditary retinoblastoma patients from 1945 were reviewed and the age at diagnosis and either they were screened from birth determined.
RESULTS 75 patients had the familial hereditary form of retinoblastoma. The mean age at diagnosis in patients with fundus screening (n=50) from birth on was 4.9 months (median 1.9 months; range 1 day to 48 months). Thus, 4 years was the latest onset of familial retinoblastoma properly evaluated from birth. This mean age was significantly different (p<0.0001) from the mean age at diagnosis in patients without fundus screening (n=25) from birth (mean 17.2 months; median 10.0 months; range 1.5–63.0 months).
CONCLUSIONS Ophthalmological screening of children and sibs at risk for familial hereditary retinoblastoma is recommended until the age of 4 years in order to detect retinoblastoma as early as possible.
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