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Preretinal neovascularisation associated with choroidal melanoma
  1. Jennifer Leea,
  2. Sanjay Logania,
  3. Hesham Lakoshab,
  4. Robert P Schroedera,
  5. Rand Simpsonb,
  6. Lee M Jampola
  1. aDepartment of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL, USA, bThe Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Canada
  1. Lee M Jampol, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University Medical School, 645 N Michigan Avenue Suite 440, Chicago, IL 60611, USA


BACKGROUND The rare occurrence of iris neovascularisation and choroidal (subretinal) neovascularisation in patients with choroidal melanoma has been reported. However, the occurrence of preretinal neovascularisation (NVE) fed from the retinal circulation in eyes with choroidal melanoma is far less frequently reported.

METHODS Three case reports of choroidal melanoma with the very rare finding of overlying NVE.

RESULTS The three patients had choroidal melanomas, localised serous retinal detachment, and NVE. Two cases showed definite retinal capillary non-perfusion, and one of these two cases demonstrated retinal telangiectasis. One patient's melanoma responded quickly to iodine-125 plaque radiotherapy; however, the retinal neovascularisation persisted and caused vitreous haemorrhage. Localised scatter photocoagulation was successful in causing the complete regression of the neovascularisation. The other two patients had their eyes enucleated (one with planned pre-enucleation external beam radiotherapy). Demonstration of preretinal vessels in one of the cases was possible in histological sections.

CONCLUSION Preretinal neovascularisation may occur as a complication of choroidal melanoma. Possible aetiologies include the release of tumour angiogenic factors, inflammation, chronic retinal detachment with secondary retinal ischaemia, retinal vascular occlusion secondary to retinal vessel invasion by the tumour, or following radiation therapy. Optimal management of the neovascularisation is not known at this time. Supplemental localised scatter photocoagulation may be of benefit in some cases.

  • neovascularisation
  • choroidal melanoma
  • radiotherapy

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