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Iris ring melanoma: fine needle biopsy
  1. D H Char1,2,
  2. A E Kemlitz2,
  3. T Miller3,
  4. J B Crawford3
  1. 1The Tumori Foundation, San Francisco, CA, USA
  2. 2California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, CA, USA
  3. 3University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
  1. Correspondence to: Devron H Char M.D., Director, The Tumori Foundation, 45 Castro Street, Suite 309, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA; devron{at}


Aims: To delineate the diagnostic accuracy of fine needle biopsy in iris ring melanoma and determine the tumour related mortality of this neoplasm.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of 22 patients with iris melanomas that involve the entire 360 degrees of the anterior chamber angle.

Results: Iris ring melanomas were correctly diagnosed in all cases. In 11 of 16 cases (69%) a fine needle biopsy performed 180 degrees away from the main mass was positive for an iris ring melanoma. The tumour related mortality in iris ring melanoma cases was four of 22 patients (18%). Actuarial survival analysis showed a 10 year mortality (Kaplan-Meier) of 15%.

Conclusion: A fine needle aspiration biopsy can be used to diagnose an iris ring melanoma. Iris ring melanomas have significant mortality compared with focal tumours.

  • FNAB, fine needle aspiration biopsy
  • fine needle biopsy
  • melanoma
  • FNAB, fine needle aspiration biopsy
  • fine needle biopsy
  • melanoma

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  • Supported in part by a grant from The Tumori Foundation.