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Cancer-associated retinopathy caused by benign thymoma
  1. Akiko Tanaka1,
  2. Hiroshi Takase1,
  3. Grazyna Adamus2,
  4. Manabu Mochizuki1
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Tokyo Medical and Dental University Graduate School, Tokyo
  2. 2Ocular Immunology Laboratory, Casey Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hiroshi Takase, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Tokyo Medical and Dental University Graduate School, 1-5-45, Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan; h.takase.oph{at}

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Cancer-associated retinopathy (CAR), a retinal photoreceptor degeneration disease, is characterised by photopsia and progressive visual loss, and is considered to be related to the presence of malignancy. To our knowledge, CAR related to benign thymoma has not been previously reported. We present a case of CAR associated with benign thymoma. The patient had serum antirecoverin autoantibodies, and his thymoma tissue was positively stained by serum from another patient with CAR containing antirecoverin autoantibodies.

Case description

A 47-year-old man noticed quite suddenly visual loss, photopsia and night blindness in August 2003. When he visited our hospital in October 2003, his visual acuity was counting fingers bilaterally, and slit-lamp test revealed normal anterior segments. Funduscopic examination revealed narrowing of the retinal arteries and slight atrophy of retinal pigment epithelium (figure 1A). Goldmann perimetry showed only peripheral islands of vision, and the standard full-field 20 J single flash electroretinogram (ERG) was non-recordable (figure 1B). Chest x-ray, chest CT scanning (figure 1C) and chest MRI (figure 1D) revealed the presence of thymoma, but no other malignancy was found …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Tokyo Medical and Dental University Ethics Commitee.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.