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Characteristic optical coherence tomography findings in patients with primary vitreoretinal lymphoma: a novel aid to early diagnosis


Background The diagnosis of primary vitreoretinal lymphoma (PVRL) poses significant difficulties; presenting features are non-specific and confirmation usually necessitates invasive vitreoretinal biopsy. Diagnosis is often delayed, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. Non-invasive imaging modalities such as spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) offer simple and rapid aids to diagnosis. We present characteristic SD-OCT images of patients with biopsy-positive PVRL and propose a number of typical features, which we believe are useful in identifying these lesions at an early stage.

Methods Medical records of all patients attending Moorfields Eye Hospital between April 2010 and April 2016 with biopsy-positive PVRL were reviewed. Pretreatment SD-OCT images were collected for all eyes and were reviewed independently by two researchers for features suggestive of PVRL.

Results Pretreatment SD-OCT images of 32 eyes of 22 patients with biopsy-proven PVRL were reviewed. Observed features included hyper-reflective subretinal infiltrates (17/32), hyper-reflective infiltration in inner retinal layers (6/32), retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) undulation (5/32), clumps of vitreous cells (5/32) and sub-RPE deposits (3/32). Of these, the hyper-reflective subretinal infiltrates have an appearance unique to PVRL, with features not seen in other diseases.

Conclusion We have identified a range of SD-OCT features, which we believe to be consistent with a diagnosis of PVRL. We propose that the observation of hyper-reflective subretinal infiltrates as described is highly suggestive of PVRL. This case series further demonstrates the utility of SD-OCT as a non-invasive and rapid aid to diagnosis, which may improve both visual outcomes and survival of patients with intraocular malignancies such as PVRL.

  • diagnostic tests/investigation
  • imaging
  • inflammation
  • neoplasia
  • retina

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