Late Diagnosis of Choroidal Malignant Melanomas in Eyes with Clear Media and Low Visual Acuity

Daniel M. Albert, Z. Nicholas Zakov, Taylor R. Smith

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Five patients seen in a one-year period with advanced malignant melanoma of the choroid in eyes with low visual acuity and clear media are reported. The low visual acuity appeared clinically to be antecedent to the malignant tumor; although in certain cases it may have been related to the occult melanoma, this was not appreciated clinically. Because of the low visual acuity, these patients did not have vision symptoms referable to the melanoma, and the malignancy was diagnosed late in its course. All five cases had extra scleral extension of the tumor at the time of surgical treatment; three are dead of metastatic disease, and two have undergone orbital exenteration with only brief follow-up periods. This experience suggests that eyes with clear media and low vision owing to presumably unrelated causes should undergo periodic dilated indirect ophthalmoscopic examination to rule out the presence of a growing malignant melanoma and to prevent its late diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1037-1047
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1979


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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