gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

Vitreoretinal and opticoinvasive uveal melanoma: a clinicopathological study

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author M.N. Richter - Augenklinik, Charité - Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin
  • N.E. Bechrakis - Augenklinik, Charité - Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin
  • J. Wachtlin - Augenklinik, Charité - Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin
  • L. Krause - Augenklinik, Charité - Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin
  • S.E. Coupland - Institut für Pathologie, Charité - Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin
  • M.H. Foerster - Augenklinik, Charité - Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin

Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogFR.11.12

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2004

© 2004 Richter et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




Uveal melanomas have well defined growth patterns: they are usually limited to the uvea and to infiltration of the adjacent sclera in progressive disease. We herein report 7 cases with uveal melanoma that exhibited vitreous seeding, epiretinal and intraretinal tumour growth as well as tendency towards infiltration into the optic nerve.


In all patients one eye was enucleated because of uveal melanoma. 2 of the patients presented with ocular melanosis presumably having transformed into uveal melanoma und were enucleated as primary therapy. 4/7 patients were treated for uveal melanoma with radiation therapy: 2 with ruthenium brachytherapy and 2 with proton beam irradiation, 1 followed by endoresection of the tumour. 1 patient underwent tumour excision without radiation. 5/7 patients underwent a second surgical procedure (cataract surgery, vitrectomy or trabeculectomy) due to various complications. Enucleation of the eyes was performed 1 - 4 years after the primary tumour treatment due to clinically suspicious melanoma growth or tumour recurrence. All eyes underwent histopathological examination.


In all cases histopathology confirmed the clinically suspected tumor growth or recurrence. 6 had epiretinal melanoma growth and virtreous seeding, 2 intraretinal cells, and 3 infiltration of the optic nerve.


Retinal, vitreous and optic nerve infiltration are very unusual growth patterns in uveal melanoma. Clinically it may be difficult to differentiate vital melanoma infiltration from non-neoplastic cell proliferation, such as melanomacrophagic responce or reactive retinal pigment epithelial cell- proliferation during the follow up after eye preserving treatment modalities.