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Surv Ophthalmol. 2005 Nov-Dec;50(6):507-18.

The kidney, cancer, and the eye: current concepts.

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  • 1The New York Eye Cancer Center, and the New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Herein, we review the associations between the kidney, renal cancers, and the eye. Renal cancers have been reported to metastasize to the eye and the orbit. As these tumors can be confused with other amelanotic or vascular tumors, a high index of suspicion is required for early detection and management of the primary tumor. We discuss the physiology of metastases, clinical features and management of metastatic disease. A variety of ocular anomalies have been associated with renal disease. Wilms tumor, a renal tumor of childhood, can present with aniridia, which may be the first clue leading to the diagnosis of the primary tumor. Paraneoplastic syndromes are common manifestations of renal cancers and can present as retinopathies and neuro-ophthalmic disorders. Multiple cancer syndromes involve both the eye and the kidney. For example, the diagnosis of von Hippel retinal tumors can lead to a systemic evaluation and discovery of associated visceral tumors. The prognosis, screening, and counseling of such patients is discussed. Newer systemic treatments available for renal tumors, such as interferon alfa, may lead to ocular side effects including retinopathy. These patients require periodic ophthalmic examinations. This review demonstrates the essential role of the ophthalmologist, for early diagnosis and treatment that can help reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with kidney tumors and renal-associated disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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