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Saudi J Ophthalmol. 2017 Apr-Jun;31(2):80-85. doi: 10.1016/j.sjopt.2017.03.003. Epub 2017 Mar 19.

Clinical presentation of retinoblastoma in Alexandria: A step toward earlier diagnosis.

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The Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt.
The Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



To evaluate the clinical presentation of retinoblastoma in Alexandria, Egypt, correlate the timing of accurate diagnosis with the presence of advanced disease and identify causes of delayed presentation.


Retrospective noncomparative single institution study reviews demographic and clinical data of all new children with retinoblastoma presenting to Alexandria Main University ocular oncology clinic (OOC) from January 2012 to June 2014. Diagnosis time was from initial parental complaint to retinoblastoma diagnosis and referral time was from retinoblastoma diagnosis to presentation to the Alexandria OCC. Delayed Diagnosis and referral were counted if >2 weeks. Advanced presentation is defined as clinical TNMH (8th edition) staging of cT2 or cT3 (international intraocular retinoblastoma classification group D or E) in at least one eye or the presence of extra-ocular disease (cT4).


Seventy eyes of 47 children were eligible: 52% unilateral, 7% with family history and 96% presented with leukocorea. Sixty-four percent of children had advanced intraocular disease and none had extra-ocular disease. Delayed presentation occurred in 58% of children and was significantly associated with advanced disease in both unilaterally and bilaterally affected children (p = 0.003, 0.002 respectively). The delay in diagnosis was more in unilateral cases while the delay in referral was more in bilateral cases. The main cause of delayed presentation in unilateral retinoblastoma was misdiagnosis (30%) while parental shopping for second medical opinion (30%) was the main cause in bilateral children.


Delayed diagnosis is a problem affecting retinoblastoma management. Better medical education and training, health education and earlier screening are recommended to achieve earlier diagnosis.


Cancer; Delayed diagnosis; Developing country; National; Retinoblastoma

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