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Ophthalmology. 1988 Aug;95(8):1033-7.

Melanoma metastatic to the orbit.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


Cutaneous malignant melanoma often metastasizes to the lung, bone, liver, subcutaneous tissue, and lymph nodes. Six cases of malignant melanoma metastatic to the orbit are presented, five from cutaneous melanomas and one from a contralateral choroidal melanoma. Melanoma rarely metastasizes to the orbit, but when orbital involvement occurs, widespread metastases are already present. Twenty-two cases were reviewed from the literature; 13 of 14 patients, with sufficient follow-up data, had widespread metastases when they presented with orbital disease. Extraocular muscles appear to be a favored site of metastases. The mean time from orbital presentation to death was 4 months. Orbital metastases from a distant melanoma is, therefore, part of a widespread metastatic process. Treatment should be directed toward palliation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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