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Semin Oncol. 1996 Dec;23(6):763-7.

Diagnosis and treatment of uveal melanoma.

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Ocular Oncology Service, Wills Eye Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Most malignant melanomas in the ocular region arise in the uveal tract (iris, ciliary body, and choroid). Uveal melanoma generally has characteristic clinical features and the diagnosis can usually be made by an experienced ophthalmologist using slit lamp biomicroscopy or indirect ophthalmoscopy. Ancillary studies such as fluorescein angiography, ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging, and fine needle biopsy can occasionally be used to establish the diagnosis in atypical cases. Today, most affected patients are managed by specialists in ocular oncology. The management of uveal melanoma has been the subject of considerable controversy. Iris melanoma can usually be excised without enucleation of the affected eye. With regard to posterior uveal melanoma (ciliary body and choroid), enucleation of the affected eye was once the undisputed method of treatment. More recently, however, removal of the eye is performed less often and alternatives to enucleation have gained popularity. Several years ago, laser photocoagulation and plaque brachytherapy were the most popular alternatives to enucleation. Now, techniques of local tumor excision and transpupillary thermotherapy are gaining popularity in selected cases. Even more recently, various combinations of these methods have been judiciously used in many instances. The selected method of treatment in a given case depends on a number of complex clinical factors. Philosophies regarding the management of these lesions continue to change. This review covers the current diagnosis and management of uveal melanoma with emphasis on methods of management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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