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Nippon Ganka Gakkai Zasshi. 1997 Apr;101(4):283-7.

[Cancer-associated retinopathy].

[Article in Japanese]

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Hokkaido, Japan.


A variety of paraneoplastic syndromes affect the central nervous system including eye. So far, two types of retinopathy are known to be associated with patients with malignancies, cancer-associated retinopathy (CAR), and melanoma-associated retinopathy (MAR). CAR is associated with epithelial cancers, mostly lung small cell carcinoma, and is characterized by retinitis pigmentosa-like retinal degeneration. Usually CAR can be found before an underlying primary cancer is diagnosed. MAR is associated with cutaneous malignant melanoma and is characterized by the relatively sudden onset of photophobia and nyctalopsia. The flash electroretinogram (ERG) of MAR patients shows a negative waveform, reduced b-wave amplitude, and reservation of a-wave amplitude, suggesting that bipolar cells may be affected. CAR and MAR are believed to result from an autoimmune response. In CAR, a calcium binding protein called recoverin, a 70 kDa protein, and neurofilaments are the retinal antigens recognized by the patient's serum. In contrast, the retinal antigens in MAR have not yet been identified, although patient sera specifically recognized retinal bipolar cells in immunocytochemistry.

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