Rate of resolution of exudative retinal detachment after plaque radiotherapy for uveal melanoma

J. William Harbour, Saad Ahmad, Mohammed El-Bash

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17 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the clinical relevance of exudative retinal detachment (ERD) and the rate of ERD resolution after plaque radiotherapy of posterior uveal melanomas. Methods: Retrospective, nonrandomized study of 135 consecutive patients with posterior uveal melanoma treated by iodine 125 plaque radiotherapy. Extent of ERD and tumor thickness were assessed before radiotherapy and at postoperative follow-up visits. Local tumor control was assessed at each follow-up visit. Results: An ERD was present in 71 patients (53%) and was a risk factor for local treatment failure (P = .03). The ERD resolved after radiotherapy in 59 (83%) of the 71 patients. The ERD resolved within 1 year in 64 patients (90%) (mean time to resolution, 5.6 months). The rate of ERD resolution correlated with the rate of decrease in tumor thickness (P = .004). The ERD did not resolve and the tumor thickness continued to increase in 5 patients, who required further intervention. A recurrent retinal detachment developed in 5 patients, who were diagnosed as having rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (3 patients) and lipid exudation secondary to tumor vasculopathy (2 patients). Two patients with local tumor recurrence did not develop a recurrent ERD. Local tumor control was achieved in 130 patients (96%). Conclusions: An ERD may be a risk factor for local failure after plaque radiotherapy for uveal melanoma. If an ERD does not resolve within 9 to 12 months of radiotherapy and the tumor is not regressing, treatment failure should be suspected. A recurrent ERD does not necessarily represent local tumor recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1463-1469
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Ophthalmology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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