Inadvertent evisceration of eyes containing uveal melanoma

Ralph C. Eagle, Hans E. Grossniklaus, Nasreen Syed, R. Nick Hogan, William C. Lloyd, Robert Folberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objectives: To report an important complication of ocular evisceration therapy for blind, painful eyes that has been unreported in the literature, and to stress the need for careful preoperative evaluation to exclude occult neoplasms prior to therapy. Design: Multicenter, retrospective, nonrandomized clini-copathological case series of patients found to have previously unsuspected uveal malignant melanoma during histopathological examination of blind, painful eyes treated by evisceration. Results: Histopathological examination of evisceration specimens disclosed previously unsuspected uveal melanoma in 7 patients who were treated for blind, painful eyes. Inflammation caused by necrosis of the tumor and other ocular tissues led to misdiagnosis as endophthalmitis, orbital cellulitis, or idiopathic orbital inflammation in several cases. Preoperative imaging was not performed in 3 cases and failed to detect tumors in the remaining 4 cases. Failure of necrotic tumors to enhance contributed to misdiagnosis. Conclusions: The presence of a malignant intraocular neoplasm should be excluded prior to evisceration of any blind eye or blind, painful eye, particularly with opaque media. Necrosis-related inflammation can confound the clinical diagnosis of occult lesions, as can failure of necrotic tumors to enhance on imaging studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-145
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Ophthalmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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