Characteristics of anterior uveal melanocytomas in 17 cases

Pratima Kathil, Tatyana Milman, Paul T. Finger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate a case series of anterior uveal melanocytomas (AUMs) for their distinct clinical, histopathologic, and high-frequency ultrasound (UBM) characteristics. Design: Retrospective single-center case series. Participants: Seventeen consecutive patients with AUMs. Methods: Retrospective review of patient, tumor, UBM, histopathologic, and follow-up characteristics. Follow-up data included change in visual acuity, growth, secondary glaucoma, extrascleral extension, or malignant transformation. Main Outcome Measures: Tumor, high-frequency ultrasound, histopathologic, and follow-up characteristics. Results: Seventeen patients had a median follow-up of 20 months (range, 1130). Tumor was darkly pigmented with nodular configuration in 100% of patients, irregular surface in 82% of patients, characteristic cobblestone surface appearance in 59% of patients, and feathery or fimbriated margins in 88% of patients. Intrinsic vascularity, ectropion uveae, episcleral sentinel vessel, sector cataract, or heterochromia was not seen. High-frequency ultrasound showed high (71%) or moderately high (12%) internal reflectivity in the majority of tumors. Thirteen tumors (76%) involved the iris, 47% of tumors were club-shaped, and 100% of tumors showed no intrinsic vascularity. Mean tumor thickness was 1 mm (standard deviation [SD] ± 0.5, median 0.9, range 0.32.1 mm). Mean largest basal dimension was 3.1 mm (SD ± 2.3, median 2.3, range 0.59.4 mm) (n=14). Three pathologic evaluations revealed plump polyhedral cells with abundant cytoplasm, small round to oval nuclei, inconspicuous nucleoli, and finely dispersed chromatin. Two tumors had extrascleral extension, 2 tumors were documented to grow, and 1 tumor caused medically controlled glaucoma. Conclusions: Anterior uveal melanocytomas are uncommon benign melanocytic tumors with characteristic clinical features. High-frequency ultrasound imaging offers excellent views of obscure posterior extent and allows precise tumor measurement and monitoring for growth. It is an invaluable adjunct to digital slit-lamp photography for evaluating tumor stability or growth. This study presents and correlates unique clinical, high-frequency ultrasound and histopathologic characteristics. Financial Disclosure(s): The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1874-1880
Number of pages7
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


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