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July 1950

RETINOBLASTOMAAnalysis of Seventeen Autopsies

Author Affiliations

From the Institute of Ophthalmology of the Presbyterian Hospital of the City of New York; the Department of Ophthalmology of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Head and Neck Service of the Memorial Hospital for the Treatment of Cancer and Allied Diseases.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1950;44(1):71-108. doi:10.1001/archopht.1950.00910020074006

DURING the past eighteen years, 17 autopsy reports on histologically proved cases of retinoblastoma have been collected in the institutions mentioned. Ten of the postmortem examinations were performed in the Memorial Hospital; 6 in the Presbyterian Hospital, New York, and 1 in the Children's Hospital, Philadelphia. Since this number constitutes an unusually large single series of autopsies in such cases, it was felt that an analysis would be of interest. Rados1 stated that approximately 1,000 cases of retinoblastoma have been reported. In the review of the literature by Wintersteiner,2 in 1897, and that of Wilson and Thomson,3 in 1900, 61 autopsies were reported. Since 1900, approximately 24 additional cases with necropsy have been recorded. These figures indicate that postmortem studies are made in less than 10 per cent of the cases of death from retinoblastoma. Many of the autopsies are incomplete, and it is understandable that misconceptions

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