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December 1963

Sympathetic Ophthalmia Associated With Malignant Melanoma

Author Affiliations

From the Registry of Ophthalmic Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington 25, DC.; Present address: 2266 North Prospect Ave, Milwaukee 2, Wis.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1963;70(6):786-790. doi:10.1001/archopht.1963.00960050788011

It is well known that the development of sympathetic ophthalmia is almost always secondary to an accidental or surgical penetrating wound of the eye. Of the few recorded cases without a previous penetrating wound, the majority are claimed to have been secondary to an intraocular malignant melanoma.

Since the classical description of the histologic characteristics of sympathetic ophthalmia by E. Fuchs1 in 1905, there have been a number of isolated reports of this condition associated with malignant melanoma.

In reviewing these reports, it becomes apparent that in most cases in which a penetrating wound can be satisfactorily excluded, the tumor has produced an extraocular extension.

In the American literature the only two cases of malignant melanoma thought to have caused sympathetic ophthalmia without an associated penetrating wound or extraocular extension are those of Schwartz2 ( 1927) and of Riwchun and Decoursey3 (1941). Riwchun and DeCoursey reviewed the literature

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