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May 1964

Melanocytoma of the Ciliary Body

Author Affiliations

Portsmouth, NH
United States Naval Hospital.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1964;71(5):649-652. doi:10.1001/archopht.1964.00970010665010

Zimmerman1 presented evidence of a locally invasive, nonmalignant, primary melanotic tumor of the optic disc which arose from normal uveal melanocytes. This tumor was benign, over half of the reported cases were in Negroes, and it offered an excellent prognosis. The distinctive name melanocytoma was used to differentiate this tumor from choroidal melanomas which involved the nerve head.

Over 30 melanocytomas of the optic disc have been reported. There have been no reports of metastasis, but the tumors have been found to be locally invasive, infiltrating posterior to the lamina cribrosa and into the adjacent choroid. The most important distinguishing feature of this tumor is its benign clinical course which is characterized by slow growth and rare decrease in the patient's visual acuity. These observations have made it clear that enucleation is not necessary. Cytologically the cells are remarkably uniform and heavily laden with pigment granules which appear morphologically

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