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January 1978

Iris Metastasis From a Bronchial Carcinoid Tumor

Author Affiliations

From the Pathology Department and Oncology Unit, Retina Service, Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia. Dr Rodrigues is now with the Laboratory of Vision Research, NEI, Bethesda.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1978;96(1):77-83. doi:10.1001/archopht.1978.03910050041010

• A 54-year-old man had a fleshy pink vascularized mass in the superonasal quadrant of the right iris. He had a history of an unchanging pulmonary nodule that was followed up for five years with routine chest roentgenograms. Fluorescein angiography demonstrated early filling of numerous fine blood vessels in the mass and diffuse late staining of the lesion. Results of a transcorneal radioactive phosphorus (32P) uptake test were positive. The clinical diagnosis was tapioca melanoma of the iris, with metastatic tumor as a second possibility. The tumor was excised by iridocyclectomy.

Light microscopy revealed nests of tumor cells with oval hyperchromatic nuclei. Fontana stains for melanin were negative as were argentaffin and argyrophil stains. Electron microscopy demonstrated light and dark tumor cells containing numerous membrane-bound electrondense neurosecretory granules. The diagnosis was iris metastasis from a probable bronchial carcinoid. The patient is alive and well three years after excision of the iris mass.

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