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April 1992

Cataract Extraction After Proton Beam Irradiation for Malignant Melanoma of the Eye

Author Affiliations

From the Retina Service, Department of Ophthalmology (Drs Gragoudas and Seddon and Ms Egan), Epidemiology Unit, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (Dr Seddon), Channing Laboratory (Dr Glynn), and the Department of Radiation Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital (Dr Munzenrider), Harvard Medical School, Boston; and Joselin Diabetes Center (Dr Arrigg) and the Department of Medicine (Dr Glynn), Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1992;110(4):475-479. doi:10.1001/archopht.1992.01080160053029

• We evaluated visual outcome and risk of metastases in patients who underwent cataract extraction after protonbeam irradiation of a uveal melanoma. A total of 84 patients underwent cataract extraction between 2 months and 11 years after irradiation. One year after cataract extraction, approximately half of the patients had visual acuity of 20/100 or better, and approximately one third had an acuity of 20/40 or better. Larger tumor size was highly correlated with poor visual outcome 1 year after extraction. Six patients underwent enucleation after cataract removal, five due to blind, painful eyes and one due to continued growth of a previously undiagnosed ring melanoma. The rate of metastases was not higher among patients who underwent cataract extraction (adjusted rate ratio, 0.83). Results suggest that cataract extraction offers improvement of vision in selected eyes previously irradiated for a uveal melanoma, without adding to the risk of metastases among patients undergoing the procedure.

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