Presumed Adenocarcinoma of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium in a Blind Eye With a Staphyloma

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The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) can undergo reactive hyperplasia and metaplasia following a variety of ocular insults.However, true neoplasms of the RPE are rare. We report a case of a papillary adenocarcinoma of the RPE arising in the blind staphylomatous right eye of a 79-year-old woman with a long history of bilateral posterior staphylomas who was seen with increasing pain and exophthalmos of the right eye. Findings from ultrasonography and computed tomography demonstrated linear calcification consistent with osseous metaplasia of the RPE. Progression of the exophthalmos and worsening exposure keratitis led to enucleation of the eye. Gross pathology showed a 79-mm-long globe. Histopathologic findings revealed a largely amelanotic papillary adenocarcinoma arising from the RPE. Positive immunoreactivity for cytokeratin supported the epithelial origin of the tumor. Adenocarcinoma of the RPE is rare but may develop in a blind eye.

Arch Ophthalmol.1998;116:525-528

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