CHOROIDAL TUMOR BIOPSY: A Review of the Current State and a Glance Into Future Techniques

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Abstract

Purpose:

To review the indications for and the methods of obtaining biopsies in eyes with uveal melanoma. In addition, this review provides recommendations for avoiding biopsy-related complications and discusses the future directions of biopsy techniques for uveal melanoma.

Methods:

This review is based on a presentation by the authors (PM and MM) at the 2017 Duke Advanced Vitreoretinal Surgery Course and an extensive literature review using PubMed.

Results:

Transscleral and transvitreal fine-needle aspiration biopsy, and transvitreal vitrectomy-assisted biopsy techniques are described. The use of 25- and 27-gauge needles and vitreous cutters through a transvitreal approach are most commonly used. Complications are uncommon but may include vitreous hemorrhage, retinal detachment, and rarely, extraocular extension. Proper technique and precautions will minimize the occurrence of these rare complications.

Conclusion:

Biopsy of uveal melanoma either using a needle or vitrectomy-assisted procedures is safe and these techniques continue to improve with new vitreoretinal surgical advances.

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