Paraneoplastic retinopathies and optic neuropathies
Survey of Ophthalmology 48(1): 12-38
ISSN/ISBN: 0039-6257 PMID: 12559325 DOI: 10.1016/s0039-6257(02)00416-2
Unusual neuro-ophthalmologic symptoms and signs that go unexplained should warrant a thorough investigation for paraneoplastic syndromes. Although these syndromes are rare, these clinical manifestations can herald an unsuspected, underlying malignancy that could be treated early and aggressively. This point underscores the importance of distinguishing and understanding the various, sometimes subtle, presentations of ocular paraneoplastic syndromes. Outlined in this review article are diagnostic features useful in differentiating cancer-associated retinopathy, melanoma-associated retinopathy, and paraneoplastic optic neuropathy. These must also be distinguished from non-cancer-related eye disorders that may clinically resemble cancer-associated retinopathy. The associated antibodies and histopathology of each syndrome are presented to help in the understanding of these autoimmune phenomena. Treatment outcomes from reported cases are summarized, and some potential novel immunotherapies are also discussed.