• Users Online: 5658
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

   Table of Contents      
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 674-678

Metastatic adenocarcinoma of the cervix presenting as a choroidal mass: A case report and review of literature of cervical metastases to the eye

1 Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute, Navi Mumbai; Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital; Mehta Eye Clinic Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute, Navi Mumbai; Mehta Eye Clinic Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
3 Mehta Eye Clinic Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
4 Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission19-Mar-2015
Date of Acceptance10-Jun-2015
Date of Web Publication17-Nov-2015

Correspondence Address:
Akshay Gopinathan Nair
Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery and Ocular Oncology Services, Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute, 30, The Affaires, Sector 17, Sanpada, Navi Mumbai - 400 705
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.169792

Rights and Permissions

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer among females in India. Cervical cancer usually spreads by local extension and through the lymphatic drainage to the lymph nodes. Hematogenous spread, the mechanism responsible for distant metastases, is rarely seen in cervical malignancies. In this communication, we report a case of a 45-year-old woman who presented with unilateral decrease in vision of 3 months duration. She was found to have a serous retinal detachment with underlying diffuse, subretinal yellowish-cream colored infiltrates in the right eye, suspicious of choroidal metastases. Systemic evaluation showed disseminated systemic metastases arising from a primary adenocarcinoma of the cervix. In this communication, we review all the documented cases of metastases to the eye and adnexa arising from cervical cancer and their clinical characteristics. Unilateral choroidal metastasis arising from an adenocarcinoma of the cervix is extremely rare with only one previous documented case. Although uncommon, choroidal metastasis may be the presenting feature of primary cervical malignancy. Furthermore, cervical malignancy must be ruled out in women who present with orbital or choroidal metastases arising from unknown primary.

Keywords: Adenocarcinoma, cervix cancer, choroidal metastasis, granuloma, metastases, metastatic cervical cancer, orbital metastasis

How to cite this article:
Nair AG, Asnani HT, Mehta VC, Mehta SV, Pathak RS. Metastatic adenocarcinoma of the cervix presenting as a choroidal mass: A case report and review of literature of cervical metastases to the eye. Indian J Ophthalmol 2015;63:674-8

How to cite this URL:
Nair AG, Asnani HT, Mehta VC, Mehta SV, Pathak RS. Metastatic adenocarcinoma of the cervix presenting as a choroidal mass: A case report and review of literature of cervical metastases to the eye. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Dec 9];63:674-8. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/ijo/pages/default.aspx/text.asp?2015/63/8/674/169792

The most common malignancy in women worldwide is breast cancer, followed by cervical cancer.[1] However, cervical cancer is the most common cancer in Indian women.[2] Cervical cancer commonly spreads by local extension and also through the lymphatic drainage to the retroperitoneal lymph nodes. Hematogenous spread, which is the mechanism responsible for distant metastases, is rare and is seen in only 12% of the cases of cervical malignancies with the typical sites being liver, lung, and bone.[3] Eye metastases from cervical cancer are extremely rare but are known to occur; the orbit, extraocular muscles, choroid, iris and the subconjunctival tissue being the reported sites of metastatic lesions.[1],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14] Here, we describe the case of a 45-year-old female in whom a unilateral choroidal metastasis was the presenting feature of disseminated adenocarcinoma of the cervix. We also review the available literature on ocular and adnexal metastasis.

  Case Report Top

A 45-year-old lady presented with complaints of diminished vision for distance and near in the right eye for the past 3 months. She had no other ocular complaints. On examination, the best-corrected visual acuity was counting fingers at 2 m in the right eye and 20/20 N6 in the left eye. Anterior segment evaluation, intraocular pressures, and ocular motility were normal in both eyes. No proptosis was noted. Right eye fundus showed a serous retinal detachment with underlying diffuse, subretinal yellowish-cream colored infiltrates whereas the left eye was normal [Figure 1]a. The infiltrates were largely situated on and around the posterior pole with the periphery being uninvolved. The vitreous cavity was clear with no signs of inflammation. Fundus fluorescein angiography showed hypofluorescence during the arterial phase and progressive hyperfluorescence during the subsequent phase. Pin-point discrete leakages were seen from the multiple lesions in the late phase along with disc leakage [Figure 1]b
Figure 1: (a) Fundus photograph of the right eye showing serous retinal detachment with underlying choroidal, diffuse, yellowish-cream colored nfiltrates. (b) Composite image of the fluorescein angiogram in the late phase demonstrating hyperfluorescence along with pin-point discrete leakages from the choroidal masses

Click here to view

A clinical diagnosis of choroidal metastasis was made, and a detailed systemic history was elicited in order to localize a primary tumor. Her systemic history was significant: She gave a history of frequent headaches and a six month history of menorrhagia. A metastatic screening in the form of ultrasound of the abdomen, liver function tests, serum lactate dehydrogenase, and a gynecological consult were requested. Gynecological examination revealed an ulcerative mass arising from the cervix measuring approximately 4 cm × 4 cm × 3.5 cm, which bled on touch. A biopsy of the mass was performed which confirmed the diagnosis of poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma of the cervix with perivascular and perineural invasion. High resolution computed tomography (CT) scans of the chest showed multiple pleuroparenchymal metastatic nodules [Figure 2]a and [Figure 2]b. Positron emission tomography CT–(PET-CT) scan was performed which showed a bulky uterine cervix with increased metabolic activity. Multiple, hypermetabolic enhancing right supraclavicular, retropectoral, and mediastinal lymph nodes were noted. Multiple, hypermetabolic pleuroparenchymal lung nodules were also seen [Figure 2]c. Hypermetabolic erosive lesions were seen involving the left parietal skull and a hypermetabolic lytic lesion seen in the subtrochanteric shaft of the left femur. A diagnosis of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Stage IVb (American Joint Committee on Cancer staging–T3a N1 M1) adenocarcinoma of the cervix was made. In view of disseminated metastasis, she was advised for palliative chemotherapy and whole body radiation. She, however, declined treatment and succumbed to respiratory complications 2 months after diagnosis.
Figure 2: Axial (a) and coronal (b) slices of high-resolution computed tomography images of the chest demonstrate multiple bilateral randomly distributed metastatic nodules of varying sizes. (c) A positron emission tomography image showing hyper metabolic spots in the lungs, right supraclavicular lymph node and brain suggesting disseminated metastases

Click here to view

  Discussion Top

A database search was performed on PubMed for ophthalmic metastasis of cervical cancer using the relevant search phrases. All relevant English language articles were extracted, with reference lists of the articles reviewed for applicable articles. In cases of non-English language articles, if the abstract was translated into English, the article was referenced as (abstract only) in the citation.

Bloch and Gartner, who had described metastasis to the eye and orbit from various primary tumors, reported a single case of metastatic cervical cancer. However, the details of the case, the precise site of the lesion, laterality, histopathological subtype, treatment, and outcome were not specified.[15] Similarly, Ferry and Font, too in their series of 227 cases of ophthalmic metastasis, have reported that 4 cases of orbital metastasis in which the primary tumor was not identified could be cervical in origin.[16]

In literature, 12 cases of documented cervical cancer metastasizing to the eye have been reported; our case being the 13th.[1],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14] The most common site for eye metastases was the orbit–it was seen in 53.84% (7/13) cases. This was closely followed by the choroid in 30.76% (4/13) cases; although 1 case had bilateral choroidal involvement.[9] It is unusual that the orbit was involved in more cases as compared to the choroid. The choroid represents a high flow vasculature system–where metastatic cells that have been disseminated from tumors elsewhere in the body can find a suitable and receptive environment for growth.[16],[17] Therefore, choroidal metastasis is the most common intraocular tumour found among adults.[17] In addition, uveal metastases outnumber orbital metastases by a ratio of 8 to 1.[18] Iris and subconjunctival metastases from cervical primary were reported in 1 case each (7.69%).[5],[7]

The outcome of metastatic cervical cancer is regarded to be poor.[19] The mean survival period after diagnosis of ocular and/or adnexal metastases from cervical cancer in those cases where data was available, was 3.28 months (range: 2–4 months; n = 7) indicating that metastasis to the eye usually foreshadow an ominous clinical course. This is lesser than 9–10 months that is, the reported average survival after diagnosis with uveal metastasis and 12–18 months in orbital metastasis in general.[18],[20] Among all documented cases of cervical metastases to the eye, lungs were the most common site of concurrent metastatic lesion with 46.15% (6/13) of the cases; followed by skeletal lesions which was seen in 30.76% (4/13) cases. Only in 3 cases, it was noted that ocular metastasis was the onlymetastatic lesion present. However, in these cases; details of the standard metastatic screening protocols and findings of PET-CT have not been mentioned. Therefore, it is possible that other metastatic sites could have been missed. In 4 cases including ours, the metastases caused visual complaints that prompted them to seek medical advice; and eventually led to the diagnosis of cervical cancer. It must be noted that these numbers are too few to indicate a predictable pattern. In a review of patients dying from malignancy, 8% displayed choroidal metastases on autopsy.[15] Given the high number of cervical cancer cases, it is entirely plausible that choroidal metastases due to cervical malignancies are under-reported. The details of all available cases of documented ocular and adnexal metastasis arising from cervical primary malignancy are summarized in [Table 1].
Table 1: The salient findings of available reports of cervical cancer with ocular and adnexal metastases

Click here to view

Treatment in cases of metastatic cervical cancer is largely palliative. Most systemic chemotherapy regimes are cisplatin-based.[19] Local radiation to sites harboring metastasis helps to alleviate pain due to skeletal metastases. Palliative radiotherapy is administered as larger fractions over shorter periods of time than conventional radical courses of treatment to maximize benefit.[21]

  Summary Top

Ocular metastasis occurs late in the natural history of cervical cancer and often heralds a rapid downhill course. Our case possibly represents one end of the spectrum: That of extremely delayed presentation with disseminated metastasis. Although rare, choroidal metastasis may be the presenting feature of primary cervical malignancy. Furthermore, cervical malignancy must be ruled out in women who present with orbital or choroidal metastases arising from an unknown primary.[12] Literature shows that nearly a quarter of patients with orbital metastases develop ocular symptoms before the diagnosis of primary neoplasm.[22] Therefore a high degree of suspicion and diagnostic skills are needed on the part of ophthalmologist while dealing with an ocular or adnexal metastasis of unknown primary as expedited diagnosis can have a profound impact on the outcome for the patient.[8]


The authors acknowledge the contributions of Sumedh S. Hoskote, MD, Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA, Veena R. Iyer, MD, Department of Radiodiagnosis, University of Minnesota, MN, USA and Aniruddha Agarwal, MD, Stanley M. Truhlsen Eye Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center, NE, USA.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Gosslee JM, Misra RP, Langford MP, Vekovius B, Byrd WA, Flynn SB. Orbital metastasis of keratinizing squamous cell cervical carcinoma with giant cells. A case report. Int Ophthalmol 2009;29:39-44.  Back to cited text no. 1
Kaarthigeyan K. Cervical cancer in India and HPV vaccination. Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol 2012;33:7-12.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Setoodeh R, Hakam A, Shan Y. Cerebral metastasis of cervical cancer, report of two cases and review of the literature. Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2012;5:710-4.  Back to cited text no. 3
Hertzanu Y, Vellet AD, Fain BA, Ferreira MM, Ninin DT. Eye metastases in carcinoma of the cervix. A case report. S Afr Med J 1987;71:53-4.  Back to cited text no. 4
Kurosawa A, Sawaguchi S. Iris metastasis from squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix. Case report. Arch Ophthalmol 1987;105:618.  Back to cited text no. 5
Wiegel T, Kleineidam M, Schilling A. Choroid metastasis in a patient with adenocarcinoma of the cervix. A case report. Strahlenther Onkol 1995;171:539-42.  Back to cited text no. 6
Ortiz JM, Esterman B, Paulson J. Uterine cervical carcinoma metastasis to subconjunctival tissue. Arch Ophthalmol 1995;113:1362-3.  Back to cited text no. 7
Lee HM, Choo CT, Poh WT. Orbital metastasis from carcinoma of the cervix. Br J Ophthalmol 1997;81:330-1.  Back to cited text no. 8
Inoue K, Numaga J, Kaji Y, Toda J, Kato S, Sakurai M, et al. Bilateral choroidal metastases secondary to uterocervical carcinoma of the squamous cell type. Am J Ophthalmol 2000;130:682-4.  Back to cited text no. 9
McCulley TJ, Yip CC, Bullock JD, Warwar RE, Hood DL. Cervical carcinoma metastatic to the orbit. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2002;18:385-7.  Back to cited text no. 10
Park TW, Theuerkauf I, Morakkabati N. Orbital metastases of unknown origin: HPV typing identifies the primary tumor. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2005;84:702-4.  Back to cited text no. 11
Singh K, Kumar V, Bhasker S, Mohanti BK. Carcinoma cervix with metastasis to the orbit: A case report and review of the literature. J Cancer Res Ther 2007;7:357-8.  Back to cited text no. 12
Sareen P, Blandon RE, Binder NR, Wallace DL. Metastasis of squamous cell cervical carcinoma to the orbit of the eye. Gynecol Oncol Case Rep 2012;2:83-6.  Back to cited text no. 13
Shibeeb O, Athanasiov P, Simon S, Gilhotra J. Cervical carcinoma manifesting as a progressive bilateral visual loss. Case Rep Ophthalmol Med 2014;2014:757261.  Back to cited text no. 14
Bloch RS, Gartner S. The incidence of ocular metastatic carcinoma. Arch Ophthalmol 1971;85:673-5.  Back to cited text no. 15
Ferry AP, Font RL. Carcinoma metastatic to the eye and orbit II. A clinicopathological study of 26 patients with carcinoma metastatic to the anterior segment of the eye. Arch Ophthalmol 1975;93:472-82.  Back to cited text no. 16
Arepalli S, Kaliki S, Shields CL. Choroidal metastases: Origin, features, and therapy. Indian J Ophthalmol 2015;63:122-7.  Back to cited text no. 17
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Char DH, Miller T, Kroll S. Orbital metastases: Diagnosis and course. Br J Ophthalmol 1997;81:386-90.  Back to cited text no. 18
Friedlander M, Grogan M; U.S. Preventative Services Task Force. Guidelines for the treatment of recurrent and metastatic cervical cancer. Oncologist 2002;7:342-7.  Back to cited text no. 19
Shields CL, Shields JA, Gross NE, Schwartz GP, Lally SE. Survey of 520 eyes with uveal metastases. Ophthalmology 1997;104:1265-76.  Back to cited text no. 20
Borgelt B, Gelber R, Larson M, Hendrickson F, Griffin T, Roth R. Ultra-rapid high dose irradiation schedules for the palliation of brain metastases: Final results of the first two studies by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 1981;7:1633-8.  Back to cited text no. 21
Shields CL, Shields JA. Metastatic tumors to the orbit. Int Ophthalmol Clin 1993;33:189-202.  Back to cited text no. 22


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

  [Table 1]

This article has been cited by
1 Ocular metastasis of primary gynecological malignancies, a rare but not insignificant entity: A systematic review
DE Vlachos, N Thomakos, D Haidopoulos, V Pergialiotis, V Theodoulidis, A Protopapas, A Rodolakis
Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice. 2022; 25(6): 739
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Orbital metastasis of squamous cell cervical cancer: A case report and review of literature
Ana Mendia, Chintan P. Shah, Joseph R. Grajo, Anthony Yachnis, Anamaria Yeung, Joel Cardenas-Goicoechea, Martina Murphy
Gynecologic Oncology Reports. 2021; 35: 100689
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Choroid Metastasis in a Patient with Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Uterine Cervix: A Case Report
Ángel García Vásquez, Gabriela Thomassiny Bautista, María José Sardá Ramirez, Janet Amelia Moheno Lozano, Oscar Solorzano Enriquez, Erika De la Rosa Jaime
Case Reports in Ophthalmology. 2020; 11(3): 630
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors in the Treatment of Choroidal Metastases from Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: A Case Report and Review of Literature
Akshay Gopinathan Nair, Haresh T. Asnani, Vinod C. Mehta, Siddharth V. Mehta, Rima S. Pathak, Amit H. Palkar, Indumati Gopinathan
Ocular Oncology and Pathology. 2017; 3(1): 28
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
Case Report
Article Figures
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded219    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 4    

Recommend this journal