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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 369-375

Vitreoretinal lymphomas misdiagnosed as uveitis: Lessons learned from a case series

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Uveitis Service, Santa Maria Nuova Hospital-IRCCS, Reggio Emilia, Italy
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Santa Maria Nuova Hospital-IRCCS, Reggio Emilia, Italy
3 Laboratory of Immunology, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Luca Cimino
Department of Ophthalmology, Uveitis Service, Santa Maria Nuova Hospital-IRCCS,Viale Risorgimento, 80 42123 Reggio Emilia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.185600

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Purpose: To present challenging cases of vitreoretinal lymphoma (VRL) that was misdiagnosed as uveitis because of the apparent intraocular inflammation. At the light of the new classification of intraocular lymphomas, we detail the characteristics that masqueraded the tumors and the clinical aspects that guided us to the correct diagnosis. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the patients referred to our uveitis service between January 2006 and December 2014. Results: Seven patients referred with a presumptive diagnosis of idiopathic uveitis received a final diagnosis of VRL. The median time between the onset of symptoms and definitive diagnosis was 25 months for these complex cases. The median time from presentation at our clinic to final diagnosis was 1 month. The described clinical features including dense vitreous cells and subretinal infiltrates were characteristic and tend to be present in all these chronically ill patients. Vitreous samples were collected, and all demonstrated the pathognomonic tumor cells, the specific immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangements, and an interleukin (IL)-10 to IL-6 ratio >1. Conclusion: VRLs are severe diseases with a poor prognosis that may be misdiagnosed as idiopathic inflammatory conditions of the eye. Treatment with steroids may occult the tumors and delay the correct diagnosis. Appropriate evaluation may prompt to a timely vitreous sampling and therefore to a faster diagnosis in these peculiar cases where the correct diagnosis was delayed by several months.

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