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Background: To assess the long-term visual outcomes in patients with posteriorly located choroidal melanoma treated with ruthenium plaque brachytherapy between January 2013 and December 2015. Methods: A retrospective review was conducted on consecutive patients treated with ruthenium plaque brachytherapy for post-equatorial choroidal melanoma with available Snellen visual acuity before and after treatment, and the development and treatment of radiation complications. Results: There were 219 patients with posterior choroidal melanoma treated with ruthenium plaque brachytherapy. Median follow up was 56.5 months, range 12–81 months. Final visual acuity was ≥6/12 in 97 (44.3%) patients, 6/12 to 6/60 in 57 (26.0%), <6/60 in 55 (25.1%) and 10 (4.6%) eyes were enucleated. Radiation maculopathy was the most common radiation complication encountered, occurring in 53 (24.2%) patients. Of these, final visual acuity was 6/12 in 10 patients (18.9%), 6/12 to 6/60 in 26 (49.1%), <6/60 in 16 (30.2%) and 1 eye (1.9%) was enucleated. Twenty-five (47%) with radiation maculopathy were treated with intravitreal anti-angiogenic therapy, 27 (51%) were monitored and one (2%) was treated with scatter photocoagulation. Eyes treated with intravitreal anti-angiogenic therapy had better final vision than those observed or treated with retinal laser (chi-square, p = 0.04). On multivariate analysis, close proximity to the optic nerve and fovea, and large or notched plaque type was associated with final vision worse than 6/12. Conclusion: Most patients treated with ruthenium plaque brachytherapy for posterior choroidal melanoma retain 6/60 vision, with almost half retaining 6/12 vision at long term follow up.

Original publication




Journal article


Eye (Basingstoke)

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