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Melanoma-associated retinopathy versus abnormal retinal function due to interferon-alpha/Isotretinoin therapy in cutaneous malignant melanoma.

Author(s): Feigl B, Faschinger C, Soyer P

Affiliation(s): Department of Ophthalmology, University of Graz, Austria. beatrix.feigl@kfunigraz.ac.at

Publication date & source: 2000, Ophthalmologica., 214(4):271-6.

Publication type: Case Reports; Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

PURPOSE: To analyze whether an abnormal retinal function in patients with a cutaneous malignant melanoma was due to paraneoplastic retinopathy or due to isotretinoin or interferon-alpha. METHODS: We studied 15 patients with malignant melanoma in stage IIa and IIb who are all participants in a randomized, multicentered, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial comparing interferon-alpha/isotretinoin versus interferon-alpha/placebo performed by the Department of Dermatology, University of Graz. Our assessment included a full ophthalmic history and examination, electrophysiological testing (ERG, EOG), dark adaption, color vision and visual field testing. RESULTS: The most prevalent ocular symptom patients complained about was ocular dryness (8 patients). Electrophysiological as well as psychophysical testings showed no abnormalities in 12 patients. In 1 patient the therapy was stopped because of electrophysiological and psychophysiological pathology. This patient suffered from severe reduction of night vision and visual disturbances. Another patient had had night blindness since childhood which remained stable. CONCLUSIONS: We postulate that in 1 of 15 patients, visual complaints are caused with a high probability by melanoma-associated retinopathy although, in the literature, isotretinoin is described to show similar effects on retinal function. Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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