Objective: To better define the effect of individual risk factors and combinations thereof on the growth of small choroidal melanocytic tumors.
Design: Retrospective analysis.
Setting: Clinical practice of ocular oncology.
Patients: The study included 1287 patients with small suspicious choroidal melanocytic tumors, measuring 3 mm or less in thickness, managed with observation.
Results: On multivariate analysis, the clinical risk factors predictive of growth of small choroidal melanocytic tumors include tumor thickness greater than 2.0 mm, posterior tumor margin touching the disc, visual symptoms, orange pigment, and subretinal fluid. Tumor growth was detected in 4% of those patients with no risk factors. Growth was detected in approximately 36% of patients with 1 risk factor, 45% of patients with 2 risk factors, 50% of patients with 3 risk factors, 51% of patients with 4 risk factors, and 56% of patients with all 5 risk factors. The combination of risk factors offering the greatest risk for growth was tumor thickness greater than 2.0 mm, tumor margin touching disc, and subretinal fluid that was associated with tumor growth in 63% of the affected patients. The relative risk for growth was 1.9 for 1 factor, 3.8 for 2 factors, 7.4 for 3 factors, 14.1 for 4 factors, and 27.1 for all 5 risk factors combined.
Conclusions: Five risk factors for growth of small choroidal melanocytic tumors have been identified. The combinations of various factors increase the risk for tumor growth from 4% if no factors are present to more than 50% if 3 or more risk factors are present. These factors may be important when counseling patients with small suspicious choroidal melanocytic tumors.