Purpose: To evaluate abnormal gadolinium enhancement of the anterior segment of eyes harboring retinoblastoma at magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and correlate this finding with clinical and histopathologic information.
Materials and methods: Three neuroradiologists examined 46 eyes with 34 retinoblastomas in 25 children on gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted orbital MR images obtained shortly after contrast material injection for evidence of abnormally high signal intensity in the anterior segment. Twenty-two of the 34 affected eyes were enucleated, and six of these 22 eyes were treated with preenucleation adjuvant therapy. Thus, correlation of the clinical, MR imaging, and histopathologic findings in 16 eyes was performed. Statistical analysis was performed with nonparametric methods (Fisher exact test). P <.05 indicated a statistically significant difference.
Results: Fourteen of the 34 affected eyes showed abnormal gadolinium enhancement of the anterior segment. Regarding the 16 eyes evaluated for statistical analysis, a significant correlation (P =.011) between abnormal gadolinium enhancement of the anterior segment and histopathologically documented optic nerve infiltration was noted. A trend toward an association between abnormal enhancement and elevated intraocular pressure (P =.215), tumor growth beyond the equator at MR imaging (P =.125), and histopathologically proved iris neoangiogenesis (P =.182) also was noted. Histopathologic evidence of optic nerve and/or choroid infiltration correlated significantly (P =.001; sensitivity, 100% [nine of nine eyes]; specificity, 86% [six of seven eyes]) with abnormal enhancement.
Conclusion: Abnormal gadolinium enhancement of the anterior segments of eyes harboring retinoblastoma seems to indicate more aggressive tumor behavior.