Transpupillary thermotherapy (TTT) by infrared irradiation of choroidal melanoma

Doc Ophthalmol. 1992;82(3):185-91. doi: 10.1007/BF00160764.


We studied the destructive effect of hyperthermia at sub-photocoagulation level of 45-60 degrees C on melanomas. Optimal conditions for spreading of heat into tissue are a wavelength of 700-900 nm, a temperature of 45-60 degrees C, an exposure time of 1 minute or more, and a beam diameter of several millimeters. In hamsters with subcutaneous melanomas we obtained a tumour necrosis of 6 mm depth at 60 degrees C and one minute exposure time. We performed transpupillary thermotherapy (TTT) with a diode laser at 810 nm in patients with choroidal melanomas prior to enucleation. Treatment is based on the fortunate situation that irradiation at this wavelength combines optimal tissue penetration with a low absorption by clear ocular media of 5% or less. In 3 TTT-treated eyes histopathology showed a depth of necrosis of 0.9, 3.4, and 3.9 mm. TTT may become a new useful treatment modality for choroidal melanoma but its ultimate value has yet to be assessed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Choroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Choroid Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Cricetinae
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / methods*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / therapy*
  • Mesocricetus