Bilateral diffuse uveal melanocytic proliferation associated with pancreatic carcinoma: a case report and literature review of this paraneoplastic syndrome

Surv Ophthalmol. 2003 Nov-Dec;48(6):613-25. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2003.08.005.


A case of a 64-year-old man with bilateral diffuse uveal melanocytic proliferation is presented. Bilateral diffuse uveal melanocytic proliferation is a rare paraneoplastic disorder where an underlying malignancy causes bilateral blindness by uveal thickening, serous retinal detachment, and rapid cataract formation. The ocular symptoms and signs herald the onset of this disease, which leads to death in most cases within about 1 year. Including the present case, our literature review reveals that a total of 28 cases of bilateral diffuse uveal melanocytic proliferation have now been reported. Several different malignancies have been associated with bilateral diffuse uveal melanocytic proliferation, but ovarian carcinoma in women and lung and suspected pancreatic carcinoma in men are the most common. Our case is the first to be proven at autopsy to be associated with pancreatic carcinoma. The underlying mechanism remains to be identified, as numerous endogenous factors may regulate the proliferation of uveal melanocytes. Consideration of this entity during clinical examination may lead to an earlier diagnosis of malignancy and an improved prognosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanocytes / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes / genetics
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes / pathology*
  • Ploidies
  • Uveal Diseases / pathology*


  • DNA, Neoplasm