Medulloepithelioma of the ciliary body and optic nerve: clinicopathologic, CT, and MR imaging features

Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2005 Feb;15(1):69-83. doi: 10.1016/j.nic.2005.02.008.


The definitive diagnosis of medulloepitheliomas of the ciliary body and optic nerve is made by histopathologic examination. Familiarity with rare tumors aids clinicians in accurately diagnosing this rare neoplasm. CT and MR imaging findings can be helpful, especially if the mass is confined in an area of the ciliary body without involvement of the retina. The characteristic findings of cystic changes and possible calcification are suggestive of medulloepithelioma rather than melanoma. The more common and ominous retinoblastoma shares some radiologic features with medulloepithelioma, however, and is thus often a consideration. Clinical diagnosis of medulloepitheliomas of the optic nerve and central nervous system (CNS) is more challenging. The diagnosis is often made by histopathologic examination. Lastly, coexisting CNS tumors and anomalies have been reported in association with intraocular medulloepitheliomas and should be recognized.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ciliary Body*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neuroectodermal Tumors, Primitive / diagnosis*
  • Optic Nerve Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Uveal Neoplasms / diagnosis*