Metastasis to the eye and orbit from renal cell carcinoma--a report of three cases and review of literature

Surv Ophthalmol. Mar-Apr 2007;52(2):213-23. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2006.12.004.


We report three cases of renal cell carcinoma metastatic to the eye and orbit and review the relevant literature. The case reports of a 67-year-old man, a 58-year-old man, and a 23-year-old woman with metastatic renal cell carcinoma are described. The iris mass occurred in a 67-year-old man, a known case of renal cell carcinoma. Whereas the orbital metastasis in the 58-year-old man was the initial presenting sign in a hitherto undiagnosed patient, the orbital metastasis in the 23-year-old female patient was detected following nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma. Renal cell carcinoma metastasizing to the eye and orbit are very rare, with only 68 cases reported previously. In patients presenting with atypical orbital or ocular masses, the possibility of renal cell carcinoma metastasis should be considered, especially if there is a history of previous renal disorder. Incisional biopsy with histopathological evaluation may be an important means to diagnose this condition and facilitate appropriate therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / secondary*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iris Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Iris Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orbital Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Orbital Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed