The relationship between combined positron emission tomography/computed tomography and clinical and light microscopic findings in choroidal melanoma

Retina. 2008 May;28(5):763-9. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0b013e3181631937.


Background: To investigate the correlation between the clinical and light microscopic features of choroidal melanoma with combined PET/CT findings.

Methods: This is a retrospective interventional case series of 14 patients with choroidal melanoma referred to the vitreoretinal service at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. All underwent preoperative combined PET/CT scanning and enucleation. Standardized uptake values (SUV) were correlated with the clinical and light microscopic features of the choroidal melanomas.

Results: All 14 eyes showed uptake. The mean patient age was 62 years (SD 12.5 years). The mean tumor thickness was 9.3 mm (range 3-23 mm). Histopathology showed choroidal melanoma in all with the following cell types: 6 mixed cell type, 7 spindle cell type, and 1 epithelioid cell type. The average of the SUV means was 3.7 (range 1.7-12.8). The individual SUV means were correlated with lesion thickness (r = 0.85; P < 0.01) and largest tumor basal diameter (r = 0.65; P = 0.01). Melanomas with focal necrosis (P = 0.03) and of the mixed cell type (P < 0.01) appeared to have higher SUV means.

Conclusions: The majority of the choroidal melanomas had low to medium mean SUVs. Lesion size accounted for a significant portion of the variation, though nonspecific necrosis and cell type were also associated with higher SUV means.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Choroid Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Choroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Eye Enucleation
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Microscopy
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18