Differential diagnosis of leukocoria and strabismus, first presenting signs of retinoblastoma

Clin Ophthalmol. 2007 Dec;1(4):431-9.


Leukocoria in infants is always a danger signal as retinoblastoma, a malignant retinal tumor, is responsible for half of the cases in this age group. More common signs should also be considered suspicious until proved otherwise, such as strabismus, the second most frequent sign of retinoblastoma. Less frequent manifestations are inflammatory conditions resistant to treatment, hypopyon, orbital cellulitis, hyphema or heterochromia. Other causal pathologies, including persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV), Coats' disease, ocular toxocariasis or retinopathy of prematurity, may also manifest the same warning signs and require specialized differential diagnosis. Members of the immediate family circle are most likely to notice the first signs, the general practitioner, pediatrician or general ophthalmologist the first to be consulted. On their attitude will depend the final outcome of this vision and life-threatening disease. Early diagnosis is vital.

Keywords: Coats’ disease; leukocoria; persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV); retinoblastoma; strabismus.