Intraocular Metastases--A Review

Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila). 2017 Mar-Apr;6(2):208-214. doi: 10.22608/APO.201712.


Intraocular metastases almost invariably arise in the uveal tract, mostly in the posterior choroid. They are the most common type of intraocular malignancy and often the first sign of tumor dissemination. Choroidal metastases generally appear as a creamy white or pale yellow mass associated with subretinal fluid and may be multifocal and bilateral. The most common primary sites are breast and lung. Diagnosis is aided by a variety of tests, particularly ultrasonography and optical coherence tomography. Intraocular biopsy is useful in patients with clinical suspicion of uveal metastasis but no evidence of primary malignancy despite systemic evaluation. If systemic treatment fails to control the ocular tumor, a good response is usually achieved with local therapies such as external beam radiation therapy, photodynamic therapy, and transpupillary thermotherapy. The life expectancy of patients with choroidal metastases is generally poor but has been improving thanks to the therapeutic advances taking place.

Keywords: choroidal metastases; intraocular metastases; uveal metastases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Management*
  • Eye Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Eye Neoplasms* / secondary
  • Eye Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Staging*
  • Prognosis