Retin Cases Brief Rep. 2019 Summer;13(3):202-206. doi: 10.1097/ICB.0000000000000595.


Purpose: Birt-Hogg-Dubé Syndrome (BHDS) is a rare autosomal dominant condition that can predispose patients to numerous cutaneous fibrofolliculomas and other cutaneous lesions, pulmonary cysts with spontaneous pneumothorax, and multifocal renal tumors and cancer. The genetic mutations responsible for BHDS are related to tumor suppression and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. Previous reports of the ocular findings in BHDS include eyelid fibrofolliculomas, "flecked chorioretinopathy," and one report of choroidal melanoma. We report a patient with BHDS who presented with choroidal melanoma, sector melanocytosis, and retinal pigment epithelial microdetachments.

Methods: Observational case report.

Results: A 38-year-old man with BHDS manifesting with facial fibrofolliculomas/tricodiscomas and pulmonary cysts with previous pneumothorax of both lungs was noted to have a large choroidal nevus, managed with observation elsewhere. On referral 1 year later, photopsia and visual field defect were noted, and the patient was discovered to have subtle patchy sector ocular melanocytosis of the iris and choroid with choroidal melanoma and dependent subretinal fluid. The melanoma measured 14 mm in basal dimension and 6.8 mm in thickness. In addition, pinpoint retinal pigment epithelial microdetachments were observed in both eyes at the equator and confirmed on optical coherence tomography. Custom-fit plaque radiotherapy was provided for tumor control.

Conclusion: The BHDS can be associated with tumors of the skin and kidney. In this case, we noted ocular melanocytosis, malignant choroidal melanoma, and bilateral pinpoint retinal pigment epithelial detachments.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birt-Hogg-Dube Syndrome / pathology*
  • Choroid Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanocytes / pathology*
  • Retinal Detachment / pathology*
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium / pathology