Sympathetic ophthalmia complicating helium ion irradiation of a choroidal melanoma

Arch Ophthalmol. 1987 Nov;105(11):1561-4. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1987.01060110107042.


Sympathetic ophthalmia was diagnosed 49 months after helium ion irradiation of a left choroidal melanoma. The patient maintained good vision until 18 months after therapy, when she developed neovascular glaucoma. This complication required multiple therapeutic procedures, including topical anti-inflammatory and antiglaucomatous drops, 360 degrees peripheral panretinal cryoblation, and a single 180 degrees application of inferior cyclocryotherapy over a 2 1/2-year period. Four weeks after the cyclocryotherapy, inflammation was noted in both eyes, and, one month later, enucleation of the left sympathogenic eye was performed. Serial histopathologic sections showed a full-thickness, fibrovascular, scleral scar and tantalum marker ring suture without uveal incarceration. Penetrating surgical trauma, a uveal melanoma, and multiple nonpenetrating treatments resulted in the development of sympathetic ophthalmia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Choroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Choroid Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Female
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Helium / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy*
  • Ophthalmia, Sympathetic / etiology*
  • Ophthalmia, Sympathetic / pathology
  • Radiation Injuries / complications*


  • Helium