Ocular manifestations of leukemia. A review

Ophthalmology. 1983 Aug;90(8):899-905. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(83)80013-x.


Ophthalmologists are familiar with the commonly observed leukemic retinopathy and orbital infiltration in patients with both acute and chronic leukemia. With the advent of more successful and aggressive chemotherapeutic regimens and more sophisticated radiation therapy, the eye is not uncommonly involved in patients who are in either meningeal or hematological relapse. In rare instances, ophthalmologic involvement may be the only manifestation of recurrence of the leukemic process. In addition, retinal microaneurysms, capillary closure, and neovascularization have been documented in individuals with chronic leukemia. This paper will review leukemic retinopathy and leukemic infiltration of the orbit. In addition, a discussion of the frequency and pathogenesis of the retinal vascular abnormalities will be presented. The clinical picture and treatment of optic nerve, choroid and iris infiltration will be discussed. Unusual ocular manifestations as the presenting sign of leukemia will also be detailed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aneurysm / complications
  • Child
  • Choroid
  • Eye Diseases / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iris Diseases / complications
  • Leukemia / complications*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / complications
  • Male
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / complications
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / complications
  • Orbital Neoplasms / complications*
  • Retinal Artery
  • Retinal Diseases / complications*
  • Retinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Uveal Diseases / complications