Presenting signs of retinoblastoma

J Pediatr. 1998 Mar;132(3 Pt 1):505-8. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(98)70028-9.


A retrospective chart review was performed on the charts of 1265 patients with retinoblastoma who were on file at New York Hospital and whose conditions had been diagnosed between the years 1960 and 1990. The mean follow-up was 90 months, ranging from 0 to 409 months. Thirty-two distinct presenting signs of retinoblastoma were identified, the most common of which were leukocoria (56.2%), strabismus (23.6%), poor vision (7.7%), and family history (6.8%). No correlation was found between any of the presenting signs and laterality, sex, race, or survival. Leukocoria correlated to Reese-Ellsworth Group Va or Vb, whereas strabismus was invariably associated with either macular tumors or macular retinal detachments. Eighty-three (96.5%) patients presenting with a family history did so before the age of 24 months. The presenting sign leading to a diagnosis of retinoblastoma was correlated with degree of advancement and tumor location. Leukocoria and strabismus are the most common presenting signs, with leukocoria correlated to more advanced disease and strabismus always associated with macular involvement. Vitreous hemorrhage (1 case, 0.1%), microphthalmos (4 cases, 0.3%), and orbital cellulitis (3 cases, 0.2%) are extremely rare presenting findings in retinoblastoma.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Retinal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Retinal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Retinal Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Retinoblastoma / diagnosis*
  • Retinoblastoma / genetics
  • Retinoblastoma / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies