Ruthenium-106 brachytherapy for peripheral retinal capillary hemangioma

Ophthalmology. 1998 Aug;105(8):1386-92. doi: 10.1016/S0161-6420(98)98017-4.


Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ruthenium-106 brachytherapy of large peripheral retinal capillary hemangiomas.

Design: A retrospective case series.

Participants: In 25 eyes of 24 patients, peripheral capillary retinal hemangiomas were treated.

Intervention: Brachytherapy using 106-ruthenium/106-rhodium plaques was performed.

Main outcome measures: Eyes were reviewed for hemangioma regression after brachytherapy, occurrence of retinal detachment, requirement of additional vitreoretinal surgery, final visual outcome, and final retinal status.

Results: Preoperative mean visual acuity of all eyes treated was 20/60, mean hemangioma diameter was 3.8 mm, corresponding to approximately 2 disc diameters. In 14 eyes, the retina was attached before surgery, 8 eyes showed an exudative detachment, and 3 eyes showed a traction detachment. Fifteen patients had definite von Hippel-Lindau syndrome. Twenty-three of 25 hemangiomas could be destroyed by single brachytherapy. In 16 eyes, a favorable outcome could be achieved. In nine eyes, outcome was unfavorable, characterized by a severe drop in visual acuity, a persisting exudative retinal detachment, or a recurrent traction detachment. In one eye requiring repeated brachytherapy, irradiation retinopathy occurred. Hemangiomas up to a size of approximately 5.0 mm without preoperative exudative detachment could be treated safely by brachytherapy, whereas a larger hemangioma size or a pre-existing exudative retinal detachment predisposed to an unfavorable outcome.

Conclusion: Solitary peripheral retinal hemangioma can be ablated effectively by ruthenium-106 brachytherapy. A favorable outcome can be expected if the hemangioma diameter is 5.0 mm or smaller and if there is no preoperative exudative retinal detachment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brachytherapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Hemangioma, Capillary / complications
  • Hemangioma, Capillary / pathology
  • Hemangioma, Capillary / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retinal Detachment / etiology
  • Retinal Neoplasms / complications
  • Retinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Retinal Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Retinal Vessels / radiation effects*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ruthenium Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*
  • Safety
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Fields


  • Ruthenium Radioisotopes