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.