Indications for surgical resection of metastatic ocular melanoma. A case report and review of the literature

Int J Pancreatol. 1998 Aug;24(1):49-53. doi: 10.1007/BF02787531.


Conclusions: Ocular melanoma can metastasize to the gallbladder and porta hepatic nodes and mimic pancreatic carcinoma. If one suspects metastatic disease, a complete metastatic work-up must be done prior to surgery to prevent unnecessary surgery. If no distant disease is present or the patient is symptomatic, metastatic disease should be resected.

Purpose: To review the literature pertaining to the spread of ocular melanoma and to determine if distant disease should be resected.

Patients and methods: A 44-yr-old Egyptian male presented to an outside institution with mid-epigastric and right upper quadrant abdominal pain. His past medical history was significant for a left orbital enucleation for uveal melanoma in 1982. On physical examination, there was no supraclavicular adenopathy and no skin lesions were noted. There was a mass in the right upper quadrant. The total bilirubin was 4.8 mg/dL. A computed tomography showed a mass in the head of the pancreas and portal vein involvement could not be determined.

Results: The patient was taken to the operating room and a pancreatico-duodenectomy was performed for a cystic mass in the head of the pancreas. Final pathology revealed metastatic melanoma in the gallbladder and an enlarged, cystic lymph node growing into the head of the pancreas replaced with metastatic melanoma. The patient did well post-operatively and was discharged home on the eighth post-operative day.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cholelithiasis / diagnosis
  • Cholelithiasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Eye Neoplasms*
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnosis
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Melanoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Melanoma / secondary*
  • Melanoma / surgery*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed