Tumor-Associated Cataract

  • Carlos A. Medina Mendez
  • Mary E. Aronow
  • Guillermo Amescua
  • Arun D. Singh


Cataracts are opaque areas in the lens, which should be entirely clear. Cataracts can be secondary to age as well as mechanical, chemical, or radiation trauma. They are the single largest cause of blindness in the world accounting for over 47% of blindness worldwide. Intraocular tumors are a rare but important cause of cataract, and the presence of intraocular tumor as an underlying cause should be excluded when the cataract is unilateral, total, sectoral, or posterior subcapsular without an obvious cause such as trauma, inflammation, or steroid use. The cataract may be caused by the tumor itself or by previous interventions to diagnose (biopsy) or treat (steroids, excision, radiation, chemotherapy) the intraocular tumor. In the case of a poor view on funduscopy, the clinician must rely on thorough examination techniques and ancillary tests such as ultrasonography and ultrasound biomicroscopy to determine the presence and extent of an intraocular tumor. It is important to remember that the management of patients with intraocular tumors is complex, sometimes controversial, and in some instances, the tumor may have been treated with unfamiliar techniques. In this chapter we will discuss the various treatment-related causes of cataract, specific tumor entities associated with cataract, and special considerations for the management of cataract in patients with intraocular tumors.


Cataract Tumor Radiation Melanoma Retinoblastoma Uvea Medulloepithelioma 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos A. Medina Mendez
    • 1
  • Mary E. Aronow
    • 2
  • Guillermo Amescua
    • 3
  • Arun D. Singh
    • 4
  1. 1.Retinal ConsultantsSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Retina Service and Ocular OncologyMassachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Cornea and External DiseasesBascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of MiamiMiamiUSA
  4. 4.Department of Ophthalmic OncologyCole Eye Institute, Cleveland ClinicClevelandUSA

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