Author(s): Abramson DH, Beaverson K, Sangani P, Vora RA, Lee TC,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To correlate 3 common presenting signs of retinoblastoma with patient and ocular survival and to assess the efficacy of current pediatric screening practices for retinoblastoma. METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted of 1831 retinoblastoma patients from our center (1914-June 2000). Patient survival (excluding deaths from other primary neoplasms) and ocular survival (presenting eyes) rates were calculated and analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method. RESULTS: Leukocoria correlated with excellent patient survival (>86\%, 5 years) but poor ocular survival in unilateral (4\%, 5 years) and bilateral patients (29\%, 5 years). A total of 308 (19\%) of 1654 patients presented with strabismus: patient survival was excellent (90\%, 5 years), and ocular survival was poor (17\%, 5 years) yet better than leukocoria. Patients who had a family history of retinoblastoma and were clinically screened for retinal tumors from birth were diagnosed younger (8 months of age) and earlier (Reese Ellsworth group 1 = 26 [58\%] of 45) and had better ocular survival than nonscreened patients with a family history. More patients were initially detected by family/friends (1315 [80\%] of 1632) than pediatricians (123 [8\%] of 1632) or ophthalmologists (156 [10\%] of 1632). CONCLUSION: Most US children whose retinoblastoma is diagnosed initially present with leukocoria detected by a parent, despite routine pediatric screening for leukocoria via the red reflex test. Initial disease detection at the point of leukocoria or strabismus correlated with high patient survival rates and poor ocular survival rates for the presenting eye. Saving eyes and vision requires disease recognition before leukocoria, as demonstrated by the better ocular salvage rate among patients who had a positive family history and received clinical surveillance via early, routine dilated funduscopic examinations by an ophthalmologist.
This article was published in Pediatrics
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology