What are they?
The retina is a sensitive tissue of the eye containing a multitude of blood vessels. These vessels may grow and proliferate anomalously, be it from birth or acquired, leading to different vascular tumours of the retina.
There are four types:
- Capillary hemangioblastoma (which is occasionally associated with Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome).
- Cavernous hemangioma.
- Vasoproliferative proliferal tumours.
- Racemose hemangioma (congenital arteriovenous communications of the retina).
The symptoms depend on the type of tumour and its location. Hemangioblastoma of the retina and vasoproliferative tumours can exudate (lose liquid), leading to exudative retinal detachment or it may generate proliferations that exert pressure on the retina.
In these cases, the patient show signs of gradually worsening vision. Cavernous and racemose hemangioma are congenital and if they are located near the centre of the retina, they can lead to underdeveloped eyesight (amblyopia).
There are multiple treatment alternatives depending on the type of tumour, its location and the associated complications. The most used treatments are intravitreal drug injections that can reduce vascular permeability, laser, cryotherpay and vitreous surgery to treat tractional complications or retinal detachment, episcleral brachytherapy and external radiotherapy. In many cases, combined treatments are required. It is a complex pathology that should be treated in a centre of reference.
- Episcleral brachytherapy
- External radiotherapy
- Laser photocoagulation