Von Hippel-Lindau Disease and the Eye


Retinal hemangioblastoma (also referred to as retinal capillary hemangioma) is a benign lesion originating from the endothelial and glial components of the neurosensory retina and optic nerve head. Historically known as a manifestation of the von Hippel- Lindau (VHL) disease, it can be seen as an isolated finding or in association with some rare ocular conditions. In addition to characteristic ophthalmoscopic features, results of numerous ancillary tests including angiography, ultrasound, optical coherence tomography, and genetic tests may support the diagnosis and differentiate it from similar conditions. Because of serious life-threatening complications of VHL disease, every ocular approach to retinal hemangioblastomas should be in relationship with additional multidisciplinary diagnostic and therapeutic efforts. In addition, any patient with actual or probable diagnosis of VHL disease should be screened for ocular involvement. Unfavorable visual loss can occur early, and ocular complications of VHL range from exudative retinopathy to tractional retinal detachment, neovascular glaucoma, and phthisis bulbi. Accordingly, various treatment methods have been tested with overall acceptable responses, including photocoagulation, cryotherapy, photodynamic therapy, plaque radiotherapy, vitrectomy, and more novel intra-vitreal injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factors and propranolol.


Diagnosis, Retinal Capillary Hemangioma, Treatment, Von Hippel-Lindau

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