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Ophthalmology for the Oncologist



Red Eye




  • Infective - with mucopurulent discharge
  • Chemotherapy eg.Cytarabine - without discharge
  • GVHD - ciccatricial changes

Subconjunctival hemorrhage

  • Thrombocytopenia - confluent redness without discharge


  • Dry eye related - punctate erosions with fluoroscein
  • HSV keratitis - dendritic ulcer with fluoroscein
  • Bacterial keratitis - white corneal infiltrate with ulcer


  • Leukaemic infiltration - steroid resistant hypopyon
  • Infective - steroid resistant hypopyon

Below is a case of uveitis presenting as a left sided hypopyon, which represented a recurrence of ALL in a 5 year old girl. Anterior chamber tap revealed leukaemic cells.

Clinical Tip :

Fluoroscein staining of the cornea can help to identify important corneal infections such as HSV denritic ulcers and bacterial keratitis

Clinical Tip :

Persistent uveitis can represent a recurrence of leukemia. Anterior chamber tap (biopsy of fluid) can allow for cytological diagnosis.


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