An unusual case report of primary vitreoretinal lymphoma

Shi Zhuan Tan, Laura R. Steeples, Ramandeep Chhabra, Nicholas P. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Primary vitreoretinal lymphoma (PVRL) is a rare ocular condition and its diagnosis remains a challenge. The clinical presentation is variable and it can masquerade as chronic intermediate or posterior uveitis. We report an unusual case of primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) presenting as migrating retinal lesions with unique shapes. The diagnostic challenges are described and the clinical features of intraocular lymphoma are reviewed.

Case presentation

A 53 year-old gentleman presented with unilateral visual disturbance and a wide area of retinal whitening with sharp borders temporal to the macula, corresponding to hyper-reflective subretinal changes on optical coherence tomography (OCT). The lesion resolved spontaneously after 6 weeks but was replaced by multiple punctate sub-retinal and sub-retinal pigment epithelial lesions. The second eye was involved 4 months later and there were new areas of hyper-reflective changes in both eyes, which migrated nasally within a week, with no evidence of scarring in the previous sites. The diagnosis of diffuse B-cell lymphoma was made on brain biopsy when the patient subsequently presented with acute confusion and magnetic resonance imaging brain scan showed a frontal lesion. Following systemic chemotherapy, the sub-retinal changes resolved with complete restoration of retinal architecture and improvement in visual acuity.


We report an unusual case of PVRL presenting as migrating retinal lesions with unique shapes. PVRL is a great imitator and a high index of clinical suspicion is required in unexplained ocular lesions to prevent a delay in diagnosis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number223
Number of pages6
JournalBMC ophthalmology
Issue numberSuppl 1
Early online date14 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Central nervous system lymphoma
  • Vitreoretinal lymphoma


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