Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of saudijophtGuide for AuthorsAbout this journalExplore this journalSaudi Journal of Ophthalmology
Saudi J Ophthalmol. 2017 Oct-Dec; 31(4): 280–281.
Published online 2017 September 23. doi:  10.1016/j.sjopt.2017.09.002
PMCID: PMC5717503

Large symptomatic retinal astrocytic hamartoma in a child with tuberous sclerosis complex

A 10-year-old boy presented with painless decrease in vision in his right eye since three months. Visual acuity was hand motions close to face in the right eye. Slit lamp examination showed anterior chamber flare and posterior synechiae (Fig.1a). The lens was clear and there was no neovascularisation of the iris. Intraocular pressure (IOP) was 14 mmHg by applanation tonometry. Fundus examination revealed a large yellowish-white elevated mass lesion located posteriorly, with surface irregularity and hemorrhages (Fig.1b). There were no visible calcifications or retinal detachment. The left eye was unremarkable with an unaided visual acuity of 20/20. Systemic examination showed several flat, depigmented skin lesions measuring >5 mm; these hypopigmented macules were noted on the right cheek (Fig.1c) and lower back (Fig.1d). The parents revealed that the child was of average intelligence. There was no history of seizures. There was no relevant family history. Ultrasonography revealed a large mass in the peripapllary region occupying almost half of the vitreous cavity with variable internal reflectivity. It was 12.2 mm high and measured 9.2 mm at its base. There were no areas of calcification (Fig.1e). A computed tomography (CT) scan showed nodular soft tissue attenuation at the right optic nerve head without any calcification (Fig.1f). There was no extrascleral extension on CT or ultrasound.

Fig. 1
(a) Slit lamp photograph of the child's right eye showing anterior chamber flare and posterior synechiae. (b) Fundus photograph of the right eye showing a large yellowish-white elevated mass with an irregular surface and hemorrhages. (c) Hypopigmented ...

The child was referred to an internist for evaluation. A CT scan of the head revealed multiple nodulo-calcific lesions in the subependymal regions of bilateral lateral ventricles (Fig.1g). A clinical diagnosis of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) with a retinal astrocytic hamartoma (RAH) in the right eye was made. The child’s parents refused enucleation of the right eye. The clinical picture remained unchanged till one year of follow up.


RAH associated with TSC are classically benign, stationary lesions with little or no tendency to grow, that are often picked up on routine examination.1, 2 Very rarely, they can show progressive enlargement accompanied by exudative retinal detachment and neovascular glaucoma. This aggressive behaviour resulting in a painful blind eye may necessitate enucleation.3, 4

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that there is no conflict of interest.


Peer review under responsibility of Saudi Ophthalmological Society, King Saud University.


1. Northrup H., Krueger D.A., International Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Consensus Group Tuberous sclerosis complex diagnostic criteria update: recommendations of the 2012 International Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Consensus Conference. Pediatr Neurol. 2013;(49):243–254. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
2. Shields J.A., Shields C.L. Glial tumors of the retina. The 2009 King Khaled Memorial Lecture. Saudi J Ophthalmol. 2009;23:197–201. [PubMed]
3. Shields J.A., Eagle R.C., Jr, Shields C.L., Marr B.P. Aggressive retinal astrocytomas in 4 patients with tuberous scleorsis complex. Arch Ophthalmol. 2005;123:856–863. [PubMed]
4. Mennel S., Meyer C.H., Peter S., Schmidt J.C., Kroll P. Current treatment modalities for exudative retinal hamartomas secondary to tuberous sclerosis: review of the literature. Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2007;85:127–132. [PubMed]

Articles from Saudi Journal of Ophthalmology are provided here courtesy of Elsevier