Extramedullary Relapse of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia Presenting as a Large Serous Retinal Detachment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background/Aims: To describe the rare presentation of a large, unilateral, serous retinal detachment as an extramedullary manifestation of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) recurrence without bone marrow or central nervous system involvement after more than 1 year of follow-up. Methods: Case report. Results: A teenage patient with AML, previously treated with multiple courses of systemic chemotherapy, radiation, and bone marrow transplant, presented with acute vision loss. Ophthalmic workup revealed a large, unilateral, bullous, serous retinal detachment. Ultimately, he underwent subretinal fluid biopsy, which was found to be positive for leukemic blast cells. Cytologic markers matched his initial bone marrow biopsy, and therefore were diagnostic of extramedullary AML relapse. Conclusions: Leukemia can cause various ophthalmic manifestations. Autopsy studies suggest that choroidal infiltration is relatively common, but clinical progression to serous retinal detachment is quite uncommon. Furthermore, serous retinal detachment is generally shallow, posterior, and much more often reported in acute lymphocytic leukemia. The ophthalmologist plays a critical role in identifying leukemic ocular involvement. This case demonstrates the potential for ocular biopsy to secure the diagnosis of extramedullary relapse in order to initiate prompt treatment and systemic workup.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
JournalOcular Oncology and Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Chloroma
  • Granulocytic sarcoma
  • Leukemia
  • Leukemic choroidal infiltration
  • Retinal detachment


Dive into the research topics of 'Extramedullary Relapse of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia Presenting as a Large Serous Retinal Detachment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this