Cancer-associated retinopathy (CAR) is a paraneoplastic syndrome that can result in a loss of vision. It is caused by the development of an autoantibody that targets an antigen on the human retina.


Implicated tumors:

(1) small cell cancer of the lung

(2) cervical carcinoma

(3) malignant melanoma

(4) endometrial carcinoma

(5) breast cancer

(6) prostate cancer


NOTE: Sieving separates cutaneous melanoma-associated retinopathy as a separate entity.


Clinical Findings:

(1) subacute, painless bilateral loss of vision, which may precede the diagnosis of cancer by several months

(2) photosensitivity

(3) night blindness

(4) impaired color vision

(5) peripheral and ring scotomata


Laboratory Findings:

(1) antibodies to recoverin (a photoreceptor protein)

(2) The findings in the CSF is usually normal.

(3) electroretinography is abnormal

(4) visual evoked responses are normal


Additional Features:

(1) The tumor does not direct involve the eye or visual pathways.


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