Objective: To evaluate choroidal vascular alterations after transpupillary thermotherapy used as the sole treatment for choroidal melanoma. Design: Prospective noncomparative interventional case series. Participants: Forty-five eyes of 45 patients affected by malignant choroidal melanoma treated with transpupillary thermotherapy alone with more than 1 year of follow-up. Intervention: Transpupillary thermotherapy was performed through a panfunduscopic contact lens using an 810-nm diode laser. Main Outcome Measures: Dynamic/static fluorescein and indocyanine green angiography were performed at scheduled intervals (24 hours, at 3-month intervals during the first year, and every 6 months thereafter) after transpupillary thermotherapy. Visual acuity, clinical evaluation, fundus photographs, and ultrasonographic examination were also performed. Results: The mean follow-up was 30.5 months (range, 12-54 months). Changes in the choroidal circulation were always confined within the treatment margins (except in one case) and characterized by occlusion of choriocapillaris (100%), patent medium and/or large choroidal vessels (76%), retinochoroidal anastomosis (11%), and progressive choroidal vascular remodeling (42%). Forty-one cases (91%) showed persistent clinical regression, and four cases (9%) recurred; recurrent cases showed retinochoroidal anastomosis. Conclusions: Transpupillary thermotherapy is suggested as a new single therapeutic modality in the treatment of selected choroidal melanomas, but more precise eligibility criteria and longer follow-up are mandatory. Patent choroidal circulation, choroidal vascular remodeling, and anastomosis after transpupillary thermotherapy might be helpful to detect recurrent tumors.
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