JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Clear cell renal cell carcinoma associated with bilateral atypical acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy.

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CCRCC) is a malignant neoplasm frequently associated with an increase in circulating immune complexes (CIC). Acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy (APMPPE) is a disease involving the chorioretinal structures of the eye, and it is commonly observed in association with several immunogenic disorders. We report here the clinical association between humoral immunologic modifications during tumoral diseases (long-standing CIC increase) and chorioretinal changes resembling atypical APMPPE.

CASE REPORT: A 52-year-old white male affected by metastatic CCRCC is described. Histopathologic review of his surgically removed organs (kidney and lung), periodical laboratory immunologic tests and ophthalmologic examinations, including fluorescein and indocyanine green angiographies, were performed.

RESULTS: The patient underwent total left nephrectomy (May 1997) and total left pneumonectomy (March 2001) for the presence of stage III CCRCC and CCRCC lung metastasis, respectively. On both occasions, postoperative immunotherapy was started. From June 1997 to February 2003, laboratory analyses demonstrated the presence of marked CIC peaks. During the follow-up period, an atypical APMPPE pattern, complicated by asynchronous choroidal neovascularization, occurred in both eyes.

CONCLUSIONS: Long-standing tumorous disease, through a pathogenic mechanism triggered by CIC spreading, can be responsible, over time, for a progressive choroidal occlusive microangiopathy (atypical APMPPE pattern), associated with a high risk of poor visual outcome. Therefore, bilateral APMPPE could be related to a systemic disease able to increase CIC levels.

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