To evaluate discordant clinical and pathological diagnoses leading to pediatric enucleations over time.
All pathology reports of pediatric enucleation specimens (subjects aged 0 to 18 years) from 1960 to 2008 were reviewed. Specimens with discordant clinical and pathologic diagnoses were further analyzed. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections of enucleated eyes of any misdiagnosed cases were reevaluated.
Of 729 pediatric patients (746 eyes) who had enucleation from 1960 to 2008, 29 patients (4.0%) and 30 eyes (4.0%) had discordant clinical and pathological diagnoses. The misdiagnosis enucleation rate decreased with each respective decade studied, with the highest rate of 6.5% (18 of 276 eyes) in the 1960s and no misdiagnoses from 1990 to 2008. Of the 369 eyes enucleated for the clinical indication of malignancy, 22 eyes (6.0%) were misdiagnosed in that no evidence of malignancy was found on histopathological examination. Of the 377 eyes enucleated for benign clinical indications, 7 cases (1.9%) were found to be malignant by histopathology.
Misdiagnoses leading to pediatric enucleation have decreased during the past 5 decades, likely owing to improved diagnostic techniques. Benign and malignant intraocular conditions can simulate each other, especially retinoblastoma, Coats disease, nematode and bacterial endophthalmitis, panuveitis, and persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous.