Choroidal Nevus

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A choroidal nevus, is a benign lesion found on routine eye examinations. It is basically a freckle inside the eye and they are caused by clumping of pigmented cells that are normally found therein.

Nevi usually do not cause any visual symptoms so most patients are unaware of them. A nevus can be a dark or light lesion depending on the patient's amount of pigment and it may also vary in size and shape. They rarely require treatment, but photography is typically used to document its size.

Depending on the appearance of the choroidal nevus, patients should have their eyes examined (at least) every year. Currently, only your doctor can look inside your eye to see if the choroidal nevus has changed. If the nevus has orange pigment or has thickened, it should be checked more often. If it is leaking subretinal fluid, this is a particularly ominous sign. Such tumors should be followed most closely for evidence of growth or malignant transformation into a choroidal melanoma. Nevertheless, the risk of a choroidal nevus developing into a choroidal melanoma is low.

It is reasonable to have an eye cancer specialist check to see if your choroidal nevus looks suspicious. This examination may include the use of ultrasound, specialized photography or an intraocular angiogram. It is a good idea to keep a picture of your choroidal nevus. This picture can be compared to future examinations to help determine if the nevus has changed or stayed the same.