Vascular basophilia in ocular and orbital tumors

G. C. Stowe, Z. N. Zakov, D. M. Albert, T. R. Smith, D. N. Sang, J. L. Craft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The occurrence of vascular basophilia in ocular tumors has been a selective histologic feature of retinoblastomas. The authors recently observed a metastatic oat-cell carcinoma to the choroid which also demonstrated such a vascular hematoxyphilia. Histologic review of a variety of ocular and orbital metastatic carcinomas failed to yield a similar basophilic pattern. Examination of 100 consecutive retinoblastomas for vascular basophilia revealed an incidence of 6.0%. Similar material was not seen in any of 125 melanomas, including 10 with areas of necrosis. Histochemical studies showed the basophilic material to be DNA, and electron microscopy revealed the nuclear debris of pyknotic tumor cells to be continuous with identical material surrounding the adjacent blood vessels. The pathogenesis of vascular deposition of DNA in these two ocular tumors remains unclear. This finding most likely represents a form of tumor activity requiring comparatively healthy blood vessels to adequately precipitate liberated nucleic acids being filtered from the necrotic and degenerating tumor tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1068-1075
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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