Histopathologic findings in the areas of orange pigment overlying choroidal melanomas

Maria D. Garcia, Diva R. Salomao, Alan D. Marmorstein, Jose S. Pulido

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Orange pigment is an important sign of malignancy in melanocytic tumors. There is a question as to whether the pigment accumulation is inside of macrophages or retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. We investigated which cells are involved with this color alteration. Methods: We examined enucleated specimens from two patients with choroidal melanoma and dense orange pigment on fundus examination. Color fundus and fundus autofluorescence (FAF) photographs were reviewed followed by examination with fluorescent microscopy, electron microscopy, and immunohistochemistry of enucleated eyes for the specific areas corresponding to the orange pigment. Results: Orange pigment was observed on color fundus photography and correlated with areas of hyperautofluorescence on FAF. Fluorescent microscopy of sections of the enucleated eyes showed autofluorescence in the RPE, which were most pronounced where there was a localized retinal detachment and reactive hyperplasia of the RPE. Immunohistochemical studies were done with keratin (OSCAR and AE1/AE3) and S-100 stained RPE cells, which still were attached to Bruch's membrane. Histiocytes present in the detached retina stained with anti-CD163 antibody and did not show autofluorescence. Electron microscopy studies of the same areas showed the presence of lipofuscin and melanolipofuscin within the clustered RPE cells. Conclusions: Orange pigment in choroidal melanocytic lesions originates from the RPE cells, rather than macrophages, and is most abundant where there is proliferation of the RPE. Translational Relevance: The orange pigment tumoral biomarker arises and is in the retinal pigment epithelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2016


  • Choroidal melanoma
  • Lipofuscin
  • Melanin
  • Melanolipofuscin
  • Orange pigment
  • Retinal pigment epithelium
  • Uveal melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Ophthalmology


Dive into the research topics of 'Histopathologic findings in the areas of orange pigment overlying choroidal melanomas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this