Mechanisms of blood-retinal barrier disruption related to intraocular inflammation and malignancy

Oren Tomkins-Netzer, Rachael Niederer, John Greenwood, Ido Didi Fabian, Yonatan Serlin, Alon Friedman, Sue Lightman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Blood-retinal barrier (BRB) disruption is a common accompaniment of intermediate, posterior and panuveitis causing leakage into the retina and macular oedema resulting in vision loss. It is much less common in anterior uveitis or in patients with intraocular lymphoma who may have marked signs of intraocular inflammation. New drugs used for chemotherapy (cytarabine, immune checkpoint inhibitors, BRAF inhibitors, EGFR inhibitors, bispecific anti-EGFR inhibitors, MET receptor inhibitors and Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors) can also cause different types of uveitis and BRB disruption. As malignant disease itself can cause uveitis, particularly from breast, lung and gastrointestinal tract cancers, it can be clinically difficult to sort out the cause of BRB disruption. Immunosuppression due to malignant disease and/or chemotherapy can lead to infection which can also cause BRB disruption and intraocular infection. In this paper we address the pathophysiology of BRB disruption related to intraocular inflammation and malignancy, methods for estimating the extent and effect of the disruption and examine why some types of intraocular inflammation and malignancy cause BRB disruption and others do not. Understanding this may help sort and manage these patients, as well as devise future therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101245
JournalProgress in Retinal and Eye Research
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024


  • Blood-retinal barrier
  • Cytokines
  • Fluorescein angiography
  • Lymphoma
  • Uveitis
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Ophthalmology


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