Congenital Hypertrophy of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium (CHRPE)

We specialize in the medical and surgical treatment and management of sight threatening diseases affecting the retina, vitreous and macula.  We have years of experience in treating the following conditions.

Congenital Hypertrophy of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium (CHRPE)

What is a Congenital Hypertrophy of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium?

Congenital Hypertrophy of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium (CHRPE) is a flat, pigmented spot that occurs in the back of the eye, within the retina. Typically, patients are born with this, and often CHRPEs go undetected for a long period of time, until the patient is able to undergo a comprehensive retinal exam by a retinal specialist.

Can I lose my vision because of this?

Often these spots do not grow or change over time. They usually do not cause any major problems if they form in the periphery, or along the edges, of the retina. If they occur in the center of the retina within an area called the macula, CHRPEs can cause poor vision.

Can this grow into a cancerous (or malignant) tumor?

In very rare instances, CHRPE can develop into an adenoma, which is a benign tumor, or an adenocarcinoma, which is a malignant tumor of the retina. Please note, that having an adenocarcinoma is exceedingly rare, with fewer than 5 cases reported in the medical literature. There are no reports of these patients developing metastases, or cancer cells that spread to other parts of the body.

Rarely, patients who have multiple CHRPEs, bilateral (both eyes) CHRPEs, or CHRPEs with certain characteristic features are found to have Gardner’s Syndrome. Gardner’s Syndrome is a genetic condition also known as Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, or FAP; patients with this syndrome can have colon cancer and skin tumors in addition to the retinal findings. If you are found to have these features, Dr. Izad will refer you to a few other medical specialists, such as a gastroenterologist and/or geneticist, for further testing. Additionally, if you have a family history of this disorder, it is important to have both a retinal examination as well as routine colonoscopies.

Highland Retina Associates

  • Highland Retina Associates - 4621 E Margaret Dr., Terre Haute, IN 47803 Phone: (812) 281-2608