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Retinoblastoma Signs & Symptoms

Most retinoblastoma patients have a white pupil reflex, or leukocoria, instead of a normal black pupil or red reflex. This is sometimes called cat’s eye reflex. Many times the parent is the first one to notice the cat’s eye reflex. This condition may be a sign of another disorder and does not always mean a child has retinoblastoma. An ophthalmologist can make the correct diagnosis.

A crossed eye, or strabismus, is the second most common symptom of retinoblastoma. The child’s eye may turn toward the ear or toward the nose.

Children with retinoblastoma may also have the following symptoms:

  • a painful, red eye

  • poor vision

  • inflammation of tissue surrounding the eye

  • an enlarged or dilated pupil

  • different colored irises (a condition known as heterochromia)
  • failure to thrive (trouble eating or drinking)

  • extra fingers or toes (a condition known as hexadactylism)
  • malformed ears

  • delayed development or retardation