Vision loss

Reliable and specific testing for autoimmune retinopathy

This unique panel includes testing for antibodies that have been proven to be associated with paraneoplastic retinopathy or cancer-associated retinopathy. Acute, painless vision loss in both eyes can be a sign of underlying cancer. Patients who present with those symptoms are good candidates for this testing. Positive test results often indicate a small cell lung cancer that might not have been detected otherwise. Many of these patients can be treated, and they respond well to corticosteroids or other immunotherapies.


of patients with CRMP-5 antibodies have a small cell carcinoma

When to consider testing

Consider testing for patients with rapidly progressive vision loss when you suspect a paraneoplastic cause for that vision loss, such as retinopathy or optic neuritis with retinitis or other findings. This test also is appropriate for patients diagnosed with small cell carcinoma who develop vision loss.

Key testing

Paraneoplastic Vision Loss Evaluation

Andrew McKeon, M.B., B.Ch., M.D., provides an overview of Mayo Clinic Laboratories' paraneoplastic vision loss evaluation — a test that can help direct a cancer diagnosis and guide treatment. He reviews why this test was developed, when it should be ordered, and how the results can affect patient care.

Learn more about how to order this evaluation at your institution.