Retinal capillary angioma

This benign tumour, also known as 'haemangioblastoma', arises in the retinal blood vessels.


It forms a pink, retinal mass and has wide feeder blood vessels. The tumour tends to leak fatty exudates into the retina. Fibrous bands grow out into the vitreous and these pull on the retina to cause detachment ('tractional retinal detachment').



Retinal capillary angioma ('haemangioblastoma') with dilated feeder vessels


This tumour can arise at the optic disc.



Capillary angioma at the optic disc


Retinal capillary angiomas can occur in isolation or may be associated with von Hippel Lindau disease. This causes:

  • haemangioblastomas in the brain and spinal cord
  • cancers in the kidneys, adrenal glands and pancreas
  • hearing loss
  • many other disorders.