Asteroid hyalosis

Eur J Ophthalmol. 2001 Jan-Mar;11(1):57-61. doi: 10.1177/112067210101100111.


Purpose: This study evaluated ocular and systemic diseases in patients with asteroid hyalosis and compared axial lengths of asteroid hyalosis patients with the normal population.

Methods: The examination of 26 patients with asteroid hyalosis consisted of complete history, complete ocular examination, blood pressure and laboratory studies in order to detect systemic diseases, A and B scan ultrasonography to measure axial lengths and to detect posterior vitreous detachment.

Results: All patients had unilateral asteroid hyalosis; 10 (38.5%) were symptomatic. Eight patients (20.5%) had type II diabetes mellitus, 13 (33.3%) patients had systemic arterial hypertension and 7 (18%) had atherosclerotic heart disease; 5 (12.8%) had hyperlipidemia and 6 (15.4%) had hypercholesterolemia. Posterior vitreous detachment was found in 3 (11.5%) patients with asteroid hyalosis, and 6 patients in the control group (23.1%) had posterior vitreous detachment (p<0.01). In patients with asteroid hyalosis, the mean axial length difference between two eyes was 0.32 +/- 0.06, against 0. 10 +/- 0.02 in the control group (p<0.01).

Conclusion: Asteroid hyalosis may be found together with systemic diseases and such patients must be evaluated systematically for diabetes mellitus, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. Asteroid hyalosis can also cause artefactual lowering of axial length measurement, leading to significant error in calculations of intraocular lens power. This must be kept in mind before cataract surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Coronary Artery Disease / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Eye / pathology
  • Eye Diseases / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / etiology
  • Hyperlipidemias / etiology
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retinal Diseases / etiology
  • Vitreous Body*
  • Vitreous Detachment / etiology