Documented acquired asteroid hyalosis in a case of early diagnosed diabetes mellitus

Optometry. 2001 May;72(5):315-21.


Background: There have been many reports in the literature of the possible linkage of asteroid hyalosis (AH) to diabetes mellitus (DM). The controversy regarding an association between AH and DM has been one of the longest disputes in the ophthalmic literature. Here we present a case in which AH developed in a patient followed for 9 years after being diagnosed with DM.

Case report: The patient had been examined on nine occasions (since his initial visit in June 1989) and asteroid hyalosis was not discovered until July 1996, when he came in with newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus. This suggests there may well be an association of asteroid hyalosis and diabetes mellitus.

Discussion: The patient in this case had a number of risk factors for the development of this ocular condition. He had a long history of systemic arterial hypertension, which has been reported to be linked to the formation of AH. He also had a chronic case of cystoid macular edema, which indicated a vascular compromise to the retinal vessels in the posterior pole, and this leakage may be responsible for serous constituents leaking into the vitreous, which may have caused AH.

Conclusions: This may be the first time in the reported literature that AH was found to occur in a previously normal-appearing vitreous, which was documented over a 9-year period. We would suggest that asteroid hyalosis may be secondary to some form of vasculopathy in many incidences and that diabetes mellitus is one of the conditions that may be associated with the formation of AH.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calcinosis / etiology*
  • Calcinosis / pathology
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / pathology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / complications
  • Eye Diseases / etiology*
  • Eye Diseases / pathology
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Macular Edema / complications
  • Male