Pseudoexfoliative fibrillopathy in the skin of patients with ocular pseudoexfoliation

Am J Ophthalmol. 1990 Nov 15;110(5):490-9. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)77871-7.


In addition to its occurrence within the eye, pseudoexfoliative fibrillopathy has been reported in the conjunctiva and around a posterior ciliary artery. To determine whether it has a more diffuse extraocular distribution, we studied skin biopsy specimens ultrastructurally from one to three areas in 13 patients with classic pseudoexfoliation. A fibrillopathy closely resembling that in the eye was found in 11 of the 13 patients. Only one of the 13 control subjects, a 78-year-old man with advanced low-tension glaucoma, had a similar fibrillopathy. In the patients with pseudoexfoliation who were more than 70 years of age, the accompanying dermal elastosis made evaluation difficult, because the pseudoexfoliative nodules in the skin occur primarily along elastic fibers, and their morphologic characteristics appeared to be influenced by the elastotic process. These results suggest that pseudoexfoliation is a systemic process related closely to elastosis, and that further search for pseudoexfoliative fibers should be made in the elastic system of the deep tissues and internal organs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anterior Eye Segment / ultrastructure
  • Conjunctival Diseases / complications
  • Conjunctival Diseases / pathology
  • Elastic Tissue / ultrastructure
  • Eye Diseases / complications*
  • Eye Diseases / pathology
  • Eyelid Diseases / complications
  • Eyelid Diseases / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lens Diseases / complications
  • Lens Diseases / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Diseases / complications*
  • Skin Diseases / pathology