Simple microphthalmos

Arch Ophthalmol. 1989 Nov;107(11):1625-30. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1989.01070020703032.


Simple microphthalmos was diagnosed in 22 patients on the basis of a normal-appearing eye and a total axial length at least 2 SDs below the mean for age. Anterior segment length was normal in most patients while posterior segment length was at least 2 SDs below the mean in all patients, indicating that disproportionate reduction in posterior segment length accounted for the microphthalmos. The normal values for total axial length, anterior segment length, and posterior segment length were determined from the analysis of axial length measurements obtained from age-similar controls. Ten patients had isolated microphthalmos. One of them was diagnosed as having nanophthalmos on the basis of microcornea, total axial length less than 18 mm, and absence of systemic disease. Twelve patients had associated systemic disorders, such as fetal alcohol syndrome, myotonic dystrophy, and achondroplasia, which implicated decreased size of the optic cup, altered vitreous proteoglycans, low intraocular pressure, and abnormal release of growth factors in the pathogenesis of microphthalmos.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Chamber / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cornea / pathology
  • Eye / pathology
  • Female
  • Growth Hormone / deficiency
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Microphthalmos / pathology*
  • Microphthalmos / physiopathology
  • Reference Values
  • Refraction, Ocular


  • Growth Hormone