Nanophthalmos: a perspective on identification and therapy

Ophthalmology. 1982 Sep;89(9):1006-12.


Nanophthalmos is a rare and blinding disease. Diagnostic features include a small eye, small cornea, shallow anterior chamber, narrow angle, high lens/eye volume ratio, and uveal effusion. Intraocular surgery has a high rate of disastrous complications and blindness. The 32 eyes (16 patients) presented are in three categories based on angle closure and intraocular pressure levels. Treatment methods included medication, laser iridotomy and gonioplasty, peripheral iridectomy, filtration surgery, and cataract extraction. Glaucoma medication was effective, although miotics sometimes increased pupillary block. Laser iridotomy was successful in 83% of six eyes; laser gonioplasty in 91.6% of 12 eyes. Peripheral iridectomy succeeded in two of seven eyes, and filtering operations provided tension control in two of five eyes. Thirteen of 15 eyes undergoing filtration surgery suffered severe postoperative visual loss. Cataract extraction improved vision in only three of six eyes. The authors' experience confirms that surgery in nanophthalmic eyes has an extremely high complication rate with disastrous results. Medication and laser therapy are the procedures of choice for angle-closure glaucoma in nanophthalmos.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cataract Extraction
  • Eye / pathology
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / drug therapy
  • Glaucoma / surgery
  • Glaucoma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Iris / surgery
  • Laser Therapy
  • Male
  • Microphthalmos / diagnosis
  • Microphthalmos / surgery
  • Microphthalmos / therapy*
  • Middle Aged