Dystrophic calcification of silicone scleral buckling implant materials

Am J Ophthalmol. 1993 Apr 15;115(4):524-9. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)74457-5.


In six patients, removal of solid silicone scleral buckling implant materials that had been in place between eight and 21 years disclosed gray-white deposits firmly adherent to the silicone. Four of the six patients had culture-proven infections, whereas two had no evidence of infection and had negative cultures. One of these two patients, however, had intermittent pain, which was the indication for removal of the implant. Analysis of the deposits disclosed that they were calcium phosphate. The exact mechanism responsible for the calcification on the silicone material is unknown. Dystrophic calcification can occur without infection in injured tissue wherein extracellular deposits of devitalized cells, blood cells, and lipids may act as a nidus for calcification. In the presence of infection, bacteria may serve as such a nidus. Additionally, it is possible that biofilm produced by the bacteria had a role in the deposition of calcium phosphate, as well as in its firm adhesion to the silicone materials. We considered the possibility of similar deposits developing on intraocular silicone lenses.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Child
  • Crystallization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Reoperation
  • Retinal Detachment / surgery*
  • Scleral Buckling*
  • Silicone Elastomers*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Silicone Elastomers