This paper is the result of a survey of the histopathology of the vitreous body so far as it relates to the ordinary opacities seen in life.
Many fine floating opacities seen clinically are not visible in microscopic preparations. Tiny filaments are observed in life because their index of refraction is higher than that of the vitreous, in the same manner as threads of glass are outlined when suspended in water. In the preparations, however, these same opacities are rendered absolutely invisible by Canada balsam just as rods of glass are not so readily outlined in gasoline or oil. On the contrary, cells, which have a higher refractive index, are revealed under the microscope while the delicate homogenous fibers or lamellae to which they may be clinging may not be visible. The muscae volitantes of young persons, which are likened to strings of pearls, are probably cells adhering
SAMUELS B. OPACITIES OF THE VITREOUS. Arch Ophthalmol. 1930;4(6):838–857. doi:10.1001/archopht.1930.00810140050003
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