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June 1935


Author Affiliations

From the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and University.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1935;13(6):1022-1025. doi:10.1001/archopht.1935.00840060104009

The nature of the lipids of the vitreous humor has been of interest to ophthalmologists in their study of certain ocular diseases in which discrete particles which consist more or less of lipids are visible ophthalmoscopically in the vitreous humor. Although it is probable that in 1791 Schmidt1 was the first to observe such bodies in the vitreous humor, not until the past twenty years has their occurrence been found to be fairly common. The clinical and microscopic characteristics and the origin of these particles have been incompletely investigated.

Lipid and nonlipid bodies in the vitreous humor were classified by Bachstez2 as follows:

  1. Bodies in the fluid vitreous—synchysis

  2. Synchysis scintillans: generally cholesterol crystals

  3. Synchysis nivea or albescens: white opacities which are possibly leucine or tyrosine

  4. Bodies in nonfluid (scintillans) vitreous

  5. Poorly defined flakes of unknown chemical nature

  6. Globules (asteroid hyalitis) of calcium, and perhaps magnesium,