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April 1950

RETROLENTAL FIBROPLASIA: A Clinical Study of Two Hundred and Thirty-Eight Cases

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1950;43(4):694-711. doi:10.1001/archopht.1950.00910010705007

THE TERM "retrolental fibroplasia" was devised in 1941 by Dr. Harry H. Messenger, of Boston, for use by Dr. Theodore L. Terry.1 Terry2 applied the name to an ocular disease syndrome in which, as he stated, vascularized embryonic tissue develops behind the crystalline lens of the eye. Previously, in occasional cases the disease had been reported, under various names, as a rare congenital malformation which was usually observed shortly after birth in full term infants, as a rule only one eye being involved. It was Terry3 who, in 1942, first associated retrolental fibroplasia with prematurity. He2 summarized the syndrome as follows:

The typical characteristics of the disease are opaque vascularized membrane behind the lens, microphthalmia, shallow anterior chambers, fetal-blue color of iris, thin ciliary processes in front of the opaque tissue, searching nystagmus, apparent photophobia, persistent hyaloid artery and often retinal separation.

In his series of

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