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August 1952


AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1952;48(2):154-160. doi:10.1001/archopht.1952.00920010159005

CONGENTIAL ectasia and congenital staphyloma of the cornea are two rare conditions which may occur alone or may coexist with other congenital defects of the eyeball. The two terms are used rather loosely and interchangeably in the literature, and at the outset it may be prudent to define them. Ectasia of the cornea occurs as a protruding lesion, usually involving the central portion of this tissue, consisting of cornea solely and varying in degree and size; it presents a very thin, dome-like external surface, consisting largely of Descemet's membrane. A staphyloma, on the other hand, is a herniating lesion of blue-black color, which is composed not only of corneal tissue but also of iris, uvea, and, often, components of the lens, usually matted together in disorganized fashion and presenting an irregular, somewhat nodular external surface. Other congenital defects which may or may not accompany these lesions in the same or