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October 1959

Focal Senile Translucency of the Sclera

Author Affiliations

Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Harvard University Medical School, and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1959;62(4):604-610. doi:10.1001/archopht.1959.04220040066009

The occurrence of discrete gray areas, often called plaques, in the sclera just in front of the medial and lateral recti is a common finding in old age. If these areas are excised together with a rim of normal sclera and held before a light, they show increased translucency. They are not pigmented and are not plaques in the usual sense of the word. Their gray color is due to enhanced visibility of the uveal pigment, but occasionally they do contain calcific plaques.

Since these focal spots are not known to have clinical significance, they have not attracted much attention and are poorly described in current textbooks and most reviews. The scanty literature up to 1945 was collected by Roper1 in an article which incidentally presents the best clinical illustrations of the entity in the literature. That article emphasizes the association of the spots with age and points up

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