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May 1967

Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous in an Adult: A Brief Review of the Literature and a Histopathologic Study

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC
From the Registry of Ophthalmic Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC. Formerly Special Fellow in Ophthalmic Pathology, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, National Institutes of Health, at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington DC (Dr. Spaulding). Formerly Fellow in Ophthalmic Pathology at the AFIP, on leave from the University Eye Hospital, Hamburg, Germany (Dr. Naumann).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1967;77(5):666-671. doi:10.1001/archopht.1967.00980020668019

IN 1955 Reese1 characterized persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV) as a congenital condition that leads to enucleation in infancy or childhood because a retinoblastoma is suspected or because complications intrinsic to PHPV, such as intraocular hemorrhage, secondary glaucoma, or corneal opacification, have occurred. Rarely do eyes with PHPV escape enucleation during the first decade (Table). Reese followed only one of 60 cases from birth to the 14th year without complications, and he commented that he had never seen a recognizable case in an adult.

The discovery of PHPV in a 22-year-old woman prompted this report.

Report of a Case 

Clinical History.  —A 22-year-old white woman was seen two weeks prior to enucleation because of a painful right eye. The patient had been virtually blind in this eye since childhood and during the preceding year it had become intermittently painful.On the first examination the visual acuity of the right