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September 1992

A Long-term Follow-up of Metallic Intraocular Foreign Bodies, Employing Diagnostic X-ray Spectrometry

Author Affiliations

From the Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger Eye Research Institute, Tel-Aviv (Israel) University, and the Sackler School of Medicine, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel (Drs Neumann and Belkin); and the Laboratory of Radiobiology, Sharett Institute of Oncology, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel (Drs Loewenthal and Gorodetsky). Dr Neumann is now with the Uveitis and Immunology Service, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1992;110(9):1269-1272. doi:10.1001/archopht.1992.01080210087031

• We describe 10 eyes harboring metallic intraocular foreign bodies (IOFBs) for 9 to 46 years that had undergone diagnostic x-ray spectrometry to measure metal dissolution 9 years before this study. Findings from the present clinical and laboratory examinations, including perimetry, electroretinography, electrooculography, and diagnostic x-ray spectrometry examinations are reported. Deterioration in visual acuity consequent to metal dissolution of the IOFB was found in only one eye. Visual fields and electrophysiologic performances deteriorated in two other eyes for reasons that were probably unrelated to IOFB dissolution. Visual functions remained stable during the follow-up period in seven eyes, although excess copper levels were demonstrated in one of them. Eight of 10 eyes retained visual acuity of 6/24 or better. Diagnostic x-ray spectrometry confirmed siderosis in one patient and ruled out metallosis in the two patients with deteriorated vision for reasons that were unrelated to metallosis. The favorable outcome of this series of patients may influence one to consider a more conservative approach in the decision to remove IOFBs. A careful, life-long follow-up might be considered with periodic electroretinographic and diagnostic x-ray spectrometry examinations; the IOFB should be promptly removed if and when metallosis with damage to visual functions is demonstrated.

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