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August 1995

Coats' Disease as a Cause of Anterior Chamber Cholesterolosis

Author Affiliations

Philadelphia, Pa; Canton, Ohio; Philadelphia

Arch Ophthalmol. 1995;113(8):975-977. doi:10.1001/archopht.1995.01100080025014

Intraocular cholesterolosis (cholesterolosis bulbi) is an uncommon phenomenon that occurs in some eyes that have undergone severe trauma, inflammation, or longstanding retinal detachment. In such cases, the cholesterol is believed to be derived from the breakdown of intraocular blood and can occur in the vitreous cavity, the subretinal space, or more rarely, the anterior chamber.1

Coats' disease is a congenital, nonhereditary condition that is usually unilateral in young male patients and is characterized by typical retinal telangiectases. Leakage from the telangiectatic vessels can cause massive intraretinal and subretinal exudation. If untreated, the resultant exudative retinal detachment can lead to painful neovascular glaucoma and blindness. The affected eye is sometimes enucleated because of uncontrolled painful glaucoma or a suspicion of retinoblastoma.2 Histopathologically, the subretinal exudation characteristically contains lipid-laden macrophages and cholesterol clefts.3

In Coats' disease, the cholesterol usually is confined to the subretinal space, and, to our knowledge,

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