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Indian J Ophthalmol. 2002 Sep;50(3):183-8.

Intraocular osseous metaplasia. A clinico-pathological study.

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  • 1Ophthalmic Pathology Division, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, L V Prasad Marg, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad-500 034, India.



To evaluate the clinico-pathologic features of intraocular osseous metaplasia.


Pathology specimens of enucleated eyes submitted to the ophthalmic pathology service at a tertiary eye-care referral center between January 1995 and June 1999 were studied for intraocular osseous metaplasia. Specific histopathologic features noted in specimens with osseous metaplasia were the presence of retinal detachment, gliosis, retinal pigment epithelial hyperplasia, drusen, epiretinal membrane, fibrovascular proliferation and inflammation. Immunohistochemistry using monoclonal antibody against glial fibrillary acidic protein was performed to assess the glial component within the membranes and the proliferative vitreoretinal mass. Clinical records were reviewed and correlated with histopathologic findings.


Osseous metaplasiaS was noted in 8 of 151 (5.2%) eyes examined. Clinical diagnosis in these was phthisis bulbi, staphyloma, absolute glaucoma and microphthalmos. Enucleation was performed for relief of symptoms (in painful blind eyes) or for cosmesis, and in an eye inciting sympathetic ophthalmia. Retinal detachment, gliosis and retinal pigment epithelial hyperplasia were noted in all the cases. Drusen with calcification or ossification (5 of 8), fibrovascular proliferation in the vitreous (5 of 8) and active inflammation (4 of 8) were the other associated histologic features. Location of ossification was subretinal in 3 cases, preretinal (ora serrata) in 1 case and in both locations in 4 cases. The eyes with subretinal osseous metaplasia had associated calcified drusen, while preretinal ossification was seen within the fibrovascular membranes.


Chronic retinal detachment, hyperplasia and transdifferentiation of retinal pigment epithelium appear to be a few of the prerequisites for intraocular osseous metaplasia. Ossification can occur at isolated subretinal and preretinal locations or can involve both. Though a larger study is required to postulate the chronology of events, in this small series, isolated subretinal ossification appears to be initiated by calcification and ossification of drusen, while in the pre-retinal region it is associated with vitreoretinal proliferation.

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