Asteroid hyalosis is a degenerative condition of the eye where there is accumulation of calcium soaps in vitreous chamber.
The prevalence increases with age from 0.2% 43-54 year olds to 2.9% in 75-86 year olds. The overall prevalence is 1.2%. It is more commonly unilateral and favours men over women.
It does not usually affect vision but floating opacities may cause irritation and may be confused with more common vitreous hemorrhage. It interferes with retinal examination.
The accumulated spherical opacities called asteroid bodies are made up of lipid components and calcium salt in the form of calcium phosphate apatite bound to fatty acid carboxylate groups.
It appears as discrete, mobile, highly echogenic, sperical or star shaped opacities in vitreous chamber without any posterior acoustic shadowing. These are best appreciated after movement.
Treatment and prognosis
Asteroid hyalosis is benign condition and usually no treatment is necessary. Vitectomy may be indicated when it is associated with other vitreous or retinal pathologies such as proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
- Vitreous hemorrhage
- Vitreous floaters
- Synchisis scintillans:- made up of cholesterol and it sinks in the vitreous
- 1. Sharma O P. Orbital sonography with it's slinico-surgical correlation. Indian J Radiol Imaging 2005; 15:537-54
- 2. P F Kador and M Wyman Asteroid hyalosis: pathogenesis and prospects for prevention, Cambridge Ophthalmology Symposium, Eye(21008), 1278-1285; doi:10.1038/eye.2008.35