Last revised by Rohit Sharma on 2 Jun 2024

Staphyloma refers to acquired thinning and weakening of the uveo-scleral layer of the eye with focal uveal protrusion. This outpouching has a smaller radius than the surrounding globe. Staphylomas most commonly occur posteriorly, temporal to the optic disc, in the context of myopia.

Patients with posterior staphyloma often present with high axial myopia 3,4.

Staphyloma is an acquired defect secondary to weakness and thinning of the ocular uveo-scleral layer 3. They may be classified as either anterior or posterior.

  • progressive myopia (or mega myopia) is the most common cause

Other causes include:

  • inflammation or infection of the corneoscleral lining of the eye is the commonest cause

  • macrophthalmos with increased anteroposterior diameter of the globe

  • focal deformity and uveal outpouching (not as marked as coloboma), usually posterior and temporal

  • axial myopia: elongation of the globe without a superimposed smaller radius protrusion, although often co-exists with staphyloma

  • chorioretinal coloboma: defect in the choroid and retinal layer, typically located at the inferonasal quadrant

  • buphthalmos: enlargement of the globe

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