Buphthalmos and phthisis bulbi

Case contributed by Dr Chris O'Donnell


Bilateral blindness with exophthalmos on the right and enophthalmos on the left. Recent head injury.

Patient Data

Age: 35
Gender: Male

Enlarged obliquely ovoid globe on the right with a contracted heavily calcified globe on the left

Case Discussion

Buphthalmos is the descriptive term for generalized enlargement of the globe usually seen in infants and young children due to the presence of congenital glaucoma. The name derives from the Greek referring to the bulging eyes of cows (i.e. bull's eye). It is contrasted with Staphyloma characterised by focal thinning of the choroid leading to local bulging of the globe.

Phthisis bulbi is the descriptive term for a shrunken, non-functional globe. It can result from severe eye disease, inflammation and injury including eye surgery. The name phthisis indicates a progressively wasting or consumptive condition (and is also applied to tuberculosis) 

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Case information

rID: 33073
Case created: 30th Dec 2014
Last edited: 21st Nov 2015
System: Head & Neck
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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