Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

: 1980  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 227--228

Heterotropic cartilage in the upper eyelid of monkey

RN Bajpai, BMD Verma 
 Department of Anatomy and Ophthalmology, G.S. V.M. Medical College, Kanpur, India

Correspondence Address:
R N Bajpai
Department of Anatomy and Ophthalmology, G.S. V.M. Medical College, Kanpur

How to cite this article:
Bajpai R N, Verma B. Heterotropic cartilage in the upper eyelid of monkey.Indian J Ophthalmol 1980;28:227-228

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Bajpai R N, Verma B. Heterotropic cartilage in the upper eyelid of monkey. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1980 [cited 2020 Sep 24 ];28:227-228
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The eyelids are present in vertebrates only. They are folds which protect the eye from injury and excessive light. They give rest to eye and visual cortex when they are shut. They also spread the tears over cornea by blinking reflex. They consist of the skin areolar tissue, orbicularis oculi, fibrous layer including tarsal plate, some unstriped muscle and palpebral conjunctiva. In inguina and lizard, Cords[1] found traces of cartilage in tarsal plate. Jayaraj[2] reported presence of cartilage in the eyelid of albino rat. But presence of cartilage in primate eyelid has not been recorded in literature.


In a histological study on upper eyelid of a monkey, we found cartilage tissue. During preparation of histological microslides of the tissues for purpose of demonstration to the students, a male monkey (Rhesus macaque) weighing 6.5 kg., was sacrificed and a number of tissues including upper eyelids were taken and processed for paraffin preparation of microslides. The sections of eyelid were stained with hematoxylin and eosin. It was later observed that the upper eyelid contained cartilage tissue in the form of a plate enveloped in fibrocellular perichondrium [Figure 1]. The plate was present just above the tarsal glands in a vertical section. It was made of hyaline cartilage of rich cellularity and homogenous matrix [Figure 2]. It was chance finding. Consequently the search for cartilage in other 3 monkeys weighing 6 to 7.5 kg. was made in upper and lower eyelids of both eyes, similarly processed. Serial vertical sections were carefully examined but no cartilage tissue could be seen.

The presence of cartilage in the eyelid is unusual.

Since the cartilage was not found in the other monkeys, it is presumed that the presence of cartilage here was heterotopic.


A case report of presence of cartilage tissue in the upper eyelid of a Rhesus monkey present as a plate of hyaline cartilage envelop­ed in perichondrium.[3]


1Cords, E., 1922, "Eugene Wolff's Anatomy of the eye and Orbit". Last, R.J., H.K. Lewis and Co., Ltd., London, Sixth edition. 1968, p-494.
2Jayraj, A.P., 1970, Curr. Sc. 2.213 39: No. 9.
3Prince, J.H., 1956, Comparative Anatomy of the Eye. Charles C. Thomas Springfield.