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Year : 1962  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19-21

Ankyloblepharon filiforme adnatum

King George's Medical College, Lucknow, India

Date of Web Publication18-Mar-2008

Correspondence Address:
S P Gupta
King George's Medical College, Lucknow
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Gupta S P, Saxena R C. Ankyloblepharon filiforme adnatum. Indian J Ophthalmol 1962;10:19-21

How to cite this URL:
Gupta S P, Saxena R C. Ankyloblepharon filiforme adnatum. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1962 [cited 2023 Dec 3];10:19-21. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/ijo/pages/default.aspx/text.asp?1962/10/1/19/39569

Ankyloblepharon Filiforme Ad­natum is a rare congenital anomaly wherein the lid margins are con­nected by fine bands of extensile tissue which reduce the palpebral fissure by interfering with the movements of the lids. This term was first proposed by V. Hasner (1882). Only few cases have been reported in the literature up till now with or without other associated congenital abnormalities.

  Case Report Top

Baby R., Male, aged 12 days was admitted to the Ophthalmic section of Gandhi Memorial and Associat­ed Hospitals, Lucknow on 9th Sept­ember, 1960. This baby was unable to open his eyes as both the lids were adherent on both sides since birth.

Family History

Father :-aged 38 years had 'Hare-lip' on left side of upper lip, the plastic repair of which was done at the age of 10 years.

Mother:- aged 34 years is healthy and has no congenital abnormality.

Out of the seven children born before the case under report, four were males, all healthy with no congenital anomaly. Out of the three female children, the eldest one died when six months old but had no congenital abnormality, the second one 15 years old has no con­genital abnormality either. The third female child (sixth in chrono­logical order) is 6 years of age, had 'Hare-lip' and two symmetrical bands of Ankyloblepharon Filiforme Adnatum on both sides in the middle third of the lid. The bands were excised at the age of one month.

Baby 'R' is the eighth child of the parents and is a full term baby with normal delivery. The mother suffered from fever for 7 days in the fourth month of pregnancy.

  Examination Top

A male baby of fairly good health, weighing 7 lbs. has 'Hare­lip' on left side of upper lip. [Figure - 1]. Systemic examination of the patient did not reveal any abnormality.

Right Eye:-Palpebral Aperture was extremely narrow and lid move­ments were limited. There were two fine extensile bands of skin attached to the centre of both lid margins anterior to the grey line. These bands were 1 mm. apart and measured 1 mm. in thickness and 3 mm. in length : [Figure - 1]. After excision of bands other structures of the eye were found normal.

Left Eye:-Palpebral aperture was extremely narrow and lid move­ments were limited. There were two fine extensile bands of skin attached to the middle third of both lid margins anterior to the grey line. These bands were 3 mm. apart and measured 1 mm. in thickness and 3 mm. in length [Figure - 2]. After excision of the bands other structures of the eye were normal.

  Operation Top

The case was a aerated under general anaesthesia by open ether. The bands were cut near the lid margins and excised. There was slight bleeding which came under control easily.

  Histological Examinations Top

The band was composed of cen­tral vascular connective tissue surrounded by squamous epith­elium. The connective tissue was highly cellular. No muscle fibres or signs of inflammation could be found. [Figure - 4].

  Discussion Top

This is the first case of its kind studied here in the last twenty years of this hospital. This rare condition is known in Ophthalmic literature since 1882 when V. Hasner propos­ed this term Ankyloblepharon Filiforme Adnatum for this defect. Single, multiple, unilateral and bilateral such bands have been described. Lohlein (1930) has de­monstrated the occurrance of multi­ple hands which may be bilaterally symmetrical (Judge, Mott & Gabriels 1929, Mattsson 1950).

In the family of the case reported out of 8 children the sixth and the eighth children showed the ab­normality. The sixth child was a female child and the case described is a male. In literature, so far no sex affinity has been discussed although in this family both the sexes have been affected. Since father had 'Hare-lip' and one of the sisters had 'Hare-lip' and ankyloblepharon these might be some hereditary element function­ing in pathogenesis. Moreover the mother developed pyrexia which night have introduced some infection or enhanced the malnutrition.

Varying sizes of bands have been described by different authors, length varying from 1 to 10 mm. and breadth from 0.3 mm. to 6 mm. They were invariably extensile so as to almost double their length or more on stretching.

In the histological study of the bands in this case a highly cellular vascular connective tissue was seen surrounded by squamous epithe­lium, but no muscle fibres or any sign of inflammation could be seen, [Figure - 4]. In most histological studies of this condition, similar central vascular and cellular con­nective tissue strands surrounded by pavement epithelium are describ­ed. The connective tissue is highly cellular and embryonic in nature but Cordere found muscle fibres and numerous sub-epithelial glands. Bleeding on cutting was evident (Judge, Mott, Gabriels 1929). Wintersteiner could not find any sign of inflammation in the lid structures but a partial failure of Riolan's muscle was evident at the insertion of the bands.

The pathogenesis of this condition is still obscure. Several theories have been advanced till now. V. Hasner (1882) attributed the anomaly to a pathological growth of the skin of inflammatory origin. Wintersteiner on the other hand postulated an epithelial defect in fetal life through which connective tissue grows. This defect he con­sidered due to trauma as by finger nails of the fetus in utero. It would seem much more probable that the condition is a pure aberrance of development due either to a tem­porary arrest of the growth of the epithelium or to an abnormally rapid proliferation of mesoderm allowing union at certain points of the mesenchyme of the lid folds without epithelial interposition. The present case studied has the follow­ing important features :­

(i) Father had 'Hare-lip' defect.

(ii) The condition of Ankylob­lepharon Filiforme Adnatum was associated with another defect, the 'Hare-lip'.

(iii) His elder sister had the similar defects.

(iv) The mother was not in good health due to multiple preg­nancies and suffered from pyrexia of unknown etiology in the fourth month of eighth pregnancy for 7 days.[7]

  Summary Top

A case of Ankyloblepharon Filiforme Adnatum associated with 'Hare-lip' which had hereditary background is reported. The re­levant literature is reviewed.

A possible importance of here­ditary factor and malnutrition is be­ing stressed in its etiology and pathogenesis.

  References Top

Duke-Elder, S., (1952), "Test Book of Ophthalmology", Vol. V. Kimpton London, p. 4665.  Back to cited text no. 1
Fine, (1933) Arch of Ophthal. 10, 821.  Back to cited text no. 2
Ida Mann, (1957), "Development Abnormalities of the Eye", Sec. Ed. P. 383, B.M.A.  Back to cited text no. 3
Judge, Mott and Gabriels, (1929), Arch, of Ophthal. 2, 702.  Back to cited text no. 4
Mattsson, (1950), Acta. Ophthal. 28, 223.  Back to cited text no. 5
Oppenheimer, (1924), Amer. J. of Ophthal. 7, 788.  Back to cited text no. 6
Walsch, Frank B., (1957), "Clinical Neuro-ophthalmology" Sec. Ed. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, P. 383.  Back to cited text no. 7


  [Figure - 1], [Figure - 2], [Figure - 3], [Figure - 4]


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