Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

: 1973  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 209-

Synchisis scintillans in the anterior chamber - a case report

PB Banaji, RH Shanbhag 
 Cowasii Jehangir Ophthalmic Hospital, Bombay, India

Correspondence Address:
P B Banaji
Cowasii Jehangir Ophthalmic Hospital, Bombay

How to cite this article:
Banaji P B, Shanbhag R H. Synchisis scintillans in the anterior chamber - a case report.Indian J Ophthalmol 1973;21:209-209

How to cite this URL:
Banaji P B, Shanbhag R H. Synchisis scintillans in the anterior chamber - a case report. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1973 [cited 2022 Oct 4 ];21:209-209
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Full Text

A 38 year old patient came with a pseudohypopyon in his right eye caused by synchisis scintillans and wanted to have it removed for cosmetic purposes.

He gave a history of blunt injury in the right eye 10 years ago and subsequently developed a cataract in the same eye which was operated 6 months later.

The eye was aphakic with one peripheral button-hole iridectomy. Projection of light was absent and the tension was low. The anterior chamber had a level of shining crystals collected like a level of hypopyon which whisk­ed about with the movements of the eye. Similar crystals were also present in the vitreous making the viewing of the fundus difficult. On slit-lamp examination the crystals gleamed and looked like burnished gold presenting a beautiful picture.

The patient wanted to have the material removed for cosmetic purpose. A section was made at 6 O'clock, with a razor and .the material was removed, but much of it went in to vitreous chamber when the patient lay down. A slight level of the material was still present after this operation. One month later the patient had to be operated again and this time the material was removed with the patient sitting up so that none of it escaped into the vitreous. The cosmetic result was good.

MICROSCOPICALLY: The depo­sits were cholesterol crystals.


Synchisis Scintillans occurs in degenerate fluid vitreous wherein innumerable particles of cholesterol float about in the vitreous like a multitutde of grains of gold leaf, whisking about in all directions. KOBY (1932) and BONACCOLTO (1937) [1] have exactly of a similar nature HUGHES [2] reported a case in which the entire anterior chamber was filled with crystals causing secondary glaucoma which subsided with removal of the crystals.


A case of synchisis scintillans in the anterior chamber which came for removal for cosmetic purposes has been described along with difficulties encountered in its treatment.


1Duke Elder, W. S.: Text-Book of Ophthalmology,. Vol. XI., p. 328 (1969).
2Hughes, A.M.A.,: Arch. of Ophth.. 1S: 477 (1937).