Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

: 1980  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 139--140

Free pigmented bodies in the anterior chamber

Chakko Puthenpurayil Thommy 
 Department of Guinness Ophthalmic Units, Ahmadu Bello University Hospital Kaduna, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Chakko Puthenpurayil Thommy
Guinness Ophthalmic Unit P M B 2016, Ahmadu Bello University Hospital Kaduna

How to cite this article:
Thommy CP. Free pigmented bodies in the anterior chamber.Indian J Ophthalmol 1980;28:139-140

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Thommy CP. Free pigmented bodies in the anterior chamber. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1980 [cited 2024 Feb 21 ];28:139-140
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Full Text

Duke-Elder[1] quotes a number of cases in which pigmented bodies have been found floating freely in the anterior chamber changing their position with the movements of the head. These may appear solid or translucent and cystic, usually rusty brown in colour. The size varies from 1 to 3 mm, and are usually spherical or lenticular. These bodies may be from the remnants of pupillary membrane or detac�hed flocculi from the pupillary margin. Here three cases are reported having one case with a string of beads hanging from the pupillary margin which lends credence to the origin of these bodies from the pupillary flocculi.


Case 1:

A 16 year old male (M.A.) presented with poor vision from childhood. His vision in the right eye was perception of light and that in the left counting fingers at 2 metres. There was mild nystagmus. The right eye was diverg�ent. The nasal (2/3) showed sclerocornea with vascularization leaving a crescentic clear part of the cornea temporally. The cornea was 10 mm in diameter. A dark brownish pigmented oval body was seen in the lower part of the anterior chamber which freely moved with the movements of the head. The size of the free floating body was about 3.5 mm. There was whitish tissue on the anterior surface of the lens from which a band stretched behind the iris. The lens itself was clear. On gonioscopy the pigment ball was found to be entirely free. It could not reach the angle because of its large size but indented the iris as it rolled about. The nasal half of the angle could not be visualized because of the sclero-cornea but was seen to be crowded with a dense tuft of uveal tissue. The temporal half of the angle was completely covered by pigment granules. The iris was attached very anteriorly with prominent uveal mesh-work which in many areas reached anterior to Schwalbe's line. The ciliary band could be barely seen between the uveal strands. The intraocular tension (Schi φtz) was 27.2 mm Hg. Fundus could not be visualized because of the whitish fibrous tissue on the lens capsule. It was considered unwise to dilate the pupil lest the free floating body slip behind the iris. The left eye: The anterior segment was normal. The fundus showed myopic changes and he improved to 6/18 with-6.00. sph. The patient failed to return follow up.

Case 2

A 45 year old man (A.S.) was seen because of poor vision. His vision in the right eye was hand movements and that in left eye was 6/36. The right eye was very small with a micro�cornea and was extremely convergent. On the slit lamp, a pigmented ball of about l mm size was hanging at the end of a fine white filament attached to the collarette of the iris. The left eye also was small and hyperopic. He did not improve in vision with glasses.

Case 3:

A 35 year old female (S.S) on routine slit lamp examination showed in the right eye a string of pigmented bodies hanging from the pupillary margin. There was no other abnor�mality in either eye [Figure 3].


All three cases had the findings in the right eye. Two were male and had other abnormali�ties and detective vision. The third case was a female without any other abnormality. From the second and third case, especially it would appear that most floating pigmented bodies in the anterior chamber originate from the flocculi at the pupillary margin.


Free pigmented foreign bodies in anterior chamber of endogenous origin were presented.


1Duke-Elder, S., 1964, System of Ophthalmology Vol. III Part 2 London, Henry Kimpton, P 547-548.