pterygium and pseudopterygium??

December 25, 2010

today i just want to share with you guys an interesting medical facts on 2 different type of lesions in the ophthalmology branch..

what is pterygium?
  • Pterygium is a flashy triangular band of fibrovascular tissue having a broad base on nasal or temporal epibulbar surface and consist of body,neck and also head
  • Pterygium is characterized by conjunctival degeneration, involving a benign triangular growth of conjunctival tissue on the cornea
  • Risk factors include excessive sunlight exposure, working outdoors, and exposure to dust, allergens, and noxious chemicals
  • Surgery, with adjunctive therapy, is recommended when the pterygium is advanced enough to cross the visual axis, cause marked symptoms to the patient (red eye, irritation, tearing), or induce enough astigmatism to be problematic for the patient
  • Cosmetic reasons for treatment are also common


Common causes

The causes of pterygium are unknown.

Contributory or predisposing factors

  • Excessive exposure to sunlight
  • Working outdoors
  • Occupational exposure to allergens, noxious chemicals, and irritants, such as wind, dirt, dust, and air pollution
  • Male sex
  • Rural residence
  • Increasing age
  • Possible family inheritance

what is pseudopterygium?
it is also a fibrovascular tissue but it may occur on any quadrant of the cornea.
it is different from normal pterygium for the following causes :

  • Lack of its organization into different regions
  • Lack of firm adhesion at the limbus
  • can be differentiate with probe testing, if the probe can pass beneath it, it is a case of pseudopterygium 
common etiology :
  • chemical injuries
  • cicatricial conjunctivitis
  • marginal keratitis
  • hard contact lens wear
here is a case example of a pseudopterygium..


This 46 year-old man was concerned about the appearance of his left eye. He gave a history of corneal trauma sustained 15 years ago. Since then, there had been a pterygium-liked lesion developing. In the past few year, he noticed the cornea adjacent to the lesion was getting progressively whiter. Examination revealed a pterygium-liked lesion extending from the lower pterygium (normal pterygium extend horizontally from the sun-exposed caruncle area) and the presence of lipid keratopathy at the edge of the lesion. A simple excision was performed but the lesion recurred.The plan was to re-excise the lesion with a conjunctival graft. If the lesion were to recur, further surgery may involve autologous limbal stem cell transplant with concurrent amniotic membrane graft.

other pictures of pterygium: 

another images of pseudopterygium :

hope you enjoy reading these infos.. =)


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