Background: Asteroid hyalosis (AH) is a condition in which cream-colored or white spherical particles are suspended in the vitreous body. Asteroid hyalosis is considered not to cause decreased vision or any other visual symptoms except in rare cases. There have been a few reports of AH in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Methods: To assess the prevalence of AH in patients with RP, 320 patients with typical forms of RP were studied. One patient was offered a standard three-port vitrectomy, and the spherical particles obtained from her vitrectomy sample were analyzed using an energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometer. Results: Ten patients (two men and eight women) developed AH. Among them, four had bilateral AH and two had rapidly increasing vitreous opacity that led to decreased vision. One patient was a 48-year-old woman with progressive AH in the left eye. After treatment with a vitrectomy, her vision improved from 0.4 to 0.8. The spherical particles were composed of mainly calcium and phosphorus. Conclusion: The prevalence of AH in RP was higher than in previous reports, and we encountered two rare cases of progressive AH with decreased vision. We conclude that AH might lead to decreased vision in patients with RP.
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