Anopthalmia and Micropthalmia

What is Anopthalmia/Micropthalmia (A/M)?

Anopthalmia means that one or both eyes didn’t form during the early stages of pregnancy. Congenital anopthalmia may occur alone or with other malformations.

Microphthalmia means that the eye/s started to form during pregnancy but stopped, leaving the baby with eyes that are smaller than normal.

These two terms are sometimes used interchangeably since in most cases CT scans will show some remnants of eye tissue even in cases of anophthalmia.

Anopthalmia is classified in three ways:

• Primary Anopthalmia – the complete absence of eye tissue

• Secondary Anopthalmia – the eye starts to develop but stops, leaving residual eye tissue that may be detected only by careful examination

• Degenerative Anopthalmia – the eye starts to form, but then degenerates, perhaps due to a lack of blood supply to the developing eye

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