TNOA Journal of Ophthalmic Science and Research

: 2018  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 132--133

Persistent fetal vasculature

Saurabh Deshmukh, Damaris Magdalene, Krati Gupta 
 Department of Strabismus and Pediatric Ophthalmology Services, Sri Sankaradeva Nethralaya, Guwahati, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh Deshmukh
Sri Sankaradeva Nethralaya, 96, Basistha Road, Beltola, Guwahati - 781 028, Assam

How to cite this article:
Deshmukh S, Magdalene D, Gupta K. Persistent fetal vasculature.TNOA J Ophthalmic Sci Res 2018;56:132-133

How to cite this URL:
Deshmukh S, Magdalene D, Gupta K. Persistent fetal vasculature. TNOA J Ophthalmic Sci Res [serial online] 2018 [cited 2020 May 25 ];56:132-133
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Full Text

Reese first described persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous in 1955 as the abnormal persistence of fetal hyaloid system.[1],[2] Persistent fetal vasculature (PFV), a more anatomically and pathologically accurate term, was given by Goldberg.[2],[3]

Pathophysiology — PFV is the congenital abnormality of the eye which results from failure of regression of the embryonic primary vitreous and hyaloid vasculature. It is characterized by the persistence of various structures of the embryonic hyaloid vascular system along with other abnormalities such as microphthalmia, cataract, and glaucoma. PFV is unilateral in 90% of the patients and is responsible for poor vision in that eye.[4],[5]

Clinical types — PFV is classified into three presentations on the basis of anatomical extent: a purely anterior presentation, a purely posterior presentation, or a combination of the two. The combined presentation being the most commonly encountered.[6]

The purely anterior presentation has retrolental opacity, elongated ciliary processes, or a cataractous lens. The purely posterior presentation has an elevated vitreous membrane or stalk from the optic nerve, a retinal fold or retinal dysplasia, retinal detachment, or optic nerve hypoplasia. The combined presentation has features of both anterior and posterior PFV.[7],[8]

Differential diagnosis — The most common presentation of PFV is leukocoria. Hence, the differential diagnosis includes all the causes of leukocoria. The most important being the retinoblastoma, the most common intraocular tumor of childhood. Other causes could be a congenital cataract, Coats' disease, toxocariasis, and retinopathy of prematurity. Many genetic syndromes may present with PFV such as Norrie's disease, trisomy 13, and Walker—Warburg syndrome. The posterior PFV should be considered when ophthalmoscopy or ultrasonography (USG) B-scan shows total retinal detachment or retrolental fibrous tissues. Other differentials include familial exudative vitreoretinopathy, and incontinentia pigmenti.[9]

Case report — A 7-year-old male child presented with congential leucokoria in the right eye. Slit-lamp examination of the right eye (OD) showed dense membranous cataract with lenticular neovascularization and elongated ciliary processes [Figure 1]a and [Figure 1]b. USG B-scan OD showed an echogenic membrane extending from the retrolental region to the optic disc [Figure 1]c. The patient was thus advised to undergo cataract extraction, primary posterior capsulectomy, and anterior vitrectomy. Thus, we present this unique photographic documentation of unilateral PFV and emphasize the fact that even though PFV is a rare entity, it should be considered as a differential diagnosis in cases of leukocoria.{Figure 1}

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.


We would like to thank Sri Kanchi Sankara Health and Educational Foundation, Guwahati, India.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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