• Amjad Akram
  • M. Khizar Niazi
  • Mazhar Ishaq
  • Nadia Azad


Background: Asteroid hyalosis is a benign condition characterized by small white or yellow-white spherical opacities throughout the vitreous. The aetiology of this disorder is not clearly understood. Association of asteroid hyalosis with diabetes mellitus has been a debatable issue in ophthalmology. This study was carried out to determine the relationship between asteroid hyalosis and diabetes. Methods: The study was carried out in the Department of Ophthalmology, Military Hospital, Rawalpindi. Cases were picked up during routine eye examination that showed evidence of asteroid hyalosis. All patients of diabetes scheduled for routine follow-ups were also checked for active signs of diabetes. Fasting and two-hour postprandial blood glucose were checked and the frequency of diabetes mellitus in patients with asteroid hyalosis was determined. Results: Ninety-six cases of asteroid hyalosis were included. The median age of presentation was 55.68 years (range 40–71). It was bilateral in thirty-six cases. Twenty-eight cases were positive for diabetes. Conclusion: The association between asteroid hyalosis and diabetes appears to be significant. Patients found to be having the findings of asteroid hyalosis should be screened for diabetes.KEYWORDS: Asteroid Hyalosis; Diabetes Mellitus; Vitreous


Sebag J. The vitreous. In: Moses AR, Hart WM eds. Adler’s physiology of the eye. St Louis: CV Mosby Company 1992: 308-12.

Bard LA. Asteroid hyalosis: Relationship to diabetes and hypercholesterolemia. Am J Ophthalmol 1964;58:239-41.

Cockburn DM. Are vitreous asteroid bodies associated with diabetes mellitus. Am J Optom Physiol Opt 1985;62:40-3.

Sebag J, Albert DM, Craft JS. The alstrom syndrome: Ocular histopathology and retinal ultrastructure. Br J Ophthalmol 1984;68:494-6.

Smith HL. Asteroid hyalites: Incidence of diabetes mellitus and hypercholesterolemia. JAMA 1958;168:891-4.

Hatfield RE, Gastineau CF, Ruke CW. Asteroid bodies in the vitreous: Relationship to diabetes and hypercholesterolemia. Mayo Clin Proc 1962;37:513-6.

Kearns TP. Discussion of asteroid hyalitis and diabetes mellitus. Trans Am Acad Ophthalmol Otolaryngol 1965;69:277-81.

Luxenberg M, Sime D. Relationships of asteroid hyalosis to diabetes mellitus and plasma lipid levels. Am J Ophthalmol 1969;73:406-9.

Zin KM. Asteroid hyalosis. In: Verlag S ed. Clinical Atlas of Peripheral retinal disorders. New York: Churchill Livingstone Publishers, 1988:74-9.

Bergren RL, Brown GC, Ducker JS. Prevalence and association of asteroid hyalosis with systemic diseases. Am J Ophthalmol 1991;111(3):289-93.

Moss SE, Klein R, Klein BE. Asteroid hyalosis in a population: The Beaver Dam Eye Study. Am J Ophthalmol 2001;132(1):70-7.

Jones WL, Twamley CR. Documented acquired asteroid hyalosis in a case of early-diagnosed diabetes mellitus. Optometry 2001;72(5):315-21.

Most read articles by the same author(s)