South African Family Practice

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Clinical management of hyphaema

SD Mathebula


Hyphaema is the presence of red blood cells in the anterior chamber. A minimal amount of tiny red blood cells suspended in the aqueous humour is termed a microhyphaema. Microhyphaema may be visible only with the slit lamp, in the form of eryth-rocytes floating and circulating in the aqueous humour. Slightly larger amounts of red blood cells settle as variously shaped masses on the surface of the iris, lens or vitreous. Still larger volume of red blood cells gravitates to the anterior aspect of the interior chamber, producing a grossly visible layered hyphaema, which may be partial or complete. The management of hyphaema can present a challenge to a clinician, because medical treatment is of little value for hyphaema itself but is useful for complications.

South African Family Practice Vol. 48 (10) 2006: pp. 60-61
AJOL African Journals Online