Post-traumatic Cilia Remaining Inert in the Anterior Chamber for 50 Years

A Case Report

Zuleyha Yalniz-Akkaya


J Med Case Reports. 2011;5(527) 

In This Article


Cilia can enter into the eye either as a result of penetrating surgery[3,6] or penetrating injury.[1–3,5,7,9] Post-traumatic intra-ocular cilia events comprise a small portion (0.4%) of all intra-ocular foreign bodies.[1] Cilia can be entrapped in the cornea, AC, posterior chamber, lens, vitreous, or retina or can migrate into the eye.[3,4,6,7,9–12] Anterior chamber cilia account for 45% of all intra-ocular ciliae.[1]

The response of the eye to the intra-ocular cilia is unpredictable and variable. In the early post-traumatic or post-surgical course, both infection and inflammation can cause a severe ocular reaction. Intra-ocular cilia can be associated with corneal edema, corneal graft rejection, granulomatous and non-granulomatous iridocyclitis, cyst formation, lens abscess vitreous traction, retinal detachment and endophthalmitis.[1,4,7,8] Although cilia may remain inert for many years, exacerbation with delayed inflammatory reactions of various severity may occur, ending with blindness.[7]

A literature review revealed that cilia entrapped in the AC can sometimes cause inflammation[3,8] and can sometimes remain innocuous.[2,9,11,12] In the literature, there is a report of silent cilia existing in the AC for 33 years.[12] To the best of our knowledge, our report is the first case of post-traumatic cilia that has remained silent for approximately 50 years. The asymptomatic course of intra-ocular cilia is related to its relatively inert nature compared to other organic materials and the immune privileged feature of the eye.[7] Based on this fact, some practitioners prefer observation in asymptomatic cases,[2,9] while others prefer surgical intervention to eliminate the potential of devastating endophthalmitis.[6–8]