Chalcosis in the Human Eye: A Clinicopathologic Study

Narsing A. Rao, Mark O.M. Tso, A. Ralph Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


A clinicopathologic study of eight human eyes containing intraocular copper foreign bodies was undertaken. These foreign bodies, which had been retained in the eyes from three weeks to 22 years, were analyzed by atomic-absorption spectrophotometry and x-ray diffraction to determine their chemical composition. Copper deposits in Descemet membrane, vitreous, internal limiting membrane of the retina, and fibrous capsule around the foreign bodies could be demonstrated by rhodanine, rubeanic acid, and alizarin blue stains and were correlated with clinical findings and pathologic changes. Eyes with foreign bodies containing more than 85% copper tended to show more disseminated copper deposits. Eyes with alloy containing less than 85% copper showed more localized deposits of copper. Retinal structures were well preserved, even in an eye with an intraocular copper foreign body that had been retained for 22 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1379-1384
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of ophthalmology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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