Peters’ anomaly

Peters’ anomaly is a condition that causes the cornea, the clear window in the front of the eye, to be opaque or cloudy rather than clear. This clouding of the cornea can block the development of vision.  

Peters’ anomaly is a congenital condition, meaning that a child is born with the condition. It can involve one or both eyes.  In addition to the clouding of the cornea, other structures in the eye may also be abnormal. A child may have a cataract, changes in the structure of the iris which is the colored portion of the eye (conditions called coloboma or aniridia), glaucoma (a condition in which the eye pressure is elevated), or under development of other structures in the eye.

About 60% of patients will also have other health conditions such as a change in appearance or growth, a heart condition, delay in development, or other abnormalities in the nervous system. These patients have what is called Peters’ plus. Sometimes Peters’ anomaly can be caused an abnormal gene or chromosome. Patients may need to be evaluated by a genetic specialist or other specialists to have a complete picture of the condition for that child. Sometimes Peters’ anomaly is inherited, but most of the time it is not.

Treatment for Peters’ anomaly in a child is challenging. Patients should be monitored for glaucoma and can be evaluated for possible corneal transplant, a procedure to replace the cornea with a clear donor cornea to allow vision to develop. Corneal transplants can be challenging in children. Your doctor may or may not recommend a corneal transplant based on many different factors.

Many patients with Peters’ anomaly may not develop good vision in the involved eye(s) even with treatment.