Numerous yellow-white, gold, or multicolored cholesterol crystals are present in the vitreous and anterior chamber in cholesterolosis, also known as synchysis scintillans. This condition appears almost exclusively in eyes that have undergone repeated or severe accidental or surgical trauma causing large intravitreal hemorrhages. The descriptive term synchysis scintillans refers to the highly refractile appearance of the cholesterol-containing crystals. In contrast to eyes with asteroid hyalosis, in which the opacities are evenly distributed throughout the vitreous cavity, eyes with cholesterolosis frequently have a PVD, which allows the crystals to settle inferiorly.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 10 - Glaucoma. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.