Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous (PHPV)

What is PHPV?

Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous is the former name for persistent fetal vasculature or PFV. PHPV is condition of the space behind the lens of the eye in the gel which keeps the eye in a round shape. The gel is typically clear. It is called the vitreous. In the eyes of people who have PHPV, the vitreous is not clear. The vitreous stays the way it was while the eye was growing in the unborn baby. Persistent means that it stays how it was. It does not change into a clear vitreous.

Hyperplastic does not mean that the gel is like the plastic toys are made out of. Hyperplastic means it is growing too much. In other words there is too much of the unborn baby's vitreous gel. The vitreous gel is hazy and scarred so that it does not let as much light into the back of the eye.

Primary means first. The primary vitreous is the vitreous gel that first formed as the baby was growing inside the mother. In most people the first gel slowly washes away and is replaced by clear gel. In people who have PHPV the primary or first vitreous gel stays in the eye. It is persistent.

For more information, please see the description of persistent fetal vasculature.

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