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Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Mar;67(3):350-357. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1253_18.

Iris varix: 10-year experience with 28 eyes.

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Department of Ocular Tumor, Orbital Disease and Ophthalmic Radiation Therapy, The New York Eye Cancer Center, New York City, New York, USA.



The purpose of this study is to describe the clinical characteristics, multimodality imaging findings, and clinical course of iris varices.


Retrospective, noncomparative, observational case series of 28 eyes of 26 patients with iris varices, diagnosed between 2007 and 2017, has been used.


The mean (±SD) age was 58.3 ± 12.5 years (median 57.5, range 37-81). Patients were 57.7% male and 27% hypertensive. Varices were bilateral in two patients. The mean and median visual acuities were both 20/20 (range 20/16-20/40). Intraocular pressures were 16 mmHg (10-23 mmHg). Secondary glaucoma did not occur. The inferotemporal iris quadrant was affected in 75%. A single varix was seen in 64% and 36% appeared multiple. Varix orientation was radial in 57% and circumferential in 21%. Combined radial and circumferential varix orientation was noted in 18%. One had independent radial and circumferential varices in separate quadrants. A single episcleral sentinel blood vessel directed to the varix was present in 36%. Ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM) showed a slightly increased mean iris thickness of 0.8 mm and multiple echolucent iris stromal vascular channels. Iris angiography showed no leakage of dye. Managed by observation over a mean follow-up of 37.7 months (range, 3-129), 96.4% eyes were stable and one (3.6%) regressed. No corectopia, ectropion uveae, hyphema, or metachronous anterior segment benign or malignant tumors occurred.


Iris varix is primarily located in the inferotemporal quadrant and not associated with dysmorphic pupillary findings, progression, secondary glaucoma, or malignancy. Iris varices were benign vasculopathies with no associated ocular or vision-related morbidity.


Imaging; iris; tumor; varix; vasculopathy

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