Iris cross-sectional area decreases with pupil dilation and its dynamic behavior is a risk factor in angle closure

Harry A. Quigley, David M. Silver, David S. Friedman, Mingguang He, Ryan J. Plyler, Charles G. Eberhart, Henry D. Jampel, Pradeep Ramulu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To estimate the change in iris cross-sectional (CS) area with pupil dilation using anterior segment optical coherence tomography comparing eyes with angle closure (AC) to open angle glaucoma (OAG). METHODS: Sixty-five patients from the Wilmer Glaucoma service, 36 with definite or suspected OAG and 29 with definite or suspected AC, underwent anterior segment optical coherence tomography imaging under 3 conditions (pupil constriction to light, physiologic dilation in the dark, and after pharmacologic dilation). The nasal and temporal iris CS areas were measured with custom software, 3 times in each of 4 meridians. The principal outcome variables were iris CS area and change in iris CS area/mm pupil diameter change. The relation of these parameters to potential variables that would influence iris area was estimated by multivariate regression. RESULTS: CS area was smaller in eyes with larger pupil diameter, those that had undergone trabeculectomy, and those of European-derived persons (P<0.05 for all in a univariate analysis). In a multivariate model with CS area as the dependent variable, larger pupil diameter (with a 0.19 mm decrease in CS area for each 1 mm of pupil enlargement, P=0.0002), and trabeculectomy remained significant factors. In a second multivariate model, AC irides had less change in CS area/mm pupil enlargement than OAG or OAG suspects (P=0.01). Change in iris CS area was essentially complete in 5 seconds (n=10 eyes). CONCLUSIONS: The iris loses nearly half its volume from a pupil diameter of 3 to 7 mm, probably by eliminating extracellular fluid. Smaller iris CS area change with physiologic pupil dilation is a potential risk factor for AC. Dynamic iris CS area change deserves testing as a prospective indicator of AC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-179
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of glaucoma
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Angle closure
  • Glaucoma
  • Iris
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Risk factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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