Fuchs' heterochromic iridocyclitis: a review of 26 cases

Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2001 Sep;9(3):169-75. doi: 10.1076/ocii.


Fuchs' heterochromic iridocyclitis (FHI), an unusual form of uveitis of unknown etiology, is frequently misdiagnosed.

Purpose: To report the analysis of 26 patients (27 eyes) with FHI who were diagnosed and observed over a period of 1-7 years (mean: 3.42 +/- 2.2 years).

Methods: Ocular and systemic examinations were performed on all patients.

Results: The most common presenting symptom was visual deterioration (42.3%); one patient was affected bilaterally. Characteristic keratic precipitates (100%), cataracts (77.8%), and heterochromia (70.4%) were the major signs. Eleven eyes (40.7%) required cataract surgery. At the initial examination, four eyes (14.8%) had glaucoma, and no new cases of glaucoma developed during the follow-up period. One eye required filtration surgery. Vitrectomy was performed in two eyes (7.4%) because of vitreous opacities. Most patients (73.0%) did not require active treatment; pre- and postoperative anti-inflammatory treatment for cataract extraction was performed successfully to minimize the risk of inflammation. No severe uveitis was seen in any patient after surgery, but visual acuity did not improve greatly after cataract extraction; 54.5% eyes had visual acuity better than 20/40 before surgery, and 45.4% postoperatively.

Conclusion: Posterior capsule opacification, glaucoma, and vitreous opacity were the major obstacles to visual rehabilitation after cataract surgery in patients with this type of uveitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iridocyclitis* / complications
  • Iridocyclitis* / diagnosis
  • Iridocyclitis* / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Visual Acuity