Assessment of iris surface features and their relationship with iris thickness in Asian eyes

Ophthalmology. 2014 May;121(5):1007-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2013.11.028. Epub 2014 Jan 7.


Purpose: To assess iris surface features in Asian eyes and examine their associations with iris thickness measured by anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS OCT).

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Participants: We recruited 250 subjects from the Singapore Malay Eye Study.

Methods: We obtained standardized slit-lamp photographs and developed a grading system assessing iris crypts (by number and size), furrows (by number and circumferential extent), and color (higher grade denoting darker iris). Vertical and horizontal cross-sections of the anterior chamber were imaged using AS OCT. Intragrader and intergrader agreements in the grading of iris surface were assessed by weighted κ (κ(w)) statistic. Associations of the average iris thickness with the grade of iris features were assessed using linear regression analysis.

Main outcome measures: Frequency and size of iris crypts, furrows, and color; iris thickness at 750 μm (IT750) and 2000 μm (IT2000) from the scleral spur; and maximum iris thickness (ITM) averaged from the 4 quarters.

Results: Three hundred sixty-four eyes had complete and gradable data for crypts and color; 330 eyes were graded for furrows. The grading scheme showed good intragrader (crypt κ(w) = 0.919, furrow κ(w) =0.901, color κ(w) = 0.925) and intergrader (crypt κ(w) = 0.775, furrow κ(w) = 0.836, color κ(w) = 0.718) agreements. Higher crypt grade was associated independently with thinner IT750 (β [change in iris thickness per grade higher] = -0.007; P = 0.029), IT2000 (β = -0.018; P < 0.001), and ITM (β = -0.012; P < 0.001). More extensive furrows were associated with thicker IT750 (β = 0.022; P < 0.001). Darker iris was also associated with thicker IT750 (β = 0.014; P = 0.001).

Conclusions: Iris surface features, assessed and measured from slit-lamp photographs, correlate well with iris thickness. Irises with more crypts are thinner; irises with more extensive furrows and darker color are thicker peripherally. These findings may provide another means to assess angle closure risk based on iris features.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group* / ethnology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eye Color
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iris / anatomy & histology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Photography
  • Prospective Studies
  • Singapore
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence