Artificial iris devices: benefits, limitations, and management of complications

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2014 Mar;40(3):376-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2013.08.051.


Purpose: To discuss limitations and benefits of a custom-made foldable artificial iris (Artificialiris) in the management of acquired iris defects.

Setting: Hochkreuzklinik Eye Hospital, Bonn, and the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Cologne, Germany.

Design: Case series.

Methods: We reviewed the clinical course and surgical management in eyes with sight-compromising complications after phakic anterior chamber implantation of synthetic iris devices between November 2011 and January 2012.

Results: Three eyes of 2 patients were reviewed. One patient developed cataract and corneal decompensation after anterior chamber artificial iris implantation in the left eye to treat post-uveitic mydriasis. Further treatment included artificial iris removal, cataract surgery, iridoplasty, and Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK). By the 6-month follow-up, visual acuity had increased from 20/50 to 20/25. The second patient presented with bilateral secondary glaucoma, cataract, corneal edema, and iris atrophy after implantation of Newiris devices for cosmetic reasons. He consecutively had binocular explantation of the cosmetic devices, cataract surgery, artificial iris implantation, and DMEK in both eyes and Ahmed valve implantation in the right eye. During the 6-month follow-up, the intraocular pressure remained sufficiently adjusted in both eyes. Photophobia was eliminated, and visual acuity improved to 20/32 in the right eye and 20/20 in the left eye.

Conclusions: In patients with major iris defects ineligible for pupilloplasties, the artificial iris allows functionally and esthetically satisfactory anterior segment reconstruction. To prevent secondary complications, the artificial iris should only be implanted in aphakic or pseudophakic eyes and placed in the posterior chamber.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Organs*
  • Cataract Extraction
  • Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty
  • Device Removal
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology
  • Iris*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mydriasis / etiology
  • Mydriasis / surgery*
  • Photophobia / prevention & control
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Prosthesis Implantation
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uveitis / complications
  • Visual Acuity / physiology