The gonioscopic findings of 76 patients with the exfoliation syndrome were reviewed. A high frequency of narrowness of the anterior chamber (AC) angle was found (32%). 18% had angles considered occludable, and 14% had obvious angle-closure glaucoma as shown by the presence of peripheral anterior synechias (PAS). Increased pigmentation of the posterior trabecular meshwork (PTM) was noted in all cases. When this pigmentation was markedly asymmetrical, unilateral exfoliation with glaucoma was common in the more pigmented eye. In addition heavy angle pigmentation in the absence of exfoliation was noted in the fellow eye of patients with characteristic exfoliated material in the other eye. Increased pigmentation of the PTM may be the earliest detectable sign of the exfoliation syndrome (ES). The clinical significance of our estimating PTM pigmentation at the 12 o'clock position is discussed. In view of the accelerated optic nerve damage associated with the development of glaucoma secondary to ES, routine estimation of the pigmentation of the PTM at 12 o'clock is recommended in the hope of early detection of cases of otherwise inapparent ES.