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Ultrasound biomicroscopy and iris pigment dispersion: a case―control study
  1. P Mora,
  2. C Sangermani,
  3. S Ghirardini,
  4. A Carta,
  5. N Ungaro,
  6. SA Gandolfi
  1. Institute of Ophthalmology, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mora Paolo, Institute of Ophthalmology, University of Parma, via Gramsci 14, 43100 Parma, Italy; paolo.mora{at}


Background/aims The study involved eyes affected by pigment dispersion syndrome (PDS) or pigmentary glaucoma (PG) investigated by ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM). Different irido-corneal parameters were assessed and compared with those from healthy controls. The aim was to investigate the capacity of the UBM in differentiating the cases and, potentially, in confirming the pathogenic mechanisms.

Methods Patients with a first diagnosis of PDS or PG were included. A cohort of healthy volunteers matched for sex, age and refractive errors was recruited. All underwent UBM examination: the following parameters were assessed in relaxed and stimulated accommodative state in one eye: iris–lens contact (ILC), irido-corneal angle (ICA) and iris concavity (IC). A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis assessed the ability of UBM to discriminate between subjects with and without PDS/PG.

Results There were 24 eyes in the case group: four diagnosed as PG and the remaining 20 as PDS. There were 25 eyes in the control group. The two groups were statistically superimposable except for baseline intraocular pressure, which was higher in the case group (p=0.0001). All UBM parameters were statistically different between the two groups. ICA in near vision was the best-performing parameter, reaching a sensitivity (=specificity) of 0.875 with a cut-off at 53.0°. The second most sensitive parameter was IC, still in near vision.

Conclusion All UBM parameters examined were statistically different between the two groups. ROC analysis showed ICA and IC in near vision to be the most discriminatory parameters. This evidence confirms the importance of iris movements in inducing the particular features of PDS/PG.

  • Pigmentary glaucoma
  • pigment dispersion syndrome
  • UBM

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  • The English in this document has been checked by at least two professional editors, both native speakers of English. For a certificate, see

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Hospital of Parma – Italy.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.