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Heterochromia iridis

Other Names for this Disease
  • Asymmetry in the pigmentation of the irides
  • Pigmentary abnormality of the anterior segment of the eye
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Heterochromia iridis is a condition in which the iris, the colored part of the eye, is composed of different colored patches or segments, or when the iris of one eye is a different color than the iris of the other eye.  This condition may involve one or both eyes.[1]  Most cases of heterochromia iridis occur by chance and are not associated with any other symptoms or problems.[2]  In some cases, heterochromia iridis may be present from birth as part of a genetic disorder, such as Waardenburg syndrome, Sturge-Weber syndrome, or Parry-Romberg syndrome.[2]  In other cases, this condition may be acquired if eye color changes after an injury to the eye, due to damage to nerves near the eyes, or in response to an environmental exposure.[2][1]
Last updated: 8/10/2011


  1. Gladstone RM. Development and significance of heterochromia of the iris. Archives of Neurology. 1969; 21:184-191. Accessed 8/9/2011.
  2. Ur Rehman H. Heterochromia. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2008; 179:447-448. Accessed 8/9/2011.
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In Depth Information

  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Heterochromia iridis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.