University of Iowa Health Care

Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Corneal arcus (arcus senilis)

Contributor: Jesse Vislisel, MD

Photographer: Toni Venckus, CRA

Corneal arcus, also known as arcus senilis or gerontoxon, is a common degenerative change of the peripheral cornea in older adults, but may be a sign of hyperlipoproteinemia in individuals under 40 years of age. Arcus results from the deposition of lipids in the peripheral cornea, typically beginning superiorly and inferiorly and eventually encircling the entire corneal circumference as seen in this photograph. The patient in this photo also has an area of temporal iris atrophy laterally adjacent to a laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI).

deposition of lipids in the peripheral cornea

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Ophthalmic Atlas Images by, The University of Iowa are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

last updated: 9/2/2014
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