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Pathology of Rubeosis Iridis

Dr Sampurna Roy MD


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Rubeosis iridis (neovascularisation of the iris) is a disease of the iris of the eye in which there is formation of a fibrovascular membrane on the anterior surface of the iris.

The iris contains irregularly arranged blood vessels and the anterior chamber may contain cells, flare or even hyphaema.

Rubeosis iridis may occur as a late diabetic complication (diabetic retinopathy). Other conditions causing rubeosis iridis include central retinal vein occlusion and chronic retinal detachment.

Patients with rubeosis iridis are at increased risk of developing neovascular glaucoma because the new vessels in the trabecular meshwork of the anterior chamber of the eye obstruct aqueous chamber.

There exists an association between rubeosis iridis and histologic factors found in advanced stages of retinoblastoma, especially the amount of tumor necrosis.

Vascular endothelial growth factor may well be an angiogenic factor that is secreted by the hypoxic retinoblastoma and retinal cells and, reaching the iris, causes (presumably in collaboration with other factors) rubeosis iridis.


Further reading

Rubeosis iridis after bilateral cataract surgery and its spontaneous regression in a patient with myotonic dystrophy. 

Rubeosis iridis after vitrectomy for diabetic retinopathy. 

Neovascular complications associated with rubeosis iridis and peripheral retinal detachment after retinal detachment surgery.

Rubeosis iridis in retinoblastoma. Histologic findings and the possible role of vascular endothelial growth factor in its induction.

Microvascular injection studies in rubeosis iridis and neovascular glaucoma.

Pan-retinal photocoagulation and rubeosis iridis .


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Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






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