Iridocorneal Endothelial Syndrome (ICE)

ICE (iridocorneal endothelial syndrome) is a relatively uncommon eye disease. Iridocorneal endothelial syndrome has three major characteristics which are:

● corneal swelling
● changes in the iris
● a form of glaucoma

ICE (iridocorneal endothelial syndrome) refers to a community of disorders involving changes in the corneal cells and iris. Cells moving from the cornea to the iris are almost always involved in the syndrome. Corneal swelling and iris and pupil distortion may result from the loss of corneal cells. When corneal cells move, they can obstruct the proper drainage of fluid through the eye’s microscopic drainage channels. Glaucoma is caused by a build-up of pressure in the eye as a result of this blockage which has been reported to occur in 50% to 80% of patients with iridocorneal endothelial syndrome.

Glaucoma is a category of eye diseases that affect the optic nerve, which is important for good vision. An abnormally high pressure in your eye is often the cause of this injury. Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of blindness in people over 60 if left untreated.

Who Is At Most Risk for Developing Iridocorneal Endothelial Syndrome?

iridocorneal endothelial syndrome

Women are more likely than men to develop iridocorneal endothelial syndrome. In most cases, the condition is discovered in middle age. Iridocorneal endothelial syndrome usually only affects one eye.

Causes and Symptoms of Iridocorneal Endothelial Syndrome

iridocorneal endothelial syndrome

The exact cause of ICE is unknown. Some ophthalmologists say it is caused by a virus, such as herpes simplex which causes the cornea to swell. ICE patients may experience discomfort or blurry vision in one eye, as well as changes in the iris or pupil.

Iridocorneal endothelial (ICE) syndrome is a rare ocular disorder characterized by structural and proliferative defects of the corneal endothelium, anterior chamber angle, and iris. Corneal edema, secondary glaucoma, iris atrophy, and pupillary defects ranging from distortion to polycoria are all common clinical characteristics.

How Is Ice Diagnosed and Treated?

iridocorneal endothelial syndrome

Early detection aids in the management of the most difficult complications, such as secondary glaucoma and corneal edema. To diagnose ICE, an ophthalmologist will conduct a full eye exam, slit lamp exam, as well as some imaging tests.

Typically, the examination would reveal:

increased ocular pressure (glaucoma)
● iris changes
● corneal swelling

iridocorneal endothelial syndrome

There is no way to avoid ICE from spreading. Glaucoma filtering surgery with antifibrotic agents is often needed to treat ICE-related glaucoma, and the use of glaucoma drainage implants should be considered early in the treatment of these patients. Endothelial keratoplasty can effectively treat the visual impairment and pain associated with corneal edema.

To help reduce corneal swelling, your ophthalmologist can prescribe medication. A cornea transplant may be needed in some cases.

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