Acquired Heterochromia with Homer Syndrome in Two Adults

Michael C. Diesenhouse, David A. Palay, Nancy J. Newman, King To, Daniel M. Albert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background: Heterochromia iridis, asymmetry of iris pigmentation, has been well described with congenital Horner syndrome. Acquired heterochromia associated with lesions in the ocular sympathetic pathways in adulthood, however, is rare. Methods: Two cases are reported in which sympathectomy in adults resulted in ipsilateral Horner syndrome with heterochromia. In each case, pharmacologic testing with cocaine and hydroxyamphetamine was performed. Results: In both cases, sympathectomy occurred at the level of the second order neuron, but hydroxyamphetamine testing suggested at least partial third order neuron involvement. Conclusion: Acquired heterochromia can occur in adults. The partial response to hydroxyamphetamine in the two cases presented may reflect trans-synaptic degeneration of the postganglionic neuron. A reduction in trophic influences on iris melanocytes may have contributed to the observed heterochromia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1815-1817
Number of pages3
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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