To determine the prevalence of pigmented striae of the anterior lens capsule, with or without associated glaucoma, in a black primary eye care population.
Over a 16-month period, five practitioners searched for pigmented lens striae (PLS) among consecutive patients who underwent pupillary dilation during routine eye care provided within the primary care service of an urban eye clinic in Chicago, Illinois.
Meeting the inclusion criteria were 1608 blacks (mean age ± SD, 40.9 ± 23.7 years; range, 5 to 100; 1056 females, 552 males). Among the group, 29 (1.8%) subjects had PLS (mean age, 66.5 ± 11.3 years; range, 33 to 88; 25 females, 4 males). PLS were bilateral 89% of the time. Sixteen of the 29 (55%) blacks had central corneal endothelial pigment dusting (14 bilateral), frequently creating a well-formed Krukenberg’s spindle. Trabecular pigmentation varied among the PLS subjects from mild to heavy. Using multiple logistic regression, age (in years) (odds ratio, 1.05; 95% confidence interval, 1.02 to 1.07; p = 0.0003), female gender (odds ratio, 4.46; 95% confidence interval; 1.03 to 19.19; p = 0.045), and hyperopic refractive error (in diopters) (odds ratio, 1.35; 95% confidence interval; 1.09 to 1.67; p = 0.006) were significant predictors of PLS.
PLS were present in about 1.8% (2.4% females, 0.7% males) of our black population, and they were frequently associated with other signs of intraocular pigment dispersion. Age, female gender, and refractive error were significant predictors for PLS. This is new information that is helpful for understanding a clinical sign that may be an indicator of age-related pigment dispersal within the anterior segment.