Arcus senilis

Arcus senilis
Arcus senilis
Classification and external resources

Four representative slides of corneal arcus - arcus deposits tend to start at 6 and 12 o'clock and fill in until becoming completely circumferential. There is a thin, clear section separating the arcus from the limbus, known as the lucid interval of Vogt. Image from Zech and Hoeg, 2008.[1]
ICD-10 H18.4
ICD-9 371.41
OMIM 107800
DiseasesDB 17120
MeSH D001112

Arcus senilis (or arcus senilis corneae) is a white or gray, opaque ring in the corneal margin (peripheral corneal opacity), or white ring around the iris. It is present at birth, but then fades; however, it is quite commonly present in the elderly. It can also appear earlier in life as a result of hypercholesterolaemia.


Alternative names

It is also called arcus adiposus, arcus juvenilis (when it occurs in younger individuals), arcus lipoides corneae or arcus cornealis; sometimes a gerontoxon.


It results from cholesterol deposits in or hyalinosis of the corneal stroma, and may be associated with ocular defects or with familial hyperlipidemia.

It can be a sign of disturbance in lipid metabolism, an indicator of conditions such as hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipoproteinemia or hyperlipidemia.

Unilateral arcus is a sign of decreased blood flow to the unaffected eye, due to carotid artery disease or ocular hypotony.

People over the age of 60 may present with a ring-shaped, grayish-white deposit of phospholipid and cholesterol near the peripheral edge of the cornea.

Younger people with the same abnormality at the edge of the cornea would be termed arcus juvenilis.


External links