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September 2006

Pigmented Lesions of the Iris: Common in Patients, Uncommon in Dermatology Textbooks

Arch Dermatol. 2006;142(9):1231-1244. doi:10.1001/archderm.142.9.1243

A recent patient encounter led us to the realization that despite the vast body of literature on cutaneous pigmented lesions, there are no dermatology reviews or textbook chapters summarizing pigmented iris lesions. Most dermatology texts contain images of ocular lesions, even ones that can only be seen by a slit-lamp examination. However, the didactic material is lacking in images of pigmented ocular lesions, which also have relevance to dermatology. Although patients with pigmented iris lesions will present primarily to ophthalmologists, dermatologists will likely be asked about them on occasion, particularly with the increasing campaign to raise public awareness of melanoma. The melanocytic cells found in the skin as well as the iris are of neural crest origin, so both have the potential to give rise to nevi or melanomas.1