March 2012
Volume 53, Issue 14
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   March 2012
Morgagnian Cataract Simulating Iris Neoplasia: Case Report
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alessandra Protti
    Ophthalmology, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
  • Stefano A. Gandolfi
    Ophthalmology, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
  • Paolo Mora
    Ophthalmology, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
  • Leonidas Zografos
    Ophthalmology, Jules-Gonin Eye Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Alessandra Protti, None; Stefano A. Gandolfi, None; Paolo Mora, None; Leonidas Zografos, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science March 2012, Vol.53, 6679. doi:
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      Alessandra Protti, Stefano A. Gandolfi, Paolo Mora, Leonidas Zografos; Morgagnian Cataract Simulating Iris Neoplasia: Case Report. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):6679.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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to describe a case in which the diagnosis of Morganian cataract required clinical and instrumental differentiation from iris pathologies, including iris melanoma.


a 60-years-old Caucasian man referred to our institute for worsening of vision in last few months. Clinical evaluation consisted in complete ophthalmological assessment, ultrasound examination (biomicroscopy and 20MHz), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) completed with Susceptibility Weighted Imaging (SWI).


traumatic corneal wound of the left eye (LE) had occurred 5 years before, and was treated with medical therapy alone. Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was 3/10 in the right eye (RE) and finger count in the LE, with intraocular pressure at 13 and 20mmHg, respectively. Chronic central serous chorioretinopathy, accounted for the low visual acuity of the RE. Slit-lamp biomicroscopy of the LE was as in Figure 1; LE fundus was not clinically observable. Despite MRI was compatible with an iris solid formation, characterized by contrast enhancement and hyperintense signal in SWI, ultrasound indicated rather a mixed solid and liquid content (moderately echogenic external layer, hyporeflective internal content). Iris root and ciliary body were not significantly altered; the lens showed inhomogeneous content. We considered Morgagnian cataract the most probable diagnosis. Surgery confirmed the presence of a hypermature cataract with prior anterior capsule fissuring; the liquefied cortex infiltrated the iris without anterior chamber seeping. Post-operative BCVA was 3/10 and fundus examination disclosed an advanced macular chronic central serous chorioretinopathy.


In the reported case a previous perforating trauma have probably damaged the lens capsule and started cataract progression. Curiously cataract developed percolating into the iris stroma, thus simulating an iris mass. At our knowledge, Morgagnian cataract has never been included in the differential diagnosis of iris mass.  

Keywords: cataract • melanoma • tumors 

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