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Arcus senilis: Wikis


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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) present at birth or appearing later in life and becoming quite frequent after age 50.


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.


  1. ^ Correlating corneal arcus with atherosclerosis in familial hypercholesterolemia. Zech LA Jr, Hoeg JM. Lipids Health Dis. 2008 Mar 10;7:7. PMID 18331643

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