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March 1, 2001

Other Illnesses

Question from Scarsdale, New York, USA:

My one year old grandson has just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. When he was three months old, it we noticed that one pupil was smaller than the other. The ophthalmologist did an x-ray which was negative, and his pupils are still unequal. Could there be relationship between the eye condition and the diabetes?

Answer:

Pupil evaluation is part of a neurologic exam, and I would recommend that your grandson be examined by a neuro-ophthalmologist with pediatric experience. While an abnormal pupil could be benign, it can be the sign of a potentially very serious condition. The action taken should be to think the worst until proven otherwise.

The short answer is pupil abnormalities are evaluated as a neurologic sign before one would consider it a manifestation of a systemic condition such as diabetes.

CAG