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Case report
Adie’s tonic pupil presenting with unilateral photophobia successfully treated with dilute pilocarpine
  1. Hatim Batawi1 and
  2. Jonathan A Micieli1,2
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jonathan A Micieli; jonathanmicieli{at}


A 40-year-old healthy man presented with a 4-month history of photophobia, blurred vision and a right dilated pupil. Examination revealed a right pupil that was not reactive to light but constricted strongly to a near target and slowly redilated when he looked back in the distance. Pharmacological testing with dilute pilocarpine 0.1% resulted in constriction of the right pupil but no change in the left pupil. This also resulted in resolution of his photophobia and blurry vision. Neurological examination was otherwise normal, and a diagnosis of Adie’s tonic pupil was made. The main differential diagnosis to consider for a large pupil is a third nerve palsy, pharmacological mydriasis, tonic pupil and local iris processes, such as iris sphincter tears from trauma. Knowledge of the key features of these conditions can avoid wasted resources from unnecessary testing. Dilute pilocarpine 0.1% three times a day can be considered as a pharmacological therapy for symptomatic relief.

  • neuro-opthalmology
  • Pupil
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  • Contributors Conception and design, manuscript draft and final approval: HB and JAM; data acquisition: HB; critical review: JAM.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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