SynopsisCodesDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsReferences
Brown-McLean syndrome
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Brown-McLean syndrome

Contributors: Deepak Sobti MD, Benjamin L. Mazer MD, MBA
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Brown-McLean syndrome is the presence of peripheral edema and orange-brown pigmentation in the cornea of the eye. Brown-McLean syndrome is often asymptomatic, but may present as a foreign body sensation or pain in the eye. If edematous bullae rupture, the syndrome can rarely cause severe keratitis or corneal ulceration.

Brown-McLean is a complication of many intraocular procedures, including cataract extraction, phacoemulsification, lensectomy, and vitrectomy. It occurs years after a surgery. Its exact cause is unknown, though some patients may have a hereditary predisposition.

Brown-McLean is usually treated with lubrication, hyperosmotics, and observation.


H18.20 – Unspecified corneal edema

419325003 – Brown-McLean Syndrome

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Fuchs endothelial dystrophy
  • Pseudophakic bullous keratopathy
  • Posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy

Best Tests

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Last Updated:08/25/2016
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Brown-McLean syndrome
A medical illustration showing key findings of Brown-McLean syndrome : Eye pain, Corneal peripheral lesion, Corneal pigmented lesion
Copyright © 2022 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.