Argyll Robertson pupil

Labelled Diagram of the Eye

Labelled diagram of the structure of the retina

Argyll Robertson pupil (sometimes abbreviated to "AR pupil") is a disorder of the eyes in which the pupillary light reflex (sometimes referred to as simply "pupillary reflex") is absent.

This means that although the pupil of the eye contracts (reduces in diameter) normally for near vision, that is in response to accomodative effort, the pupil does not contract normally in bright light.

Prior to the widespread availability of penicillin in the 1940s, Argyll Robertson pupil was commonly associated with syphilis. Because this effect of syphilis only develops after long periods of untreated infection, it is now comparatively rare. Most modern instances of pupils (of the eye) that react to accomodative effort but not to (bright) light are found to be Adie's Pupil rather than Argyll Robertson pupil.

Argyll Robertson pupil is named after British Ophthalmologist Douglas Argyll Robertson (1837-1909). It used to be known as "Prostitute's Pupil" in recognition of the occupation or previous occupation of many patients with the condition in the late 19th and early 20th century.

More about Ophthalmology:

This section includes short definitions of many diseases, disorders, and conditions of the eyes and visual system.
For definitions of other terms in this category, choose from the list to the left (but note that this is not a complete/exhaustive list).

Other related pages include

For further information see also our pages of books about ophthalmology.

The following books may also be of interest:

The Aging Eye (Harvard Medical School)
MCQ Companion to the Eye (Textbook)
The Secret of Perfect Vision: How You Can Prevent and Reverse Nearsightedness
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM) Glaucoma: The Essential Treatments and Advances That Could Save Your Sight

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