Original Research

The validity and reliability of iridology in the diagnosis of previous acute appendicitis as evi-denced by appendectomy

L. Frank, J.T. Ferreira, J. Pellow
African Vision and Eye Health | South African Optometrist: Vol 72, No 3 | a281 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v72i3.281 | © 2013 L. Frank, J.T. Ferreira, J. Pellow | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 January 2013 | Published: 07 January 2013

About the author(s)

L. Frank, Department of Homoeopathy, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
J.T. Ferreira, Department of Optometry, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
J. Pellow, Department of Homoeopathy, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Iridology is defined as a photographic science that identifies pathological and functional changes within organs via biomicroscopic iris assessment for aberrant lines, spots, and discolourations. According to iridology, the iris does not reflect changes  during  anaesthesia,  due  to  the  drugs inhibitory  effects  on  nerves  impulses,  and  in cases of organ removal, it reflects the pre-surgical condition.The profession of Homoeopathy is frequently associated with iridology and in a recent survey (2009)  investigating  the  perceptions  of  Masters of  Technology  graduates  in  Homoeopathy  of University of Johannesburg, iridology was highly regarded as a potential additional skill requirement for assessing the health status of the patient.This  study  investigated  the  reliability  of iridology  in  the  diagnosis  of  previous  acute appendicitis, as evidenced by appendectomy. A total of 60 participants took part in the study. Thirty of the 60 participants had an appendectomy due to acute appendicitis, and 30 had had no prior history  of  appendicitis.  Each  participant’s  right iris  was  documented  by  photography  with  the use  of  a  non-mydriatic  retinal  camera  that  was reset for photographing the iris. The photographs were then randomized by an external person and no identifying data made available to the three raters.  The  raters  included  the  researcher,  who had little experience in iridology and two highly experienced  practising  iridologists.  Data  was obtained  from  the  analyses  of  the  photographs wherein  the  presence  or  absence  of  lesions (implying acute appendicitis) was indicated by the raters. None of the three raters was able to show a significant  success  rate  in  identifying  correctly the  people  with  a  previous  history  of  acute appendicitis and resultant appendectomies from those  who  had  no  previous  history  of  acute appendicitis.  Therefore the outcome of this study indicated an outcome that was subject to chance.The  null  hypothesis  that  states  that appendectomy due to acute appendicitis does not manifest in corresponding lesions in the iris, is supported. It is in the opinion of the researchers that the  association  of  iridology  with  homoeopathic practice may harm the credibility of the profession and that further research on iridology is needed to disprove this conviction. (S Afr Optom 2013 72(3) 127-132)


Iris, iridology, iris diagnosis, homoeopathy, appendicitis, appendectomy


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