central heterochromia, green with brown
from outer edge inward, blue, green, and brown
This is likely the picture of our Daniel which best shows his heterochromia. A larger version of this picture appears at the end of our blog pages on the right.
Our son Matthew,a college student, six years Daniel's senior, came to me to mention something this week after our time at the hospital. He told me that he had noticed from pictures that Daniel had central heterochromia and he wondered if this unusual fact was associated with any disorders which could have produced sudden death. This was amazing to me because although I had heard of central heterochromia, and I recognized that Daniel had absolutely beautiful eyes, I personally did not put the two together.
There are a few different types of heterochromia. Central heterochromia iridis refers to the iris of the eye,which is normally one color, being more than one color. Characteristically in central heterochromia, the outer iris is one color, and the inner iris is another, giving the person interesting and unusual eyes. Daniel had eyes which we described as hazel, but were hypnotic by virtue of their green with multi-colored highlighting and speckles. I have not been successful in associating this with any sudden death syndromes although very occasionally, it can be associated with some disorders which Daniel clearly did not have. On a side note, a number of celebrities are said to have this also. Tom Cruise, Mila Kunis, Hugh Jackman, Angelina Jolie, Robert Downey Jr., Emma Roberts, Kristin Kreuk, Kristin Scott Thomas, Rowan Atkinson, Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro,Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, AKA Stephani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, and many others are all said to have the hazel version of central heterochromia,like Daniel. Keifer Sutherland, Michael Flatley, Christopher Walken have a different version of central heterochromia which is said to incorporate blues rather than greens. Still other varieties may be sectoral versions of heterochromia or a different color eye on each side in some also. Jane Seymour has one blue eye and one brown. Heterochromia is thought to afflict one in ten thousand human beings. This is a fascinating website with pictures on the subject:
Interestingly, many of those mentioned have eyes similar to Daniel's.
Although some people with heterochromia do test perfectly normally, it is considered an affliction by virtue of the fact that it is associated with a number of disorders. Hirschsprung's Disease and Waardenburg Syndrome and others are associated with it. The associated disorders were ruled out in Daniel, on autopsy.
There are some additional rare disorders that may be associated with heterochromia. For those with pressing questions and concerns, below is a genetics laboratory, which discusses testing: