PURPOSE: To determine the probability of converting from pigment dispersion syndrome to pigmentary glaucoma. DESIGN: Retrospective community-based study of all newly diagnosed cases of pigment dispersion syndrome or pigmentary glaucoma. METHODS: Subjects were patients newly diagnosed with pigment dispersion syndrome or pigmentary glaucoma from 1976 to 1999 in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Criteria for pigment dispersion syndrome were two of three signs: midperipheral, radial iris transillumination defects; Krukenberg spindle; heavy trabecular meshwork pigmentation. Criteria for pigmentary glaucoma were pigment dispersion syndrome and two of three findings: intraocular pressure (IOP) greater than 21 mm, optic nerve damage, or visual field loss. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were used to determine the probability of conversion to pigmentary glaucoma. RESULTS: A total of 113 patients were newly diagnosed with pigment dispersion syndrome over the 24-year period. Of these, 9 persons developed pigmentary glaucoma or elevated IOP requiring therapy. The probability of converting to pigmentary glaucoma was 10% at 5 years and 15% at 15 years. An additional 23 patients were found to have pigmentary glaucoma at their initial examination. The mean age at diagnosis of pigmentary glaucoma was 42 ± 12 years; 78% of patients were male, whereas 58% of patients with pigmentary dispersion syndrome glaucoma were male. The most significant risk factor for conversion to pigmentary glaucoma was an IOP greater than 21 mm Hg at initial examination, whereas age, refractive error, and family history of glaucoma were not correlated with conversion. CONCLUSION: The risk of developing pigmentary glaucoma from pigment dispersion syndrome was 10% at 5 years and 15% at 15 years. Young, myopic men were most likely to have pigmentary glaucoma. An IOP greater than 21 mm Hg at initial examination was associated with an increased risk of conversion.