This study presents preliminary results on the effect of cirrus heterogeneities on top-of-atmosphere (TOA) simulated radiances or reflectances for MODIS channels centered at 0.86, 2.21, 8.56, 11.01 and 12.03 micrometers , and on cloud optical properties retrieved with a research-level optimal estimation method (OEM). Synthetic cirrus cloud fields are generated using a 3D cloud generator (3DCLOUD) and radiances/reflectances are simulated using a 3D radiative transfer code (3DMCPOL). We find significant differences between the heterogeneity effects on either visible and near-infrared (VNIR) or thermal infrared (TIR) radiances. However, when both wavelength ranges are combined, heterogeneity effects are dominated by the VNIR horizontal radiative transport effect. As a result, small optical thicknesses are overestimated and large ones are underestimated. Retrieved effective diameter are found to be slightly affected, contrarily to retrievals using TIR channels only.