A 'Fish-eye disease' familial condition with massive corneal opacities and hypoalphalipoproteinaemia: clinical, biochemical and genetic features

Eur J Clin Invest. 1991 Dec;21(6):616-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.1991.tb01418.x.


A Caucasian family of mediterranean origin comprising a patient whose parents were first cousins, his wife and their three children, and his two sisters have been studied. The patient and his two daughters were afflicted with the same corneal opacities and hypoalphalipoproteinaemia. The disease was shown to be transmitted as a non-sex-linked recessive trait. The corneal opacities develop at the end of the second decade of life and consist of numerous minute greyish dots in the entire corneal stroma that give the cornea a misty appearance. Vision slowly deteriorated from 40 years of age. At about 50 years of age, except in one of the two daughters who showed Marfanoid syndrome, the three patients had good general health and no symptoms of atherosclerosis. Biochemical investigations showed hypoalphalipoproteinaemia (with a faint fast-moving HDL band on polyacrylamide gel gradient electrophoresis and small arcs of HDL2 and HDL3 of low mobility determined by agarose gel immunoelectrophoresis), low total cholesterol (3.5-4.9 mmol l-1), slightly decreased cholesteryl ester/total cholesterol ratio (0.52-0.63), extremely low HDL cholesterol (0.20-0.21 mmol l-1), mild hypertriglyceridaemia (1.94-3.80 mmol l-1), and striking deficiency in apo A-I and apo A-II (0.45-0.72, 0.08-0.16 g l-1, respectively). The esterification of HDL cholesterol was low while that of LDL and VLDL was nearly normal. Other laboratory values were normal. The HDL subspecies and major apolipoprotein isoforms have been studied to differentiate FED from Tangier disease, LCAT deficiency, as Apo A-I, A-II, C-II, C-III deficiencies and variants.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Consanguinity
  • Cornea / metabolism
  • Corneal Opacity / complications
  • Corneal Opacity / genetics*
  • Corneal Opacity / metabolism
  • Female
  • Genes, Recessive
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pedigree
  • Syndrome
  • Tangier Disease / blood
  • Tangier Disease / complications
  • Tangier Disease / genetics*