Purpose: To evaluate cone and cone-driven retinal function in patients with Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS), a condition characterized by low cholesterol. Rod and rod-driven function in patients with SLOS are known to be abnormal.
Methods: Electroretinographic (ERG) responses to full-field stimuli presented on a steady, rod suppressing background were recorded in 13 patients who had received long-term cholesterol supplementation. Cone photoresponse sensitivity (S(CONE)) and saturated amplitude (R(CONE)) parameters were estimated using a model of the activation of phototransduction, and post-receptor b-wave and 30 Hz flicker responses were analyzed. The responses of the patients were compared to those of control subjects (N = 13).
Results: Although average values of both S(CONE) and R(CONE) were lower than in controls, the differences were not statistically significant. Post-receptor b-wave amplitude and implicit time and flicker responses were normal.
Conclusions: The normal cone function contrasts with the significant abnormalities in rod function that were found previously in these same patients. Possibly, cholesterol supplementation has a greater protective effect on cones than on rods as has been demonstrated in the rat model of SLOS.