Unesterified cholesterol in Schnyder's corneal crystalline dystrophy

Am J Ophthalmol. 1987 Aug 15;104(2):157-63. doi: 10.1016/0002-9394(87)90008-0.


We examined a 51-year-old woman who had bilateral corneal crystalline deposits unassociated with xanthelasma or systemic involvement. Her son had similar corneal lesions. Plasma cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-I and B levels were normal in both patients. Histopathologic examination of the corneal button in the mother obtained at the time of keratoplasty disclosed lipid deposits that stained with oil red O as well as with filipin, a fluorescent probe that specifically detects unesterified cholesterol. Electron microscopy showed abnormal accumulation of lipid and cholesterol in the central and paracentral basal epithelium, Bowman's layer, and superficial stroma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol / metabolism*
  • Cornea / metabolism
  • Cornea / ultrastructure
  • Corneal Dystrophies, Hereditary / metabolism*
  • Corneal Dystrophies, Hereditary / therapy
  • Corneal Transplantation
  • Crystallization
  • Female
  • Filipin
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Middle Aged


  • Filipin
  • Cholesterol