Mucopolysaccharidosis: A broad review

Indian J Ophthalmol. 2022 Jul;70(7):2249-2261. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_425_22.


Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) is a group of genetic disorders with seven types and 13 subgroups which are characterized by an inherent deficiency of the enzymes responsible for the degradation of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Defective breakdown of GAG products leads to their widespread accumulation within the lysosomes of various organs involving the eye, central nervous system, skeletal, ocular, nervous, respiratory, cardiac, and the gastrointestinal systems. Clinical spectrum varies from mild systemic and ocular abnormalities with a normal life span to severe phenotype, fatal in the first few months of life. Visual disability due to corneal clouding, retinopathy, and optic nerve involvement causes additional impairment of physical and cognitive functions. Treatment modalities such as bone marrow transplantation and enzyme replacement therapies help in increasing the life span as well as the quality of life of the affected patients. For patients with significant corneal clouding, keratoplasty is the answer. The decision to proceed with keratoplasty is governed by various factors such as the motivation of the patient and his family, other systemic affections and anesthesia concerns. A detailed preoperative counseling should be done regarding the expected visual outcomes in the presence of other ocular comorbidities and the postoperative complication such as graft re-opacification, rejection and glaucoma. Future treatment options such as targeted gene therapy and substrate reduction therapy hold promise to reverse corneal clouding, thereby obviating the need for corneal transplantation. These treatment therapies are still in the experimental stages and human trials are needed to validate their outcomes.

Keywords: Bilateral corneal clouding; Hurler's syndrome; MPS; diffuse corneal opacification; mucopolysaccharidosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Corneal Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Corneal Diseases* / therapy
  • Corneal Opacity*
  • Corneal Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses* / complications
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses* / diagnosis
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses* / therapy
  • Quality of Life