Ocular changes in long-term evolution of infantile cystinosis

Ophthalmic Paediatr Genet. 1987 Jun;8(2):131-7. doi: 10.3109/13816818709028529.


Infantile cystinosis is an autosomal recessive lysosomal disorder of aminoacid metabolism leading to a storage of cystine crystals in the cells of many tissues, but mainly in the kidney and the eye. The ocular symptoms and long term evolution were studied in a series of 25 patients at the Enfants Malades Hospital. The follow-up over 26 years demonstrated that infantile cystinosis affected mainly corneal and retinal epithelium just as it affected the kidney epithelium. Corneal involvement was a constant finding after one year of age. It induced photophobia, which appeared between three and four years when a superficial punctate keratopathy appeared. A characteristic retinopathy was observed as early as three years of age. It was constantly present at seven years of age and caused loss of vision. When ERG results were compared to the most recent measurement of visual acuity, a correlation was observed between retinopathy and visual defect. For this reason, no corneal grafts were performed. The use of topic cysteamine appeared promising but no definitive conclusions could be made.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cysteamine / therapeutic use
  • Cystinosis / complications*
  • Cystinosis / pathology
  • Eye Diseases / complications*
  • Eye Diseases / drug therapy
  • Eye Diseases / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney Diseases / complications
  • Male
  • Ophthalmic Solutions


  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Cysteamine