Purpose: This paper describes the surgical rehabilitation of a child with craniofacial anomalies, unilateral syndactyly, and partial unilateral cryptophthalmos associated with inferior colobomata of the iris and optic nerve and agenesis of the inferior rectus and inferior oblique muscles. The clinical presentation of cryptophthalmos is described.
Methods: The medical literature since the original description of cryptophthalmos in 1872 was reviewed to define patterns of inheritance and the incidence of associated anomalies.
Results: Including this patient, 149 case reports of cryptophthalmos were identified. In two families transmission from parent to child suggests dominant inheritance. None of the five dominant cases had any other anomalies, and all had bilateral complete cryptophthalmos. The incidence of cryptophthalmos in the remaining families is consistent with autosomal recessive inheritance. This group includes patients with bilateral, unilateral, and partial cryptophthalmos. Other anomalies are common, including those of the ear and nose, limbs, genitourinary system, and mouth and palate. Mortality in the perinatal period is associated with renal agenesis, laryngeal atresia, and pulmonary hypoplasia.
Conclusions: Cryptophthalmos is a rare congenital anomaly with two patterns of inheritance.