X-linked mental retardation (XLMR) is genetically heterogeneous and clinically variable. We describe a new XLMR syndrome of severe mental retardation and multiple congenital anomalies. Two sisters have (with 3 different partners) 3 severely handicapped sons. In 2 cases, oligohydramnios and intrauterine growth retardation were noted. Common anomalies included a square-shaped face, high and broad forehead, frontal bossing, downward slant of palpebral fissures, hypertelorism, epicanthic folds, long philtrum, thin upper lip, and apparently low-set ears. One boy has bilateral microphthalmos and sclerocornea, and his cousin has atrophy of the optic nerve. All 3 patients are blind and have profound statomotor and mental retardation, seizures, and a grossly abnormal electroencephalographic pattern. Additional findings are short stature, delayed bone maturation, hydronephrosis, vesicorenal reflux, cryptorchidism, clinodactyly of the 5th fingers, and transverse palmar creases. The karyotype is normal (46,XY). Segregation analysis showed perfect coinheritance between the clinical phenotype and alleles at several loci in Xp22.3, whereas recombinants were identified with marker loci from Xp22.2-qter. Analysis of multiple informative meioses suggests that the disease locus maps in Xp22.3 distal to DXS16.