Eye findings in 8 children and a spontaneously aborted fetus with RSH/Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome

Am J Med Genet. 1998 Dec 28;80(5):501-5. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-8628(19981228)80:5<501::aid-ajmg12>3.0.co;2-j.


We evaluate the ophthalmologic findings in 8 children with RSH/Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) and document abnormal concentrations of cholesterol and cholesterol precursors in the ocular tissues in a case of SLOS. The most common ophthalmologic finding was blepharoptosis, which was found in 6 of 8 patients, with the severity ranging from mild to moderate. None of the patients in the present study demonstrated cataracts; none had amblyopia from blepharoptosis. One patient had a right hypertropia with overaction of the inferior oblique muscle. This patient also had optic atrophy and a second patient had bilateral optic nerve hypoplasia. The importance of these findings to the visual function remains to be defined. Sterol analysis from ocular tissues of an aborted fetus with SLOS showed increased 7- and 8-dehydrocholesterol and a low cholesterol concentration in the retinal pigment epithelium, lens, cornea, and sclera. Routine ophthalmologic examination is indicated in SLOS because of the high incidence of abnormalities, most likely due to the abnormal synthesis of cholesterol and cholesterol precursors in the ocular tissues of these patients, as evidenced by sterol analysis of the ocular tissues in a case of SLOS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Cholesterol / biosynthesis
  • Eye Abnormalities / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome / genetics*
  • Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome / metabolism
  • Sterols / metabolism


  • Sterols
  • Cholesterol