To report a new family with the rare form of congenital and hereditary stromal dystrophy of the cornea.
A mother and son, showing a bilateral congenital clouding of the cornea, were studied clinically and by biomicroscopy. After corneal transplantation, light microscopy and electron microscopy were performed.
The stroma of the cornea was bilaterally and symmetrically thickened with diffuse and homogeneous small opacities. The opacities were present at birth and slowly progressive. Visual acuity was reduced to 2/10. Electron microscopy of the excised corneas showed a thickened stroma owing to cleaving of the lamellae by alternating layers of small-diameter collagen fibrils arranged in a random fashion. The epithelium, Bowman's membrane, the endothelium, and Descemet's membrane were normal.
This family presents with a congenital stromal dystrophy of the cornea not linked to endothelial defects and thus differs from the more common form of congenital hereditary corneal endothelial dystrophy.
From the Departments of Ophthalmology (R.V.G., I.C., B.F.) and Pathology (R.D.V.), UZ Leuven, Belgium.
Submitted March 31, 2001.
Revision received September 10, 2001.
Accepted September 11, 2001.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. R. Van Ginderdeuren, Dept. Oogziekten, UZ Leuven, Kapucijnenvoer 33, B 3000 Leuven, Belgium. E-mail: Rita.Vanginderdeuren@uz.kuleuven.ac.be