Microcephaly with chorioretinal degeneration

La Ongsri Atchaneeyasakul, Leesa Linck, Richard G. Weleber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe the ophthalmologic findings and electroretinograms in patients with microcephaly and chorioretinal degeneration. Methods: We reviewed the hospital records of 20 patients with microcephaly that was not part of a recognizable syndrome prior to initial referral to the institutional consultative practice of one of the authors. Twelve patients, all from separate families, were diagnosed as having microcephaly with chorioretinopathy. Ten of these patients had ISCEV-standard electroretinograms (ERG). Results. No family history of microcephaly or retinal degeneration was found in any of our patients. Three patients had another family member with mental retardation. Three of the 12 were compatible with the autosomal dominant form of microcephaly with chorioretinopathy (MIM 156590), possibly as a new mutation. Eight patients, who had fundus findings of retinitis pigmentosa, were similar to the autosomal recessive form of microcephaly with chorioretinal degeneration (MIM 251270). The ERGs were moderately to severely subnormal for responses of both rods and cones. The retinal findings varied from no pigmentary changes, pigment clumping and bone spicules, pigmentary granularity, bull's eye maculopathy, choroidal and retinal atrophy, to lacunar depigmentation. Mental retardation was mild to profound. The abnormal findings from MRI/CT brain scans (8 patients) were cerebellar atrophy (2), agenesis of cerebellar vermis (1), cortical atrophy (1), and pachygyria (1). Dysmorphic features were present in most patients. Chromosome studies were normal, except for one patient with ring chromosome 14. Conclusions. Although the patients reviewed in this study represent a heterogeneous group of disorders, ocular abnormalities, especially retinal degeneration are frequent among patients with microcephaly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalOphthalmic Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Autosomal dominant inheritance
  • Autosomal recessive inheritance
  • Chorioretinal degeneration
  • Microcephaly
  • Retinitis pigmentosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Ophthalmology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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