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A novel pattern of oculocerebral malformation


AIMS/BACKGROUND To report a novel pattern of oculocerebral malformation related to the group of diseases characterised by cobblestone lissencephaly.

METHODS By means of a case report with specialist descriptions of the novel neuropathological and ophthalmic pathology features.

RESULTS The patient, born to healthy consanguineous parents, presented in the neonatal period with jaundice, convulsions, and macrocephaly. Computed tomography demonstrated hydrocephalus and abnormal cerebral gyration. Ophthalmic examination revealed severe myopia and segments of retinal atrophy. Cytogenetic investigation revealed a balanced reciprocal translocation (46,XX,t(5p11;19q13.1)) that was inherited from the mother and was present in several normal relatives. Mild short stature and profound mental handicap were evident. The child died aged 7 years. At necropsy the brain showed ‘cobblestone’ (type II) lissencephaly. Cerebellar cortical architecture was abnormal and the brain stem lacked cerebral peduncles, basis pontis, and pyramids. Biopsies of skeletal muscles were normal. The ocular abnormalities included discrete sectors of retina of varying thickness with disordered neuronal lamination and gliosis. The optic nerve was gliotic and contained few nerve fibres. The anterior iris surface was studded with cellular stromal nodules which appear to be melanocytic in nature.

CONCLUSION Retinal dysgenesis occurs in the group of syndromes with ‘cobblestone lissencephaly’, the best known being Walker–Warburg syndrome. In this case, relatively long survival, lack of muscular dystrophy, and novel ocular pathology distinguish it from the other diagnoses in this group of syndromes. We suggest this child was affected by a distinct and novel oculocerebral syndrome.

  • cobblestone lissencephaly
  • retinal dysgenesis
  • iris nodule
  • oculocerebral malformation

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