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Incontinentia pigmenti—ophthalmological observation of a series of cases and review of the literature
  1. M O'Doherty1,
  2. K Mc Creery1,
  3. A J Green1,2,
  4. I Tuwir1,
  5. D Brosnahan1
  1. 1Ophthalmology Department, Our Lady's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2National Centre for Medical Genetics, Our Lady's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Maeve O'Doherty, Ophthalmology Department, Our Lady's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland; maeveodoherty{at}


Aim The aims of this study were to make an inventory of the disease in Ireland, to acquire better knowledge of the relationship between genetic makeup and phenotypic ocular presentation and, finally, through literature review and personal experience, to establish clear guidelines on best practice in the management of children with this rare condition both in terms of screening and follow-up.

Methods All patients who attended the dermatology and genetic clinic in Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, with incontinentia pigmenti (IP) were contacted and invited to attend the eye clinic for ocular assessment. Children who were already attending the ophthalmic services before commencement of the study had their charts reviewed for assessment.

Results 11 of 19 patients agreed to attend the clinic for ocular assessment. Of these patients, nine had genetic testing. The mean age of the patients at the examination was 8 years (3 months to 29 years). In 10 patients, IP was the result of a spontaneous mutation, whereas the condition was inherited from an affected mother in one patient. Of the 11 patients with IP, 5 have visually significant ocular findings (47%). We describe the case history of four of these children briefly to outline the severity of this condition.

Conclusion Our patients had a significant percentage of ocular abnormalities (47%). We have outlined an examination schedule for patients with and without retinal pathology and recommend fluorescein angiography in patients with retinal pathology to fully determine the extent of ischaemia. Like other studies, early treatment with peripheral retinal photocoagulation to reduce the risk of retinal detachment is recommended in this study.

  • Incontinentia pigmenti
  • retina
  • genetic
  • skin
  • genetics
  • neovascularisation
  • treatment lasers
  • child health (paediatrics)

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, Ireland.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.