Cyclopia (synophthalmia) in Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome: First reported case and consideration of mechanism.

Mark McIntosh,'s picture
PubMed URL:
Muenke M
Author List: 
Weaver DD
Solomon BD
Akin-Samson K
Kelley RI
Muenke M
Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet
PubMed ID: 
Here we present a 24-week fetus with Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS), alobar holoprosencephaly (HPE) and cyclopia (synophthalmia). Following birth, we suspected SLOS in this fetus due to the additional findings of ambiguous genitalia and bilateral 2-3 toe syndactyly. The diagnosis of SLOS was confirmed by finding an elevated amniotic fluid 7-dehydrocholesterol level (9,890 ng/ml; normal range = 3-9 ng/ml), and molecularly by detecting two different mutations in the DHCR7 gene, the gene causing SLOS. The first mutation was an IVS8-1G>T change and the second was a deletion of exons 3 and 4; this latter mutation has not been reported previously. The mother carries the deletion, while the father carries the splice-site mutation. Also of note, the father has an abnormally low total plasma cholesterol level (104-109 mg/dl). This is the most severe case of HPE described in any patient with SLOS. We postulate that the HPE in this case resulted from severe impairment of Sonic Hedgehog signaling secondary to abnormal cholesterol metabolism; however, the unique combination of mutations in the fetus functionally appears to be no different from other homozygous null mutations reported in DHCR7. Therefore, there must be other yet to be identified factors that contributed to the severity of HPE in SLOS.
Published Date: 
February, 2010

Bradley L. Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D., Named President and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute

We’re thrilled to welcome Bradley L. Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D., to the Kennedy Krieger family as our next President and CEO.

Learn more.

Appointments & Referrals



Read inspiring stories, news and updates about the Institute's patient care, research, special education, professional training, and community programs.


Resource Finder


A free resource that provides access to information and support for individuals and families living with developmental disabilities.