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Congenital stromal corneal dystrophy
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Reviewed August 2009
What is congenital stromal corneal dystrophy?
Congenital stromal corneal dystrophy is an inherited eye disorder. This condition primarily affects the cornea, which is the clear outer covering of the eye. In people with this condition, the cornea appears cloudy and may have an irregular surface. These corneal changes lead to visual impairment, including blurring, glare, and a loss of sharp vision (reduced visual acuity). Visual impairment is often associated with additional eye abnormalities, including "lazy eye" (amblyopia), eyes that do not look in the same direction (strabismus), involuntary eye movements (nystagmus), and increased sensitivity to light (photophobia).
How common is congenital stromal corneal dystrophy?
Congenital stromal corneal dystrophy is probably very rare; only a few affected families have been reported in the medical literature.
What genes are related to congenital stromal corneal dystrophy?
Congenital stromal corneal dystrophy is caused by mutations in the DCN gene. This gene provides instructions for making a protein called decorin, which is involved in the organization of collagens. Collagens are proteins that strengthen and support connective tissues such as skin, bone, tendons, and ligaments. In the cornea, well-organized bundles of collagen make the cornea transparent. Decorin ensures that collagen fibrils in the cornea are uniformly sized and regularly spaced.
Mutations in the DCN gene lead to the production of a defective version of decorin. This abnormal protein interferes with the organization of collagen fibrils in the cornea. As poorly arranged collagen fibrils accumulate, the cornea becomes cloudy. These corneal changes lead to reduced visual acuity and related eye abnormalities.
Read more about the DCN gene.
How do people inherit congenital stromal corneal dystrophy?
This condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder.
In most cases, an affected person has one parent with the condition.
Where can I find information about diagnosis or management of congenital stromal corneal dystrophy?
These resources address the diagnosis or management of congenital stromal corneal dystrophy and may include treatment providers.
General information about the diagnosis and management of genetic conditions is available in the Handbook. Read more about genetic testing, particularly the difference between clinical tests and research tests.
To locate a healthcare provider, see How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about congenital stromal corneal dystrophy?
You may find the following resources about congenital stromal corneal dystrophy helpful. These materials are written for the general public.
You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for healthcare professionals and researchers.
What other names do people use for congenital stromal corneal dystrophy?
What if I still have specific questions about congenital stromal corneal dystrophy?
Where can I find general information about genetic conditions?
The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.
These links provide additional genetics resources that may be useful.
What glossary definitions help with understanding congenital stromal corneal dystrophy?
amblyopia ; autosomal ; autosomal dominant ; cell ; collagen ; congenital ; cornea ; gene ; hereditary ; inherited ; involuntary ; lazy eye ; nystagmus ; photophobia ; protein ; sensitivity ; strabismus ; visual acuity
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (6 links)
The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.