Microphthalmia, Anophthalmia, and Coloboma and Associated Ocular and Systemic Features Journal Articles uri icon

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  • IMPORTANCE: Microphthalmia, anophthalmia, and coloboma form an interrelated spectrum of congenital eye abnormalities. OBJECTIVE: To document the ocular and systemic findings and inheritance patterns in patients with microphthalmia, anophthalmia, and coloboma disease to gain insight into the underlying developmental etiologies. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This retrospective consecutive case series was conducted at a tertiary referral center. Included in the study were 141 patients with microphthalmia, anophthalmia, and coloboma disease without a recognized syndromic etiology who attended the Westmead Children's Hospital, Sydney, from 1981-2012. EXPOSURE: Cases were grouped on the basis of the presence or absence of an optic fissure closure defect (OFCD); those with OFCD were further subdivided into microphthalmic and nonmicrophthalmic cases. Anophthalmic cases were considered as a separate group. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Associated ocular and systemic abnormalities and inheritance patterns were assessed. RESULTS: Of 141 cases, 61 (43%) were microphthalmic non-OFCD (NOFCD), 34 (24%) microphthalmic OFCD, 32 (23%) nonmicrophthalmic coloboma (OFCD), 9 (6%) anophthalmic, and 5 (4%) were unclassified. Sixty-three (45%) had bilateral disease. Eighty-four patients (60%) had an associated ocular abnormality; of these, cataract (P < .001) and posterior segment anomalies (P < .001) were most common in the NOFCD group. Forty-eight (34%) had an associated systemic abnormality, most commonly neurological, musculoskeletal and facial, urological and genital, or cardiac. Neurological abnormalities were most common in the anophthalmic group (P = .003), while urological abnormalities were particularly seen in the OFCD groups (P = .009). Familial cases were identified in both the OFCD and NOFCD groups, with a likely autosomal dominant inheritance pattern in 9 of 10 families. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This series indicated that the OFCD/NOFCD distinction may be useful in guiding evaluation for ocular and systemic associations, as well as the direction and analysis of genetic investigation.


  • Skalicky, Simon E
  • White, Andrew JR
  • Grigg, John R
  • Martin, Frank
  • Smith, James
  • Jones, Michael
  • Donaldson, Craig
  • Smith, James EH
  • Flaherty, Maree
  • Jamieson, Robyn V

publication date

  • December 1, 2013