Corneal Abnormalities Seen With Down Syndrome

More than 70% of patients in Down syndrome group had traits compatible with keratoconus.
More than 70% of patients in Down syndrome group had traits compatible with keratoconus.

HealthDay News — Patients with Down syndrome (DS) have steeper and thinner corneas and more corneal aberrations than patients without DS, according to a study published online June 21 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Jorge L. Alio, MD, PhD, from Universidad Miguel Hernández in Alicante, Spain, and colleagues performed a multicenter case-control study to characterize the abnormal features of the cornea in 112 patients with DS and 105 healthy controls without DS. The study included 321 eyes of the 217 participants. 

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After clinical assessment of corneal topography, the researchers found that 71.3% of patients in the DS group showed evidence of keratoconus. There were differences in steepest keratometry of 47.35 diopters in patients with DS vs 43.7 diopters in control subjects. There were also differences in corneal pachymetry of 503µm in patients with DS versus 545µm in controls.

"The findings suggest a detailed corneal study should be considered in such patients to detect keratoconus and implement treatment as appropriate to try to avoid serious visual impairment in this group of patients," the authors write.

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