SLO syndrome

Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

A large number of ocular anomalies have been found in SLO syndrome but the most common is blepharoptosis of some degree.  No consistent pattern of ocular abnormalities has been reported.  Atrophy and hypoplasia of the optic nerve, strabismus, nystagmus, and cataracts may be present.   Abnormally low concentrations of cholesterol and cholesterol precursors have been found in all ocular tissues studied.

Systemic Features: 

This is a syndrome of multiple congenital anomalies.  Among these are dwarfism, micrognathia, hard palate anomalies, hypotonia, anomalies of the external genitalia, polysyndactyly, microcephaly, and mental retardation.  It has been suggested that many individuals have a characteristic behavioral profile consisting of cognitive delays, hyperreactivity, irritability, language deficiency, and autism spectrum behaviors.  Some individuals exhibit aspects of self destructive behavior.  Tissue levels of cholesterol are low.


SLO syndrome is an autosomal recessive disorder resulting from mutations in the sterol delta-7-reductase  (DHCR7) gene mapped to 11q12-q13. The result is a defect in cholesterol synthesis.

The clinical features significantly overlap those seen in Meckel (249000) and Joubert (213300) syndromes.

Autosomal recessive
Treatment Options: 

A high cholesterol diet has been reported to have a beneficial effect on behavior and general well-being.

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