Corneal Dystrophy, Posterior Polymorphous 1

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

This form of corneal dystrophy is often asymptomatic but some patients experience endothelial decompensation and corneal edema, which may even be seen soon after birth. The edema may extend into the epithelium.  The basic mechanism entails metaplasia of endothelial cells which seem to acquire some characteristics of epithelial cells.  Posterior corneal lesions of variable morphology appear in various patterns and are often surrounded by grayish halos.  When these become confluent the corneal edema is more severe and may resemble a congenital endothelial dystrophy.  The endothelial cell count is often low.  The Descemet layer also becomes abnormal.  The posterior border of the cornea appears nodular and grayish in color, often in a geographic pattern.  Surprisingly, endothelial function often is maintained and patients may remain asymptomatic for many years.

Some patients have features of anterior chamber dysgenesis with iris anomalies, anterior synechiae, and glaucoma.  It is also sometimes confused with EDICT syndrome (614303).

Systemic Features: 

No systemic disease is associated with this disorder.


This is a genetically heterogeneous autosomal dominant disorder caused by several mutations including the promotor of OVOL2 at 20p11.23 responsible for PPCD1 described here.  Another locus for this disease has been mapped to 20q11, the same locus responsible for congenital hereditary corneal edema 1 (CHED1) and it is possible that these are allelic or clinical variants of the same mutation.  The latter is made more likely by the fact that both disorders have been found in relatives.  OMIM has combined the entities CHED1 and PPCD1 as a single disorder (122000).

For other forms of posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy see, PPCD2 (609140) and PPCD3 (609141).

Treatment Options: 

Few patients require treatment since the endothelial changes are frequently stable. Among those that do undergo corneal transplantation, the changes often recur in the donor button.

Article Title: 


Gwilliam R, Liskova P, Filipec M, Kmoch S, Jirsova K, Huckle EJ, Stables CL, Bhattacharya SS, Hardcastle AJ, Deloukas P, Ebenezer ND. Posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy in Czech families maps to chromosome 20 and excludes the VSX1 gene. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005 Dec;46(12):4480-4. PubMed PMID: 16303937.

PubMedID: 16303937

Anderson NJ, Badawi DY, Grossniklaus HE, Stulting RD. Posterior polymorphous membranous dystrophy with overlapping features of iridocorneal endothelial syndrome. Arch Ophthalmol. 2001 Apr;119(4):624-5.

PubMedID: 11296040