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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Genetic disease is a common cause of bilateral childhood cataract in Denmark

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Purpose: Bilateral childhood cataracts can be caused by a metabolic disease, constitute a part of a syndrome, run in families, be sporadic or iatrogenic. The amount of work-up needed to establish a cause is discussed and the aim of the present study was to evaluate causes of bilateral childhood cataract.Methods: Chart review of 211 Danish children with bilateral cataracts. Information on work-up was retrieved with special focus on general health, metabolic screening, evaluation for congenital infections and genetic testing.Results: Cataract was seen in combination with systemic disease in 40.8%, 29.4% had hereditary cataracts, 27.0% had isolated cataract, in 1.4% it was associated with ocular malformations and 1.4% had been born prematurely without any other sequelae than the cataract. A genetic cause could be demonstrated in 74 children.Conclusion: Systemic comorbidities are very common in children with cataract and are not always known prior to the diagnosis of cataract. Genetic evaluation, especially targeted analyses, provided a molecular genetic diagnosis in a large proportion of those tested but it also failed to provide a molecular genetic diagnosis in some patients with a family history suggesting autosomal dominant inheritance. Most importantly, in some patients, genetic work-up provided a diagnosis in patients where it had therapeutic consequences and where the systemic disease would have caused irreversible damage, had it not been treated timely. Given the high prevalence of systemic disease, it seems advisable to co-manage children with bilateral cataracts with a pediatrician and to include genetic evaluation as part of the work-up.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOphthalmic Genetics
Volume42
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)650-658
Number of pages9
ISSN1381-6810
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

    Research areas

  • Childhood cataract, congenital cataract, genetic analyses, systemic disease

ID: 67847159