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Mol Vis. 2011 Jan 20;17:218-24.

Lack of KIF21A mutations in congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles type I patients from consanguineous Saudi Arabian families.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



Congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles type I (CFEOM1), the most common CFEOM worldwide, is characterized by bilateral ptotic hypotropia, an inability to supraduct above the horizontal midline, horizontal strabismus (typically exotropia), and ophthalmoplegia with abnormal synkinesis. This distinct non-syndromic phenotype is considered autosomal dominant and is virtually always from heterozygous missense mutations in kinesin family member 21A (KIF21A). However, there are occasional KIF21A-negative cases, opening the possibility for a recessive cause. The objective of this study is to explore this possibility by assessing CFEOM1 patients exclusively from consanguineous families, who are the most likely to have recessive cause for their phenotype if a recessive cause exists.


Ophthalmic examination and candidate gene direct sequencing (KIF21A, paired-like homeobox 2A [PHOX2A], tubulin beta-3 [TUBB3]) of CFEOM1 patients from consanguineous families referred for counseling from 2005 to 2010.


All 5 probands had classic CFEOM1 as defined above. Three had siblings with CFEOM. None of the probands had mutations in KIF21A, PHOX2A, or TUBB3.


The lack of KIF21A mutations in CFEOM1 patients exclusively from consanguineous families, most of whom had siblings with CFEOM, is strong evidence for a recessive form of CFEOM1. Further studies of such families will hopefully uncover the specific locus(loci).

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