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J Fr Ophtalmol. 2000 Feb;23(2):158-60.

[Pigmentosum retinis and tubulo-interstitial nephronophtisis in Sensenbrenner syndrome: a case report].

[Article in French]

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Service d'Ophtalmologie, CHU de Nice.



Sensenbrenner syndrome or cranio-ectodermal dysplasia is an extremely rare autosomal recessive condition (12 cases reported in literature). Our observation shows the possibility of both ocular and renal involvement associated with cranio-ectodermal abnormalities.


and method:We report the case of a girl who presented a typical cranio-ectodermal syndrome with dolicocephaly, short thorax, short limbs, short fingers and teeth abnormalities. At five years, she was found to have pigmentosum retinitis with amblyopy and moderate hyperopia. A chronic renal failure with uncontrollable hypertension underwent a cadaveric-donor transplantation at the age of six years.


Two years later, the pigmentosum retinitis was stable. The kidney histology revealed a tubulo-interstitial nephronophtisis. The molecular analysis of the NPH 1 locus, which was associated with nephronophtisis, was negative.


Our observation and two recent publications have in common ocular and renal abnormalities associated with cranio-ectodermal dysplasia. The underlying genetic defect would involve not only morphogenesis but also development and maturation of organs as eye and kidney. Sensenbrenner syndrome would thus be similar to certain disorders affecting the eye, kidney, skeleton and ectodermal structures such as the EEM, Senior-Loken, Mainzer-Saldino, and Jeune syndromes.


The retinal dystrophy falls within the spectrum of clinical and genetic forms of pigmentosum retinitis. Our observation would confirm possible links between Sensenbrenner syndrome and oculorenal syndromes.

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