Photosensitivity associated with the Smith–Lemli–Opitz syndrome


Dr Charman Department of Dermatology, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, U.K.


A case of severe photosensitivity in a girl with the Smith–Lemli–Opitz syndrome is reported. Children with this recessively inherited metabolic disorder of cholesterol metabolism present with a variety of congenital abnormalities of the nervous system and internal organs in association with varying degrees of mental retardation. Photosensitivity is a feature which has previously only briefly been mentioned in the literature in association with this syndrome. However, more recently, it has become apparent that photosensitivity is not uncommon among children with the Smith–Lemli–Opitz syndrome, although the nature of the photosensitivity in these patients has remained undefined. Our patient has suffered from sunlight intolerance since early infancy, with redness and pruritus of sun-exposed skin developing within minutes of sun exposure. Monochromator ultraviolet (UV) radiation and visible light testing revealed an immediate and persistent reaction to low-dose UVA at 350 nm, and an abnormal erythemal response to visible light at 400 nm.