Three of four siblings born to parents with a history of heavy alcohol abuse had bilateral diffusely cloudy corneas at birth. These three siblings, who had mild systemic features of fetal alcohol syndrome, underwent corneal transplantations, and their specimens were examined by light and electron microscopy. Histologically, the alterations in Bowman's layer ranged from thickening to total loss. There were varying degrees of corneal stromal edema. The unique pathologic feature in the corneas was the anomaly of the anterior banded zone of Descemet's membrane, which was either absent, poorly formed, or thinned in the central and peripheral cornea. The corneal endothelium was attenuated or multilayered. The diffuse clouding and the range of histologic abnormalities in the corneas might be related to the maternal alcohol abuse.
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