Ocular Histopathology of Systemic Mucopolysaccharidosis, Type II-A (Hunter Syndrome, Severe)

Jan M. McDonnell, W. Richard Green, Irene H. Maumenee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A case of mucopolysaccharidosis, Type II-A (Hunter syndrome, severe) is described, with emphasis on ocular ultrastructural findings. Single membrane-bound structures containing fibrillogranular and, less commonly, multimembranous material were found in conjunctival epithelium, pericytes and fibrocytes; corneal epithelium, keratocytes, and endothelium; trabecular endothelium; iris pigmented epithelium, smooth muscle, and fibrocytes; ciliary pigmented and nonpigmented epithelium and fibrocytes; retinal pigment epithelium and ganglion cells; optic nerve astrocytes and pericytes; and sclerocytes. The most striking accumulation was in the nonpigmented ciliary epithelium. These findings are compared with those seen in MPS II-B, and in other systemic mucopolysaccharidoses. The nature and distribution of inclusions are not specific to any one disorder, but help to signal the presence of one of the storage disorders. Distension of corneal keratocytes may play a role in the corneal clouding seen in some of these disorders. The importance of tissue examination, especially conjunctival biopsy, in the diagnosis of storage disorders and in assessment of future modes of therapy for the mucopolysaccharidoses is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1772-1779
Number of pages8
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1985


  • Hunter syndrome
  • MPS II-A
  • electron microscopy
  • histochemistry
  • systemic mucopolysaccharidosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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