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Characterization of photosensitivity in the Smith–Lemli–Opitz syndrome: a new congenital photosensitivity syndrome

Anstey, Alexander Vincent, Ryan, A., Rhodes, L. E., Charman, C. R., Arlett, C. F., Tyrrell, R. M., Taylor, C. R. and Pearse, Anthony D. 1999. Characterization of photosensitivity in the Smith–Lemli–Opitz syndrome: a new congenital photosensitivity syndrome. British Journal of Dermatology 141 (3) , pp. 406-414. 10.1046/j.1365-2133.1999.03032.x

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Photosensitivity has recently been reported as a feature of the Smith–Lemli–Opitz syndrome (SLO). The aim of this study was to establish the photobiological features of this disorder and to examine the hypothesis that the photosensitivity is caused by the high levels of 7-dehydrocholesterol found in SLO. All known cases of SLO in the U.K. were reviewed and clinical details of photosensitivity were recorded in detail. The action spectrum of the photosensitive eruption was defined by monochromator light testing. Thirteen of the 23 subjects (57%) had severe photosensitivity, and in 10 there was no photosensitivity. No correlation was identified between levels of 7-dehydrocholesterol and severity of photosensitivity, suggesting that the photosensitivity in SLO is not caused by a direct phototoxic effect mediated by 7-dehydrocholesterol. A novel pattern of photosensitivity was observed, with onset of a sunburn-like erythema on sun-exposed skin within minutes of sun exposure, which persisted in most cases for up to 24–48 h before fading. Monochromator light testing in three subjects showed an ultraviolet (UV) A-mediated photosensitivity eruption with greatest photosensitivity at 350 nm. Photosensitivity is a common and prominent feature of SLO and appears to be UVA-mediated. Elucidation of its biochemical basis may provide insight into normal cutaneous protective mechanisms against UVA-induced photodamage, and also sun sensitivity in general.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > RL Dermatology
Uncontrolled Keywords: 7-dehydrocholesterol, monochromator light testing, photosensitivity, Smith–Lemli–Opitz syndrome
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0007-0963
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:02

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