Fish-eye disease is a familial syndrome with corneal opacification, major high density lipoprotein (HDL) deficiency in plasma, significant cholesterol esterification in plasma on non-HDL lipoproteins, generally without premature coronary disease. This first British male case from unrelated British parents had infarcts when aged 49 and 73 years but was asymptomatic at age 81 years, with plasma cholesterol 4.3-7.1 mmol/litre, triglycerides 1.8-2.2 mmol/litre, HDL cholesterol < 0.1 mmol/litre, apolipoprotein A-I < 0.16 g/litre, lipoprotein(a) 0.61 g/litre. Cholesterol esterification was impaired using HDL-3 and A-I proteoliposomes but not using VLDL/IDL/LDL. The findings are those of LCAT deficiency with the classic fish-eye disease defect. Most of the 22 reported cases were homozygous or heterozygous for a Thr-Ile mutation at codon 123 of the lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) gene. This patient was a double heterozygote for this mutation and a second new incompletely defined mutation affecting LCAT expression as defined by reduced mass and activity in plasma.
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