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Cherry red spot of the macula

MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Synonyms: Cherry-red macular spots; Macular cherry-red spots
HPO: HP:0010729


Pallor of the perifoveal macula of the retina with appearance of a small circular reddish choroid shape as seen through the fovea centralis due to relative transparancy of the macula. [from HPO]

Term Hierarchy

Conditions with this feature

MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
Fucosidosis is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disease caused by defective alpha-L-fucosidase with accumulation of fucose in the tissues. Clinical features include angiokeratoma, progressive psychomotor retardation, neurologic signs, coarse facial features, and dysostosis multiplex. Fucosidosis has been classified into 2 major types. Type 1 is characterized by rapid psychomotor regression and severe neurologic deterioration beginning at about 6 months of age, elevated sweat sodium chloride, and death within the first decade of life. Type 2 is characterized by milder psychomotor retardation and neurologic signs, the development of angiokeratoma corporis diffusum, normal sweat salinity, and longer survival (Kousseff et al., 1976).
Sandhoff disease
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Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
Sandhoff disease comprises a phenotypic continuum encompassing acute infantile, subacute juvenile, and late-onset disease. Although classification into these phenotypes is somewhat arbitrary, it is helpful in understanding the variation observed in the timing of disease onset, presenting manifestations, rate of progression, and life span. Acute infantile Sandhoff disease (onset age <6 months). Infants are generally normal at birth followed by progressive weakness and slowing of developmental progress, then developmental regression and severe neurologic impairment. Seizures are common. Death usually occurs between ages two and three years. Subacute juvenile Sandhoff disease (onset age 2-5 years). After attaining normal developmental milestones, developmental progress slows, followed by developmental regression and neurologic impairment (abnormal gait, dysarthria, and cognitive decline). Death (usually from aspiration) typically occurs in the early to late teens. Late-onset Sandhoff disease (onset older teen years or young adulthood). Nearly normal psychomotor development is followed by a range of neurologic findings (e.g., weakness, spasticity, dysarthria, and deficits in cerebellar function) and psychiatric findings (e.g., deficits in executive function and memory). Life expectancy is not necessarily decreased.
Tay-Sachs disease
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
HEXA disorders are best considered as a disease continuum based on the amount of residual beta-hexosaminidase A (HEX A) enzyme activity. This, in turn, depends on the molecular characteristics and biological impact of the HEXA pathogenic variants. HEX A is necessary for degradation of GM2 ganglioside; without well-functioning enzymes, GM2 ganglioside builds up in the lysosomes of brain and nerve cells. The classic clinical phenotype is known as Tay-Sachs disease (TSD), characterized by progressive weakness, loss of motor skills beginning between ages three and six months, decreased visual attentiveness, and increased or exaggerated startle response with a cherry-red spot observable on the retina followed by developmental plateau and loss of skills after eight to ten months. Seizures are common by 12 months with further deterioration in the second year of life and death occurring between ages two and three years with some survival to five to seven years. Subacute juvenile TSD is associated with normal developmental milestones until age two years, when the emergence of abnormal gait or dysarthria is noted followed by loss of previously acquired skills and cognitive decline. Spasticity, dysphagia, and seizures are present by the end of the first decade of life, with death within the second decade of life, usually by aspiration. Late-onset TSD presents in older teens or young adults with a slowly progressive spectrum of neurologic symptoms including lower-extremity weakness with muscle atrophy, dysarthria, incoordination, tremor, mild spasticity and/or dystonia, and psychiatric manifestations including acute psychosis. Clinical variability even among affected members of the same family is observed in both the subacute juvenile and the late-onset TSD phenotypes.
Combined deficiency of sialidase AND beta galactosidase
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Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
Galactosialidosis (GSL) is a lysosomal storage disease associated with a combined deficiency of beta-galactosidase (611458) and neuraminidase (608272), secondary to a defect in protective protein/cathepsin A (PPCA). All patients have clinical manifestations typical of a lysosomal disorder, such as coarse facies, cherry red spots, vertebral changes, foam cells in the bone marrow, and vacuolated lymphocytes. Three phenotypic subtypes are recognized. The early infantile form is associated with fetal hydrops, edema, ascites, visceromegaly, skeletal dysplasia, and early death. The late infantile type is characterized by hepatosplenomegaly, growth retardation, cardiac involvement, and rare occurrence of neurologic signs. The juvenile/adult form is characterized by myoclonus, ataxia, angiokeratoma, mental retardation, neurologic deterioration, absence of visceromegaly, and long survival. The majority of reported patients belong to the juvenile/adult group and are mainly of Japanese origin (summary by d'Azzo et al., 2001).
Niemann-Pick disease, type A
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
The phenotype of acid sphingomyelinase deficiency (ASMD) occurs along a continuum. Individuals with the severe early-onset form, infantile neurovisceral ASMD, were historically diagnosed with Niemann-Pick disease type A (NPD-A). The later-onset, chronic visceral form of ASMD is also referred to as Niemann-Pick disease type B (NPD-B). A phenotype with intermediate severity is also known as chronic neurovisceral ASMD (NPD-A/B). The most common presenting symptom in NPD-A is hepatosplenomegaly, usually detectable by age three months; over time the liver and spleen become massive in size. Psychomotor development progresses no further than the 12-month level, after which neurologic deterioration is relentless. Failure to thrive typically becomes evident by the second year of life. A classic cherry-red spot of the macula of the retina, which may not be present in the first few months, is eventually present in all affected children. Interstitial lung disease caused by storage of sphingomyelin in pulmonary macrophages results in frequent respiratory infections and often respiratory failure. Most children succumb before the third year of life. NPD-B generally presents later than NPD-A, and the manifestations are less severe. NPD-B is characterized by progressive hepatosplenomegaly, gradual deterioration in liver and pulmonary function, osteopenia, and atherogenic lipid profile. No central nervous system (CNS) manifestations occur. Individuals with NPD-A/B have symptoms that are intermediate between NPD-A and NPD-B. The presentation in individuals with NPD-A/B varies greatly, although all are characterized by the presence of some CNS manifestations. Survival to adulthood can occur in individuals with NPD-B and NPD-A/B.
Farber lipogranulomatosis
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
The spectrum of ASAH1-related disorders ranges from Farber disease (FD) to spinal muscular atrophy with progressive myoclonic epilepsy (SMA-PME). Classic FD is characterized by onset in the first weeks of life of painful, progressive deformity of the major joints; palpable subcutaneous nodules of joints and mechanical pressure points; and a hoarse cry resulting from granulomas of the larynx and epiglottis. Life expectancy is usually less than two years. In the other less common types of FD, onset, severity, and primary manifestations vary. SMA-PME is characterized by early-childhood-onset progressive lower motor neuron disease manifest typically between ages three and seven years as proximal lower-extremity weakness, followed by progressive myoclonic and atonic seizures, tremulousness/tremor, and sensorineural hearing loss. Myoclonic epilepsy typically begins in late childhood after the onset of weakness and can include jerking of the upper limbs, action myoclonus, myoclonic status, and eyelid myoclonus. Other findings include generalized tremor, and cognitive decline. The time from disease onset to death from respiratory complications is usually five to 15 years.
Infantile GM1 gangliosidosis
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
GLB1-related disorders comprise two phenotypically distinct lysosomal storage disorders: GM1 gangliosidosis and mucopolysaccharidosis type IVB (MPS IVB). The phenotype of GM1 gangliosidosis constitutes a spectrum ranging from severe (infantile) to intermediate (late-infantile and juvenile) to mild (chronic/adult). Type I (infantile) GM1 gangliosidosis begins before age 12 months. Prenatal manifestations may include nonimmune hydrops fetalis, intrauterine growth restriction, and placental vacuolization; congenital dermal melanocytosis (Mongolian spots) may be observed. Macular cherry-red spot is detected on eye exam. Progressive central nervous system dysfunction leads to spasticity and rapid regression; blindness, deafness, decerebrate rigidity, seizures, feeding difficulties, and oral secretions are observed. Life expectancy is two to three years. Type II can be subdivided into the late-infantile (onset age 1-3 years) and juvenile (onset age 3-10 years) phenotypes. Central nervous system dysfunction manifests as progressive cognitive, motor, and speech decline as measured by psychometric testing. There may be mild corneal clouding, hepatosplenomegaly, and/or cardiomyopathy; the typical course is characterized by progressive neurologic decline, progressive skeletal disease in some individuals (including kyphosis and avascular necrosis of the femoral heads), and progressive feeding difficulties leading to aspiration risk. Type III begins in late childhood to the third decade with generalized dystonia leading to unsteady gait and speech disturbance followed by extrapyramidal signs including akinetic-rigid parkinsonism. Cardiomyopathy develops in some and skeletal involvement occurs in most. Intellectual impairment is common late in the disease with prognosis directly related to the degree of neurologic impairment. MPS IVB is characterized by skeletal dysplasia with specific findings of axial and appendicular dysostosis multiplex, short stature (below 15th centile in adults), kyphoscoliosis, coxa/genu valga, joint laxity, platyspondyly, and odontoid hypoplasia. First signs and symptoms may be apparent at birth. Bony involvement is progressive, with more than 84% of adults requiring ambulation aids; life span does not appear to be limited. Corneal clouding is detected in some individuals and cardiac valvular disease may develop.
Sialidosis type 2
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
Sialidosis is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by the progressive lysosomal storage of sialylated glycopeptides and oligosaccharides caused by a deficiency of the enzyme neuraminidase. Common to the sialidoses is the accumulation and/or excretion of sialic acid (N-acetylneuraminic acid) covalently linked ('bound') to a variety of oligosaccharides and/or glycoproteins (summary by Lowden and O'Brien, 1979). The sialidoses are distinct from the sialurias in which there is storage and excretion of 'free' sialic acid, rather than 'bound' sialic acid; neuraminidase activity in sialuria is normal or elevated. Salla disease (604369) is a form of 'free' sialic acid disease. Classification Lowden and O'Brien (1979) provided a logical nosology of neuraminidase deficiency into sialidosis type I and type II. Type I is the milder form, also known as the 'normosomatic' type or the cherry red spot-myoclonus syndrome. Sialidosis type II is the more severe form with an earlier onset, and is also known as the 'dysmorphic' type. Type II has been subdivided into juvenile and infantile forms. Other terms for sialidosis type II are mucolipidosis I and lipomucopolysaccharidosis.
Optic atrophy 11
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
OPA11 is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by delayed psychomotor development, intellectual disability, ataxia, optic atrophy, and leukoencephalopathy on brain imaging. Laboratory studies are consistent with mitochondrial dysfunction (summary by Hartmann et al., 2016). For a discussion of genetic heterogeneity of optic atrophy, see OPA1 (165500).
Hypomyelination with brain stem and spinal cord involvement and leg spasticity
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
Hypomyelination with brainstem and spinal cord involvement and leg spasticity is an autosomal recessive leukoencephalopathy characterized by onset in the first year of life of severe spasticity, mainly affecting the lower limbs and resulting in an inability to achieve independent ambulation. Affected individuals show delayed motor development and nystagmus; some may have mild mental retardation. Brain MRI shows hypomyelination and white matter lesions in the cerebrum, brainstem, cerebellum, and spinal cord (summary by Taft et al., 2013).

Professional guidelines


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Clinical prediction guides

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Eur J Med Res 2006 Jan 31;11(1):43-5. PMID: 16504960
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