The syndrome comprising obesity, hypogenitalism, mental deficiency, polydactylism and pigmentary disturbance of the retina was first described seventy-three years ago by Laurence and Moon.1 Although they intimated that this peculiar combination of clinical signs might be more than fortuitous, the fact was not fully appreciated until comparatively recent times that its various components make up a unit syndrome and that its familial character is of fundamental significance. Because Biedl2 placed appropriate emphasis on the significance of these factors, he has come to share with the original authors the title by which this condition is now commonly known.
It is noteworthy that this clinical picture has attracted the greatest attention from ophthalmologists and from students of endocrinology. The pediatric literature, wherein the condition should have found frequent mention, has contained relatively scant reference to it. Likewise, it is interesting to note that until recently most of the case reports