PURPOSE: To report a new family with the rare form of congenital and hereditary stromal dystrophy of the cornea. METHODS: A mother and son, showing a bilateral congenital clouding of the cornea, were studied clinically and by biomicroscopy. After corneal transplantation, light microscopy and electron microscopy were performed. RESULTS: The stroma of the cornea was bilaterally and symmetrically thickened with diffuse and homogeneous small opacities. The opacities were present at birth and slowly progressive. Visual acuity was reduced to 2/10. Electron microscopy of the excised corneas showed a thickened stroma owing to cleaving of the lamellae by alternating layers of small-diameter collagen fibrils arranged in a random fashion. The epithelium, Bowman's membrane, the endothelium, and Descemet's membrane were normal. CONCLUSIONS: This family presents with a congenital stromal dystrophy of the cornea not linked to endothelial defects and thus differs from the more common form of congenital hereditary corneal endothelial dystrophy.