chorioretinal atrophy

Pigmented Paravenous Chorioretinal Atrophy

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

This is a rare type of pigmentary retinopathy with few symptoms in many patients.  Pigment clumps in the form of bone spicules in a paravenous distribution appear as young as 1 year of age and may be present congenitally.  The pigment may begin peripherally and is often segmental but eventually progresses centrally along with chorioretinal atrophy involving the majority of the fundus.  For unknown reasons, males are more severely affected than females.  In one family the retinal changes were associated with hyperopia, esotropia and vitreous degeneration (cells and liquefaction).  There is considerable variation in expressivity among patients and the vision and fundus pigmentation can be highly asymmetrical in the two eyes.  ERG abnormalities likewise vary widely with decreased photopic responses in some individuals and complete lack of both scotopic and photopic responses in severely affected eyes.  Decreased night vision is not a symptom.

This is generally considered to be a stationary condition but long term follow up reveals progression of pigmentary changes, chorioretinal atrophy and increasing constriction of the peripheral visual field.  Symptoms of decreased vision may be noted as early as 3 months of age.  Some patients retain vision of 20/20 or 20/30 into midlife whereas others in the first decade already have count fingers vision.  Likewise the size of the visual field varies widely and is not correlated with age.

Systemic Features: 

No systemic abnormalities have been reported.

Genetics

This is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by heterozygous mutations in the crumbs homolog 1 (CRB1) gene (1q31.3).

CRB1 mutations have been identified in other retinal disorders including nanophthalmos with retinitis pigmentosa, pigmented paravenous chorioretinal atrophy (172870), retinitis pigmentosa-12 (600105), and Leber congenital amaurosis 8 (613835).  No consistent retinal phenotype has been found, however.  There is often marked asymmetry between the two eyes and the rate of visual loss varies widely.  Most individuals have some patchy areas of hypoautofluorescence in the posterior pole with variable amounts of pigmentary anomalies from mild speckling to frank bone spicule formation.

   

 

   

 

Pedigree: 
Autosomal dominant
Treatment
Treatment Options: 

No effective treatment is available although low vision aids are likely to be helpful in selected patients.

References
Article Title: 

Alagille Syndrome

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

The ocular findings in Alagille syndrome are often of little functional significance but can be sufficient to suggest the diagnosis without further study of the systemic features.  Posterior embryotoxon is found in 95% of individuals while iris abnormalities such as ectopic pupils are seen in 45%, abnormal fundus pigmentation is common (hypopigmentation in 57%, diffuse pigment speckling in 33%), and optic disc anomalies have been reported in 76%.  One study found that 90% of individuals have optic disk drusen by ultrasonography.  The anterior chamber anomalies are considered by some to be characteristic of Axenfeld anomaly.  The presence of these ocular findings in children with cholestasis should suggest Alagille syndrome.  Ocular examination of the parents can also be helpful in this autosomal dominant disorder as some of the same changes are present in one parent in more than a third of cases.

Systemic Features: 

A variety of  systemic features, some of them serious malformations, occur in Alagille syndrome.  Among the most common is a partial intrahepatic biliary atresia leading to cholestasis and jaundice.  Skeletal malformations include 'butterfly' vertebrae, shortened digits, short stature, a broad forehead, and a pointed chin.  The tip of the nose may appear bulbous.  These features have suggested to some that there is a characteristic facial dysmorphology.  Vascular malformations are common including aneurysms affecting major vessels, valvular insufficiency, coarctation of the aorta, and stenosis and these are often responsible for the most serious health problems.  In fact, vascular events have been reported to be responsible for mortality in 34% of one cohort.  Chronic renal insufficiency develops in a minority of patients.  This disorder should always be considered in children with cholestasis, especially when accompanied by cystic kidney disease.  Brain MRIs may show diffuse or focal hyperintensity of white matter even in the absence of hepatic encephalopathy.

Genetics

This is an autosomal dominant condition secondary to various mutations in the JAG1 gene located on chromosome 20 (20p12).  Penetrance is nearly 100% but there is considerable variation in expression.  A far less common variant of this disorder, ALGS2 (610205), is caused by a mutation in the NOTCH2 gene (1p13-p11).

Pedigree: 
Autosomal dominant
Treatment
Treatment Options: 

No cure is available but individual organ disease may be treatable.  The ocular abnormalities generally do not cause vision difficulties.

Reversible of white matter changes has been noted in a single child following liver transplantation.

 

References
Article Title: 

CT-defined phenotype of pulmonary artery

Rodriguez RM, Feinstein JA, Chan FP. CT-defined phenotype of pulmonary artery
stenoses in Alagille syndrome
. Pediatr Radiol. 2016 Apr 4. [Epub ahead of print].

PubMed ID: 
27041277

Alagille syndrome: clinical and ocular pathognomonic features

El-Koofy NM, El-Mahdy R, Fahmy ME, El-Hennawy A, Farag MY, El-Karaksy HM. Alagille syndrome: clinical and ocular pathognomonic features. Eur J Ophthalmol. 2010 Jul 28. pii: 192165A5-8631-4C06-9C47-9AD63688B02A. [Epub ahead of print]

PubMed ID: 
20677167

Ocular abnormalities in Alagille syndrome

Hingorani M, Nischal KK, Davies A, Bentley C, Vivian A, Baker AJ, Mieli-Vergani G, Bird AC, Aclimandos WA. Ocular abnormalities in Alagille syndrome. Ophthalmology. 1999 Feb;106(2):330-7.

PubMed ID: 
9951486

Choroideremia

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

Choroideremia is characterized by a progressive atrophy of photoreceptors, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and choroid. Areas of RPE atrophy are present early in the mid-periphery and progress centrally.  This is associated with loss of photoreceptors and the choriocapillaris.

Night blindness is the first symptom often with onset during childhood. A ring-like perimacular scotoma develops that progresses into the periphery during life with corresponding visual field loss (peripheral constriction).  Symptoms and fundus changes are highly variable. Visual acuity is generally well maintained into later stages of the disease but some males are blind by age 30 years whereas others over the age of 50 are symptom-free.  An increased prevalence of myopia has been noted.

Males with choroideremia (and some females) have progressive loss of the choriocapillaris eventually baring the sclera beneath. Female carriers can exhibit patchy areas of RPE atrophy in the periphery and these may enlarge. Female carriers are typically not symptomatic, but there are reports of females being fully affected.  Females may also have visual field changes and defective dark adaptation.  OCT in young women shows dynamic changes and remodeling of the outer retina with time with focal retinal thickening, drusenlike deposits and disruptions in photoreceptor inner and outer segment junctions even in younger individuals.  The phenotype is more severe in older females as well suggesting that the retinal degeneration is progressive in both sexes.

Electroretinography (ERG) initially shows a decreased dark-adapted response with  intact light-adapted responses, indicating general dysfunction of rod photoreceptors. Cone dysfunction, however, develops with progression of the disease.

Systemic Features: 

No general systemic manifestations are associated with choroideremia. This may be explained by systemic expression of REP2, Rab escort protein-2, compensating for the decreased level of REP1.

There are occasional reports of associated deafness and obesity in some families with choroideremia (303110) but it is uncertain if this represents a unique disorder.

Genetics

Choroideremia is an X-linked recessive disorder affecting males and occasional female carriers.  The disorder is caused by mutations in the CHM gene on the X chromosome (Xq21.2) which leads to absence or truncation of the protein Rab escort protein-1 (REP1) that is part of Rab geranylgeranyltransferase, an enzyme complex involved in intracellular vesicular transport. A few patients with chromosomal translocations involving the relevant region of the X chromosome have been reported.

A homozygous mutation in the CYP4V2 gene has been reported to be responsible for a choroideremia-like clinical phenotype.

Pedigree: 
X-linked recessive, carrier mother
X-linked recessive, father affected
Treatment
Treatment Options: 

There is presently no effective treatment for the disorder, but visual function can be improved with low vision aids.

Recent early trials using adeno-associated viral vectors containing DNA coding for normal REP1 protein have documented improved rod and cone function in 6 affected males.

References
Article Title: 

Clinical and Genetic Features of Choroideremia in Childhood

Khan KN, Islam F, Moore AT, Michaelides M. Clinical and Genetic Features of Choroideremia in Childhood. Ophthalmology. 2016 Aug 6. pii: S0161-6420(16)30583-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.06.051. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed.

PubMed ID: 
27506488

Optical

Jain N, Jia Y, Gao SS, Zhang X, Weleber RG, Huang D, Pennesi ME. Optical
Coherence Tomography Angiography in Choroideremia: Correlating Choriocapillaris
Loss With Overlying Degeneration
. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016 May 5. doi:
10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.0874. [Epub ahead of print].

PubMed ID: 
27149258

Gyrate Atrophy

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

Gyrate atrophy is characterized by night blindness, myopia, and multiple round islands of peripheral chorioretinal degeneration which often appear in the first decade of life, sometimes as early as five years of age. Night blindness often begins in late childhood. The atrophic areas slowly progress to the posterior pole and may eventually affect central vision. Both eyes are usually symmetrically affected. All patients have myopia, some with refractive errors ranging up to -20 D. Fluorescein angiography shows hyperfluorescent at the edges of the peripheral atrophy. A zone of pigmentary changes can be seen between normal and atrophic areas.  The electroretinogram may show reduced rod and cone responses with rods affected more than cones in early phases. Dark-adapted ERG documents elevated rod thresholds.  Swollen mitochondria have been described in photoreceptors, corneal epithelium, and in the nonpigmented ciliary epithelium.  Elevated levels of ornithine are found in plasma, urine, spinal fluid and aqueous humor.  Macular edema is commonly present and posterior subcapsular cataracts requiring surgery are common.

Systemic Features: 

Mild muscle weakness may occur due to tubular aggregates in type 2 muscle fibers, which can be visualized with electron microscopy and may lead to loss of these fibers and muscle wasting. Fine, straight hairs have been observed with patches of alopecia. Slow wave background changes on EEG have been described in about one-third of patients and peripheral neuropathy is sometimes a feature.  Hearing loss has been described as well. Some newborns have hyperamonnemia but once treated usually does not recur.

Genetics

Gyrate atrophy is an autosomal recessive disorder, caused by mutations in the OAT (ornithine aminotransferase) gene on chromosome 10 (10q26).  The enzyme is part of a nuclear-encoded mitochondrial matrix complex.  Many allelic variants have been found.  A large number of affected patients of Finnish origin, most of who share the common L402P mutation, have been described.

Pedigree: 
Autosomal recessive
Treatment
Treatment Options: 

A low protein and especially an arginine-restricted diet have been shown to slow loss of function as measured by ERG and visual field changes.
 

References
Article Title: 
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