flecked retina

Retinal Dystrophy, Newfoundland Type

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

There is considerable clinical heterogeneity, mostly age-dependent.  Night blindness can occur in early childhood but usually later even though scotopic responses can be undetectable in the first decade of life while photopic responses are reduced on the ERG at all ages.  Both rod and cone responses may be extinguished in later life.  Visual acuity can be decreased beginning in early childhood and legal blindness usually occurs by the second or third decade of life.  However, the loss of vision continues to progress and severe vision loss to finger-counting may be present in older individuals.  A scallop-bordered lacunar atrophy may be seen in the midperiphery.  The macula is only mildly involved by clinical examination although central retinal thinning is seen in all cases.  Dyschromatopsia is mild early and usually becomes more severe.  The visual fields are moderately to severely constricted although in younger individuals a typical ring scotoma is present.  The peripheral retina contains ‘white dots’ and often resembles the retinal changes seen in retinitis punctate albescens.

Systemic Features: 

None reported.

Genetics

Homozygous mutations in the RLBP1 gene (15q26.1) are responsible for this disorder.  Homozygous mutations in RLBP1 have also been found among patients with fundus albipunctatus (136880), retinitis punctata albescens, and in Bothnia type retinal dystrophy (607475),

NFRCD clinically resembles Bothnia type retinal dystrophy (607475) which likewise results from mutations in the RLBP1 gene but the maculae appear normal or have only a mild ‘beaten-bronze’ atrophy.

See Flecked Retina entry for somewhat similar conditions.

Pedigree: 
Autosomal recessive
Treatment
Treatment Options: 

No treatment is known.

References
Article Title: 

Retinitis Punctata Albescens

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

Uniform white dots are symmetrically distributed in the midportion and periphery of the retina but the central portion of the macula is usually relatively spared in early stages of the disease.  These flecks are present in the first decade of life increasing in density and covering larger areas of the retina in older individuals.  Difficulties with night vision are also noted early and visual acuity may be compromised, in the range of 20/40.  By the fifth and sixth decades there may be retinal pigment atrophy in the midperiphery and this eventually progresses to geographic atrophy of the macular RPE as the visual field becomes more constricted.  The fundus in older individuals resembles that seen in retinitis pigmentosa with retinal vascular attenuation, frank bone spicule pigmentation, macular disease, and pallor of the optic nerves with significant loss of vision.  The ERG shows reduction in scotopic responses and mild reductions in photopic amplitudes.

This form of flecked retina is sometimes considered to be a variant of fundus albipunctatus (136880).  In favor of this argument are the observations in families in which some young members have the fundus picture of fundus albipunctatus (136880) while older ones with more advanced disease have all of the features of retinitis punctata albescens.  Also supportive is the fact that mutations in RLBP1 have been identified in both conditions.  

However, many individuals with fundus albipunctatus (136880) are described as having a stable disease with night blindness as the major symptom while many patients reported with retinitis albescens clearly have a more progressive and more serious disease with a fundus picture in late stages resembling retinitis pigmentosa.  The relationship of these two conditions should become clearer once we learn more about the natural history of these rare disorders.

Systemic Features: 

No systemic abnormalities have been reported.

Genetics

This is an autosomal recessive disorder resulting from homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in RLBP1 (15q26.1).  Parental consanguinity is frequently present.  Mutations in the same gene are also responsible for Bothnia type retinal dystrophy (607475), fundus albipunctatus (136880), and occasional patients with classical retinitis pigmentosa. 

Some authors consider retinitis punctata albescens to have an autosomal dominant pattern of transmission, perhaps based on the presence of white spots in the retina of parents.  However, heterozygotes are always asymptomatic.

Pedigree: 
Autosomal recessive
Treatment
Treatment Options: 

No treatment is available.

References
Article Title: 

Novel mutations in the cellular retinaldehyde-binding protein gene (RLBP1) associated with retinitis punctata albescens: evidence of interfamilial genetic heterogeneity and fundus changes in heterozygotes

Fishman GA, Roberts MF, Derlacki DJ, Grimsby JL, Yamamoto H, Sharon D, Nishiguchi KM, Dryja TP. Novel mutations in the cellular retinaldehyde-binding protein gene (RLBP1) associated with retinitis punctata albescens: evidence of interfamilial genetic heterogeneity and fundus changes in heterozygotes. Arch Ophthalmol. 2004 Jan;122(1):70-5.

PubMed ID: 
14718298

Fleck Retina, Benign Familial

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

The appearance of the retina is said to be distinctive.  Bright, discrete yellow-white dots or fish-tail flecks are seen extending from the parafoveal region to the periphery where they may be larger and more confluent.  The central macula is spared.  The flecks autofluoresce and fluorescein angiography reveals mild irregular hyperfluorescence.  These have been described in multiple asymptomatic patients during the first decade of life and might be congenital in origin.  Photopic and scotopic vision remains normal and no ERG or EOG abnormalities can be recorded. The retinal pigment epithelium and vasculature are normal.

Systemic Features: 

No systemic disease is present.

Genetics

This is an autosomal recessive disorder resulting from homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in the PLA2G5 gene located at 1p36.13-p36.12.

Retinal flecks can be seen in a number of hereditary retinal syndromes (see FLecked Retina Syndromes).

Pedigree: 
Autosomal recessive
Treatment
Treatment Options: 

No treatment is necessary.

References
Article Title: 

Flecked-retina syndromes

Walia S, Fishman GA, Kapur R. Flecked-retina syndromes. Ophthalmic Genet. 2009 Jun;30(2):69-75..

PubMed ID: 
19373677

Spastic Paraplegia 15

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

Yellowish flecks resembling those seen in fundus flavimaculatus are present, primarily in the macular area.   These can be present in large numbers in homozygotes with the full neurological syndrome.  Background retinal pigmentation appears clinically normal but fluorescein angiography shows a strikingly mottled picture with areas of hyper- and hypofluorescence.  Retinal flecks have also been reported in heterozygous parents.

The central macula exhibits autofluorescence.  Standard EOG and ERG recordings are normal but multifocal electroretinography shows subnormal responses in the macular area.  Visual acuity is minimally impacted.

Systemic Features: 

This is a form of spastic paraplegia with progressive spasticity primarily affecting the lower limbs.  Mental retardation (or at least cognitive impairment), dysarthria, a thin corpus callosum, and distal amyotrophy are often present.  Hearing deficits have also been described.  Some but not all patients have tremors, cerebellar ataxia, epilepsy and behavioral disturbances. Onset is between 10 and 19 years of age.  Little is known about the rate of symptom progression.

Genetics

This is an autosomal recessive disorder resulting from mutations in the ZFYVE26 gene (14q24.1).

Spastic paraplegia 7 (607259) has similar neurological features but with ptosis, optic atrophy, and nystagmus.  Congenital cataracts occur in addition to the neurological signs in spastic paraplegia 46 (614409) .

Other disorders with retinal flecks are described in Flecked Retina Syndromes.

Pedigree: 
Autosomal recessive
Treatment
Treatment Options: 

No treatment is known.

References
Article Title: 

Fleck retina in Kjellin's syndrome

Farmer SG, Longstreth WT Jr, Kalina RE, Todorov AB. Fleck retina in Kjellin's syndrome. Am J Ophthalmol. 1985 Jan 15;99(1):45-50.

PubMed ID: 
3966518

Fundus Albipunctatus

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

This disorder is often considered to belong to the category of retinal disease known as flecked retina syndrome.  Further, the nomenclature is not standardized and varying names have been attached to the more or less characteristic fundus picture consisting of uniformly distributed small yellow-white dots in the retina.  These tend to be concentrated in the midperiphery.  The macula usually is not involved in young people although ERG evidence suggests some worsening of cone dysfunction with age and central acuity may be decreased in midlife.  Frank macular degeneration has been seen clinically .  Delayed dark adaptation can be demonstrated with delays in recovery of rod and cone function.  Patients complain of night blindness beginning in childhood with little evidence of progression.

The disease known as retinitis punctata albescens (136880) may or may not be a unique disorder.  It is sometimes grouped with fundus albipunctatus while others consider it to be a separate entity.  Evidence for its uniqueness is based on the progressive nature of field loss and the presence of pigmentary changes and retinal vascular attenuation which are not found in fundus albipunctatus.  Further, the scotopic ERG waveforms usually do not regenerate.  More discriminating studies, especially genotyping, will likely provide additional information.  It would also be useful to have additional follow-up information on families. 

Systemic Features: 

No systemic disease is associated.

Genetics

Fundus albipunctatus is a genetically heterogeneous disorder.  Mutations in two genes, PRPH2 (6p21.1) and RDH5 (12q13.2) have been found among families.  The inheritance pattern for families with mutations in PRPH2 is consistent with autosomal dominant inheritance while mutations in RDH5 result in an autosomal recessive pattern.  Mutations in RLBP1 have also been found in some families.

Gene studies so far have not been helpful in discriminating between fundus albipunctatus and retinitis punctata albescens (136880).  For example, RLBP1 mutations have been identified among members of the same kindred having the clinical diagnosis of retinitis punctata albescens (136880) among older individuals while younger patients had features of fundus albipunctatus.  Further, the latter disorder has also been described among families with mutations in PRPH2 and RHO hinting at further genetic heterogeneity.

A similar clinical picture may be seen in Bietti crystalline corneoretinopathy (210370), Bardet-Biedl syndrome (209900), and hyperoxaluria (259900).  More information on flecked retina syndromes may be found at Flecked Retina Syndromes.

Pedigree: 
Autosomal dominant
Autosomal recessive
Treatment
Treatment Options: 

No effective treatment is available to restore full receptor cell function.  However, high oral doses of beta-carotene may lead to an improvement in night blindness. Low vision aids could be beneficial when central acuity is damaged.

References
Article Title: 

Leber Congenital Amaurosis

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

Leber congenital amaurosis is a collective term applied to multiple recessively inherited conditions with early-onset retinal dystrophy causing infantile or early childhood blindness.  There are no established diagnostic criteria.  First signs are usually noted before the age of 6 months.  These consist of a severe reduction in vision accompanied by nystagmus, abnormal pupillary responses, and photophobia.  Ametropia in the form of hyperopia is common.  Keratoconus (and keratoglobus) is frequently found in older children but it is uncertain if this is a primary abnormality or secondary to eye rubbing as the latter is commonly observed.  Repeated pressure on the eye may also be responsible for the relative enophthalmos often seen in these patients.  The ERG is reduced or absent early and permanently.  Final visual acuity is seldom better than 20/400 and perhaps one-third of affected individuals have no light perception.  Some individuals experience a period of vision improvement.

The retina usually has pigmentary changes but these are not diagnostic.  Retinal vessels are generally attenuated.  The RPE may have a finely granulated appearance or, in some cases, whitish dots, and even 'bone spicules'.

Systemic Features: 

A variety of metabolic and physical abnormalities have been reported with LCA but many publications are from the pre-genomic era and the significance of such associations remains uncertain.  Most extraocular signs result from delays in mental development but it is uncertain what role, if any, that visual deprivation plays.  Perhaps 20% of patients are mentally retarded or have significant cognitive deficits.

Genetics

Leber congenital amaurosis is genetically heterogeneous with at least 18 known gene mutations associated with the phenotype.  It is also clinically heterogeneous both within and among families and this is the major obstacle to the delineation of individual clinicogenetic entities.  As more patients are genotyped, it is likely that more precise genotype-phenotype correlations will emerge.  At the present time, however, it is not possible to use clinical findings alone to distinguish individual conditions.

Below are links to the genotypic and phenotypic features of the 18 known types of LCA.  All cause disease in the homozygous or compound heterozygous state. 

LCA type               OMIM#                 Locus              Gene Symbol   

LCA 1                    204000                 7p13.1                 GUCY2D

LCA 2                    204100                 1p31                    RPE65**

LCA 3                    604232                 14q31.3               SPATA7

LCA 4                    604393                 17p13.1               AIPL1

LCA 5                    604537                 6q14.1                 LCA5

LCA 6                    613826                 14q11                  RPGRIP1

LCA 7                    613829                19q13.1                CRX*

LCA 8                    613835                 1q31-q32             CRB1

LCA 9                    608553                 1p36                    NMNAT1

LCA 10                  611755                 12q21                  CEP290

LCA 11                  613837                 7q31.3-q332        IMPDH1

LCA 12                  610612                 1q32.3                 RD3

LCA 13                  612712                 14q24.1               RDH12

LCA 14                  613341                 4q31                    LRAT

LCA 15                  613843                 6p21-31              TULP1

LCA 16                  614186                 2q37                    KCNJ13

LCA 17                  615360                 8q22.1                 GDF6

LCA 18                  608133                 6p21.1                 PRPH2***

It is likely that more mutant genes will be identified since these are found in only about half of patients studied in large series.  

*(Heterozygous mutations in CRX may also cause a cone-rod dystrophy).

**(Mutations in RPE65 has been described as also causing retinitis pigmentosa (RP20; 613794)  with choroidal involvement.)

***Mutations in PRPH2 (RDS) has also been reported to cause retinitis pigmentosa 7, choroidal dystrophy, and vitelliform macular dystrophy (179605) among others.

Mutations in the GUCY2D gene seem to be the most common being present in about 21% of LCA patients with CRB1 next at 10%.

Pedigree: 
Autosomal recessive
Treatment
Treatment Options: 

Until recently, no treatment was available for LCA.  However, results from early clinical trials with adeno-associated virus vector mediated gene therapy for RPE65 mutations in LCA 2 show promise.  Subretinal placement of recombinant  adeno-virus carrying RPE65 complementary DNA results in both subjective and objective improvements in visual function.  Patients generally report subjective improvement in light sensitivity and visual mobility.  Some recovery of rod and cone photoreceptor function has been documented.  Studies have also documented an improvement in visual acuity, size of visual field, pupillary responses, and in the amouunt of nystagmus.  More than 230 patients have now  been treated and improvements seem to be maintained for at least 3 or more years.  However, we have also learned that along with the enzymatic dysfunction of RPE65 that disrupts the visual cycle, there is also degeneration of photoreceptors which continues after treatment and the long term prognosis remains guarded. Multiple phase I clinical trials have demonstrated the safety of this approach and phase III trials are now underway.

It is crucial for patients to be enrolled early in sensory stimulation programs to ensure optimum neural development.  For patients with residual vision, low vision aids can be beneficial.  Vocational and occupational therapy should be considered for appropriate patients.

References
Article Title: 

Mutations in NMNAT1 cause Leber congenital amaurosis and identify a new disease

Koenekoop RK, Wang H, Majewski J, Wang X, Lopez I, Ren H, Chen Y, Li Y,
Fishman GA, Genead M, Schwartzentruber J, Solanki N, Traboulsi EI, Cheng J, Logan
CV, McKibbin M, Hayward BE, Parry DA, Johnson CA, Nageeb M; Finding of Rare
Disease Genes (FORGE) Canada Consortium, Poulter JA, Mohamed MD, Jafri H, Rashid
Y, Taylor GR, Keser V, Mardon G, Xu H, Inglehearn CF, Fu Q, Toomes C, Chen R.
Mutations in NMNAT1 cause Leber congenital amaurosis and identify a new disease
pathway for retinal degeneration
. Nat Genet. 2012 Jul 29.
 

PubMed ID: 
22842230

A dominant mutation in RPE65 identified by whole-exome sequencing causes retinitis pigmentosa with choroidal involvement

Bowne SJ, Humphries MM, Sullivan LS, Kenna PF, Tam LC, Kiang AS, Campbell M, Weinstock GM, Koboldt DC, Ding L, Fulton RS, Sodergren EJ, Allman D, Millington-Ward S, Palfi A, McKee A, Blanton SH, Slifer S, Konidari I, Farrar GJ, Daiger SP, Humphries P. A dominant mutation in RPE65 identified by whole-exome sequencing causes retinitis pigmentosa with choroidal involvement. Eur J Hum Genet. 2011 Oct;19(10):1074-81. Erratum in: Eur J Hum Genet. 2011 Oct;19(10):1109.

PubMed ID: 
21654732

Treatment of leber congenital amaurosis due to RPE65 mutations by ocular subretinal injection of adeno-associated virus gene vector: short-term results of a phase I trial

Hauswirth WW, Aleman TS, Kaushal S, Cideciyan AV, Schwartz SB, Wang L, Conlon TJ, Boye SL, Flotte TR, Byrne BJ, Jacobson SG. Treatment of leber congenital amaurosis due to RPE65 mutations by ocular subretinal injection of adeno-associated virus gene vector: short-term results of a phase I trial. Hum Gene Ther. 2008 Oct;19(10):979-90.

PubMed ID: 
18774912

Effect of gene therapy on visual function in Leber's congenital amaurosis

Bainbridge JW, Smith AJ, Barker SS, Robbie S, Henderson R, Balaggan K, Viswanathan A, Holder GE, Stockman A, Tyler N, Petersen-Jones S, Bhattacharya SS, Thrasher AJ, Fitzke FW, Carter BJ, Rubin GS, Moore AT, Ali RR. Effect of gene therapy on visual function in Leber's congenital amaurosis. N Engl J Med. 2008 May 22;358(21):2231-9.

PubMed ID: 
18441371

Leber congenital amaurosis

Perrault I, Rozet JM, Gerber S, Ghazi I, Leowski C, Ducroq D, Souied E, Dufier JL, Munnich A, Kaplan J. Leber congenital amaurosis. Mol Genet Metab. 1999 Oct;68(2):200-8. Review.

PubMed ID: 
10527670

Retinoschisis, Juvenile

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

Retinoschisis is a retinal disorder characterized by a cystic degeneration of the retina, leading to a split of retinal layers mainly at the level of the nerve fiber layer. Almost all patients have macular involvement, most commonly with foveal spoke-like streaks consisting of microcystic cavities that may coalesce over time. Retinal pigment epithelium atrophy and pigment clumping may occur.  Peripheral schisis is evident in about 50% of patients with large bullous cavities that may resolve spontaneously leaving a pigmented demarcation line. Other retinal findings are white retinal flecks, exudative retinopathy with retinal detachment, perivascular sheathing and dendritiform vessels in the periphery. Vitreous veils are commonly seen that are caused by separation of the thin inner wall of a peripheral schisis cavity and inner wall holes. Bridging vessels may rupture into the cystic cavity or the vitreous. The onset of the disorder has been detected as early as three months, but the majority of cases are five years old or older. Many present with mildly decreased vision that cannot be corrected with glasses and the diagnosis is often delayed. Visual acuity is highly variable ranging from 20/20 to 20/200, but may decline with age and with complications such as vitreous hemorrhage and macular detachment.  The disorder is also associated with axial hyperopia, posterior subcapsular cataract and strabismus. Fluorescein angiography shows minimal or no leakage as opposed to cystoid macular edema. Focal areas of vascular leakage into schisis cavity may be present as well as peripheral capillary nonperfusion. Electroretinograms exhibit a reduced b-wave and a preserved a-wave.

Systemic Features: 

No general systemic manifestations are associated with juvenile retinoschisis.

Genetics

Juvenile retinoschisis is an X-linked recessive disorder that affects mainly males. The causative mutations involve the gene RS1 located on the X chromosome at Xp22. Female carriers may have peripheral schisis amd many allelic variants have been reported.  The encoded protein retinoschisin is a secreted protein produced by photoreceptors and bipolar cells and may be involved in cell-cell adhesion or ion channel regulation.

Treatment
Treatment Options: 

There is presently no effective treatment for the disorder, but decreased vision later in life can be aided with low vision aids. Cases with posterior subcapsular cataract can be treated with cataract extraction.  Improvement in the cystic macular lesions, central foveal zone thickness, and visual acuity have been reported to benefit from topical dorzolamide treatment.

References
Article Title: 

Peripheral fundus findings in X-linked retinoschisis

Fahim AT, Ali N, Blachley T, Michaelides M. Peripheral fundus findings in X-linked retinoschisis. Br J Ophthalmol. 2017 Mar 27. pii: bjophthalmol-2016-310110. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2016-310110. [Epub ahead of print].

PubMed ID: 
28348004

X-linked retinoschisis: an update

Sikkink SK, Biswas S, Parry NR, Stanga PE, Trump D. X-linked retinoschisis: an update. J Med Genet. 2007 Apr;44(4):225-32. 2006 Dec 15.

PubMed ID: 
17172462
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