night blindness

Retinitis Pigmentosa, AD

Clinical Characteristics

Ocular Features

Retinitis pigmentosa is a large group of disorders with great clinical and genetic heterogeneity.  The ocular disease is characterized by night blindness, field constriction, and pigmentary changes in the retina.  The later may have a ‘bone corpuscle’ appearance with a perivascular distribution.  A ring scotoma is sometimes evident.  Age of onset and rate of progression is highly variable, even within families.  The rods are impacted early but cone deterioration with loss of central vision usually follows.  Some patients complain of dyschromatopsia and photophobia.  The ERG generally documents this progression but the mfERG shows wide variations in central cone functioning.  Legal blindness is common by the 5thdecade of life or later.  The course of clinical and ERG changes is more aggressive in the X-linked form than in the autosomal dominant RHO disease.  The final common denominator for all types is first rod and then cone photoreceptor loss through apoptosis.

As many as 50% of patients develop posterior subcapsular cataracts.  The vitreous often contains cells and particulate debris.   Retinal arterioles are often attenuated and the optic nerve may have a waxy pallor, especially late in the disease.  Occasional patients have cysts in the macula.  Some patients experience continuous photopsia.  

Systemic Features

The ‘simple’ or nonsyndromal type of RP described here has no systemic features.  However, the retinopathy is seen in a number of syndromes and, of course, in trauma and in some infectious diseases as well. 

Genetics

A significant proportion of RP cases occur sporadically, i.e., without a family history.  Mutations in more than 25 genes cause autosomal dominant RP disorders and these account for about one-third of all cases of retinitis pigmentosa but there are many more specific mutations.  More than 100 have been identified in the RHO gene (3q21-q24) alone, for example.  Mutations in some genes cause RP in both autosomal recessive and autosomal dominant inhritance patterns.  See OMIM 268000 for a complete listing of mutations.

Many genes associated with retinitis pigmentosa have also been implicated in other pigmentary retinopathies.  In addition numerous phenocopies occur, caused by a variety of drugs, trauma, infections and numerous neurological disorders.  To make diagnosis even more difficult, the fundus findings and ERG responses in nonsyndromic RP in most patients are too nonspecific to be useful for classification. Extensive systemic and ocular evaluations are important and should be combined with genotyping in both familial and nonfamilial cases to determine the diagnosis and prognosis. 

For autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa resulting from mutations in RP1, see Retinitis Pigmentosa 1 (180100). 

Treatment Options

Photoreceptor transplantation has been tried in 8 patients without improvement in central vision or interruption in the rate of vision loss.  Longer term results are needed.  Resensitizing photoreceptors with halorhodopsin using archaebacterial vectors shows promise in mice.  High doses of vitamin A palmitate slow the rate of vision loss but plasma levels and liver function need to be checked at least annually.  The use of oral and systemic carbonic anhydrase inhibitors can be helpful in reducing macular edema.

Low vision aids and mobility training can be facilitating for many patients.  Cataract surgery may restore several lines of vision at least temporarily.

Several pharmaceuticals should be avoided, including isotretinoin, sildenafil, and vitamin E. 

References

Daiger SP, Bowne SJ, Sullivan LS. Genes and Mutations Causing Autosomal Dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2014 Oct 10.  [Epub ahead of print].

PubMed ID: 
25304133

Jacobson SG, Cideciyan AV. Treatment possibilities for retinitis pigmentosa. N Engl J Med. 2010 Oct 21;363(17):1669-71.

PubMed ID: 
20961252

Busskamp V, Duebel J, Balya D, Fradot M, Viney TJ, Siegert S, Groner AC, Cabuy E, Forster V, Seeliger M, Biel M, Humphries P, Paques M, Mohand-Said S, Trono D, Deisseroth K, Sahel JA, Picaud S, Roska B. Genetic reactivation of cone photoreceptors restores visual responses in retinitis pigmentosa. Science. 2010 Jul 23;329(5990):413-7.

PubMed ID: 
20576849

Janaky M, Palffy A, Deak A, Szilagyi M, Benedek G. Multifocal ERG reveals several patterns of cone degeneration in retinitis pigmentosa with concentric narrowing of the visual field. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007 Jan;48(1):383-9.

PubMed ID: 
17197558

Berger AS, Tezel TH, Del Priore LV, Kaplan HJ. Photoreceptor transplantation in retinitis pigmentosa: short-term follow-up. Ophthalmology. 2003 Feb;110(2):383-91.

PubMed ID: 
12578785

Retinitis Pigmentosa 3, X-Linked

Clinical Characteristics

Ocular Features

Retinitis pigmentosa is a large group of disorders with great clinical and genetic heterogeneity.  The ocular disease is characterized by night blindness, field constriction, and pigmentary changes in the retina.  The later may have a ‘bone corpuscle’ appearance with a perivascular distribution.  A ring scotoma is sometimes evident.  Age of onset and rate of progression is highly variable, even within families.  In this, an X-linked form of the disease, the first symptoms often appear early in the second decade of life.  The rods are impacted early but cone deterioration with loss of central vision usually follows.  Some patients complain of dyschromatopsia and photophobia.  The ERG generally documents this progression but the mfERG shows wide variations in central cone functioning.  Legal blindness is common by the 4thor 5thdecades of life.  The course of clinical and ERG changes is more aggressive in the X-linked form than in autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa disease resulting from RHO mutations.  The final common denominator for all types is first rod and then cone photoreceptor loss through apoptosis.

Up to 50% of adults develop cataracts beginning in the posterior subcapsular area.  The vitreous often contains cells and some patients have cystoid macular edema.  A waxy pallor of the optic nerve is sometimes present especially in the later stages of the disease.

Female carriers generally are asymptomatic but may also have severe RP.  Occasionally they have an unusual tapetal reflex consisting of a ‘beaten metal’ appearance or sometimes scintillating, golden patches. 

Systemic Features

There is no systemic disease in ‘simple’ or non-syndromic retinitis pigmentosa but pigmentary retinopathy is associated with a number of syndromes (syndromal RP) e.g.,  Usher syndromes, Waardenburg syndrome, Alport syndrome, Refsum disease, Kerns-Sayre syndrome, abetalipoproteinemia, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, mucopolysaccharidoses types I, II, III, and Bardet-Biedl syndromes

The RPGR gene is important to the normal function of cilia throughout the body.  For this reason disorders resulting from RPGR mutations such as CORDX1 (304020) and this one are sometimes classified as primary ciliary dyskinesias or ciliopathies.  The gene products of the RPGR gene, for example, are localized to connecting cilia of the outer segments of rods and cones and in motile cilia in the airway epithelia.  A subset of families with RP3 have chronic and recurrent upper respiratory infections including sinusitis, bronchitis, pulmonary atelectasis, and otitis media (300455) similar to that seen in the immotile cilia syndrome (244400).  Female carriers in these families have few retinal changes but may suffer recurrent and severe upper respiratory infections similar to hemizygous males.  Severe hearing loss also occurs in both sexes with the RPGR mutations and there is some evidence that this may be a primary sensorineural problem, perhaps in addition to conductive loss from recurrent otitis media.

Genetics

Mutations in more than 100 genes may be responsible for retinitis pigmentosa but sporadic disease occurs as well.  Between 5 and 10% of individuals have X-linked disease.  Perhaps 70% of X-linked RP is caused by mutations in RPGR (Xp11.4) as in this condition.  The same gene is mutant in one form of X-linked cone-rod dystrophy (CORDX1; 304020). These  disorders are sometimes considered examples of X-linked ocular disease resulting from a primary ciliary dyskinesia (244400).

Another form of X-linked RP (RP2) with more choroidal involvement is caused by mutations in the RP2 gene (312600 ; Xp11.23). 

Many genes associated with retinitis pigmentosa have also been implicated in other pigmentary retinopathies.  In addition numerous phenocopies occur, caused by a variety of drugs, trauma, infections and numerous neurological disorders.  To make diagnosis even more difficult, the fundus findings and ERG responses in nonsyndromic RP in most patients are too nonspecific to be useful for classification. Extensive systemic and ocular evaluations are important and should be combined with genotyping in both familial and nonfamilial cases to determine the diagnosis and prognosis. 

Treatment Options

Photoreceptor transplantation has been tried in 8 patients without improvement in central vision or interruption in the rate of vision loss.  Longer term results are needed.  Resensitizing photoreceptors with halorhodopsin using archaebacterial vectors shows promise in mice.  High doses of vitamin A palmitate slow the rate of vision loss but plasma levels and liver function need to be checked at least annually.  Oral acetazolamide can be helpful in reducing macular edema.

Low vision aids and mobility training can be facilitating for many patients.  Cataract surgery may restore several lines of vision at least temporarily.

Several pharmaceuticals should be avoided, including isotretinoin, sildenafil, and vitamin E. 

References

Jacobson SG, Cideciyan AV. Treatment possibilities for retinitis pigmentosa. N Engl J Med. 2010 Oct 21;363(17):1669-71.

PubMed ID: 
20961252

Busskamp V, Duebel J, Balya D, Fradot M, Viney TJ, Siegert S, Groner AC, Cabuy E, Forster V, Seeliger M, Biel M, Humphries P, Paques M, Mohand-Said S, Trono D, Deisseroth K, Sahel JA, Picaud S, Roska B. Genetic reactivation of cone photoreceptors restores visual responses in retinitis pigmentosa. Science. 2010 Jul 23;329(5990):413-7.

PubMed ID: 
20576849

Sandberg MA, Rosner B, Weigel-DiFranco C, Dryja TP, Berson EL. Disease course of patients with X-linked retinitis pigmentosa due to RPGR gene mutations. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007 Mar;48(3):1298-304.

PubMed ID: 
17325176

Janaky M, Palffy A, Deak A, Szilagyi M, Benedek G. Multifocal ERG reveals several patterns of cone degeneration in retinitis pigmentosa with concentric narrowing of the visual field. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007 Jan;48(1):383-9.

PubMed ID: 
17197558

Berger AS, Tezel TH, Del Priore LV, Kaplan HJ. Photoreceptor transplantation in retinitis pigmentosa: short-term follow-up. Ophthalmology. 2003 Feb;110(2):383-91.

PubMed ID: 
12578785

Zito I, Downes SM, Patel RJ, Cheetham ME, Ebenezer ND, Jenkins SA, Bhattacharya SS, Webster AR, Holder GE, Bird AC, Bamiou DE, Hardcastle AJ. RPGR mutation associated with retinitis pigmentosa, impaired hearing, and sinorespiratory infections. J Med Genet. 2003 Aug;40(8):609-15.

PubMed ID: 
12920075

Cone-Rod Dystrophies, X-Linked

Clinical Characteristics

Ocular Features

Three X-linked forms of progressive cone-rod dystrophies each with mutations in different genes have been identified.  Central vision is often lost in the second or third decades of life but photophobia is usually noted before vision loss.  Cones are primarily involved but rod degeneration occurs over time.  The ERG reveals defective photopic responses early followed by a decrease in rod responses.   All three types are rare disorders affecting primarily males with symptoms of decreased acuity, photophobia, loss of color vision, and myopia.  The color vision defect early is incomplete but progressive cone degeneration eventually leads to achromatopsia.    Peripheral visual fields are usually full until late in the disease when constriction and nightblindness are evident.  The retina may have a tapetal-like sheen.  RPE changes in the macula often give it a granular appearance and there may be a bull’s-eye configuration.   Fine nystagmus may be present as well.  The optic nerve often has some pallor beginning temporally.  Carrier females can have some diminished acuity, myopia, RPE changes, and even photophobia but normal color vision and ERG responses at least among younger individuals.

There is considerable variation in the clinical signs and symptoms in the X-linked cone-rod dystrophies among both affected males and heterozygous females.  Visual acuity varies widely and is to some extent age dependent.  Vision can be normal into the fourth and fifth decades but may reach the count fingers level after that. 

Systemic Features

None.

Genetics

Mutations in at least 3 genes on the X chromosome cause X-linked cone-rod dystrophy.

CORDX1 (304020) is caused by mutations in an alternative exon 15 (ORG15) of the RPGR gene (Xp11.4) which is also mutant in several forms of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (300455, 300029).  These disorders are sometimes considered examples of X-linked ocular disease resulting from a primary ciliary dyskinesia (244400).

CORDX2 (300085) is caused by mutations in an unidentified gene at Xq27.  A single family has been reported.

CORDX3 (300476) results from mutations in CACNA1F.  Mutations in the same gene also cause a form of congenital stationary night blindness, CSNB2A (300071).  The latter, however, is a stationary disorder with significant nightblindness and mild dyschromatopsia, often with an adult onset, and is associated with high myopia. Aland Island Eye Disease (300600) is another allelic disorder.   

Treatment Options

There is no treatment for these dystrophies but red-tinted lenses provide comfort and may sometimes improve acuity to some extent.  Low vision aids can be helpful. 

References

Jalkanen R, M?SSntyj?SSrvi M, Tobias R, Isosomppi J, Sankila EM, Alitalo T, Bech-Hansen NT. X linked cone-rod dystrophy, CORDX3, is caused by a mutation in the CACNA1F gene. J Med Genet. 2006 Aug;43(8):699-704.

PubMed ID: 
16505158

Yang Z, Peachey NS, Moshfeghi DM, Thirumalaichary S, Chorich L, Shugart YY, Fan K, Zhang K. Mutations in the RPGR gene cause X-linked cone dystrophy. Hum Mol Genet. 2002 Mar 1;11(5):605-11.

PubMed ID: 
11875055

Bergen AA, Pinckers AJ. Localization of a novel X-linked progressive cone dystrophy gene to Xq27: evidence for genetic heterogeneity. Am J Hum Genet. 1997 Jun;60(6):1468-73. Erratum in: Am J Hum Genet 1997 Aug;61(2):471.

PubMed ID: 
9199568

Hong HK, Ferrell RE, Gorin MB. Clinical diversity and chromosomal localization of X-linked cone dystrophy (COD1). Am J Hum Genet. 1994 Dec;55(6):1173-81.

PubMed ID: 
7977377

Usher Syndrome Type II

Clinical Characteristics

Ocular Features

Retinitis pigmentosa is clinically similar to that of nonsyndromal RP and produces symptoms of nightblindness by adolescence.  The ERG is severely reduced and visual fields are constricted.  Rods seem to be more severely affected than cones.  A loss of thickness in the outer nuclear layer in USH2C and USH2A types has been described.  The fundus often contains patches of hyperfluorescence which become larger and often coalesce in older patients.  The retinal disease is progressive but more slowly than in type I.  Eventually by the 4th to 5th decades the visual field is constricted to 5-10 degrees.  It can result in blindness.  Cataracts are common and some patients have cystic changes in the macula.

Systemic Features

The hearing deficit in type II can be described as hearing loss rather than deafness as found in type I.  Usually high frequencies are impacted more severely than lower frequencies producing a characteristic ‘sloping’ audiogram.  The hearing loss is present at birth and progressive, at least in some individuals.  Speech usually develops.  Vestibular dysfunction is not a feature of type II Usher syndrome.  The mental changes observed in type I do not occur in type II.

Genetics

Like other forms of Usher syndrome, type II is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern.  Like type I, it is genetically heterogeneous and mutations in at least 4 genes seem to be responsible.  Three have been identified: type IIA (USH2A; 276901) results from mutations in the USH2A gene on chromosome 4 (1q41), type IIC (USH2D; 605472) from mutations in GPR98 (5q14), and type IID (USH2D; 611383) is caused by mutations in the DFNB31 gene (9q32-q34).  Type IIB (USH2B) results from mutations in a locus mapped to 3p24.2-p23 but the gene has not been identified.  Clinical features are sufficiently similar so that these are discussed here as a single entity.

This is the most common of the three types of Usher syndrome.  Type I Usher syndrome (276900) results from mutations in at least 7 genes and type III (276902) is caused by a mutations in the CLRN1 gene.

Treatment Options

Hearing aids can be helpful and speech therapy may be highly beneficial for the development of speech.  Cochlear implants have been suggested for older persons who have the more severe hearing loss.  Auditory testing should be done shortly after birth and the hearing loss monitored periodically.

References

Blanco-Kelly F, Jaijo T, Aller E, Avila-Fernandez A, Lopez-Molina MI, Gimenez A, Garcia-Sandoval B, Millan JM, Ayuso C. Clinical Aspects of Usher Syndrome and the USH2A Gene in a Cohort of 433 Patients. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2014 Nov 6. [Epub ahead of print].

PubMed ID: 
25375654

Schwartz SB, Aleman TS, Cideciyan AV, Windsor EA, Sumaroka A, Roman AJ, Rane T, Smilko EE, Bennett J, Stone EM, Kimberling WJ, Liu XZ, Jacobson SG. Disease expression in Usher syndrome caused by VLGR1 gene mutation (USH2C) and comparison with USH2A phenotype. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005 Feb;46(2):734-43.

PubMed ID: 
15671307

Iannaccone A, Kritchevsky SB, Ciccarelli ML, Tedesco SA, Macaluso C, Kimberling WJ, Somes GW. Kinetics of visual field loss in Usher syndrome Type II. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2004 Mar;45(3):784-92.

PubMed ID: 
14985291

Usher Syndrome Type I

Clinical Characteristics

Ocular Features

The fundus dystrophy of retinitis pigmentosa in Usher syndrome is indistinguishable from isolated retinitis pigmentosa.   Night blindness begins by about 10 years of age and the ERG by that time is often markedly diminished or absent.  Patches of hyperfluorescence are seen in younger individuals and these enlarge and coalesce with age.  Tunnel vision occurs early as the peripheral visual field is constricted to 5-10 degrees by midlife.  The retinal disease is progressive and blindness may be the final result.

Systemic Features

Type I Usher syndrome is characterized by profound hearing impairment beginning at birth, vestibular dysfunction, and unintelligible speech in addition to retinitis pigmentosa.  Vestibular areflexia is virtually complete and constitutes a defining feature.  Ataxic gait disturbances are common secondary to labyrinthine dysfunction and many children do not walk until 18-24 months of age.  Sitting alone may also be delayed.  Sperm motility is abnormal which is likely the basis for reduced fertility in male patients.  An abnormal exoneme morphology from ciliated progenitors is likely the common basis for these clinical findings.  MRI imaging has found a significant decrease in intracranial volume and brain size.  About 1 in 4 children have behavioral problems or psychosocial difficulties.

Genetics

Type I Usher syndrome is an autosomal recessive genetically heterogeneous disorder as mutations in at least 8 genes produce a similar disease.  These are: MYO7A (276900) at 11q13.5 causing USH1B (USH1A is now considered to be the same), USH1C at 11p15.1 causing USH1C (276904), CDH23 at 10q21-q22, causing USH1D (601067), PCDH15 at 10q21.1 causing USH1F (602083), and USH1G at 17q24-25 causing USH1G (606943).  Mutations in as yet unnamed genes in loci at 21q21 (USH1E; 602097), 10p11.21-q21.1 (USH1K), and 15q22-q23 (USH1H; 612632) may also cause this type I phenotype. They are discussed here as a single entity designated type I since the clinical features of each are indistinguishable.'

A varant of USH1C resulting from homozygous deletions in 11p15-p14, known as homozygous 11p15-p14 deletion syndrome, has the additional feature of severe hyperinsulinemia due to the involvement of ABCC8 and KCNJ11 genes (606528).

Clinical differences have led to the categorization of three types of Usher syndrome:  type I described here, type II (276901) caused by mutations in at least 4 genes, and type III (276902) caused by mutations in CLRN1.

Treatment Options

At-risk infants should have hearing evaluations as soon as possible after birth.  Assistive hearing devices are of little benefit.  Unless cochlear implants are placed in young children, speech may not develop.  Extra precautions during physical activities such as swimming, bicycling, and night-time driving are highly recommended. Speech therapy and low vision aids can be beneficial.

References

Bujakowska KM, Consugar MB, Place E, Harper S, Lena J, Taub DG, White J, Navarro-Gomez D, Weigel-DiFranco C, Farkas MH, Gai X, Berson EL, Pierce EA. Targeted exon sequencing in Usher syndrome type I. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014 Dec 2.  [Epub ahead of print].

PubMed ID: 
25468891

Blanco-Kelly F, Jaijo T, Aller E, Avila-Fernandez A, Lopez-Molina MI, Gimenez A, Garcia-Sandoval B, Millan JM, Ayuso C. Clinical Aspects of Usher Syndrome and the USH2A Gene in a Cohort of 433 Patients. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2014 Nov 6. [Epub ahead of print].

PubMed ID: 
25375654

Al Mutair AN, Brusgaard K, Bin-Abbas B, Hussain K, Felimban N, Al Shaikh A, Christesen HT. Heterogeneity in Phenotype of Usher-Congenital Hyperinsulinism Syndrome: Hearing Loss, Retinitis Pigmentosa, and Hyperinsulinemic Hypoglycemia Ranging from Severe to Mild with Conversion to Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2012 Nov 12. [Epub ahead of print].

PubMed ID: 
23150283

Jaworek TJ, Bhatti R, Latief N, Khan SN, Riazuddin S, Ahmed ZM. USH1K, a novel locus for type I Usher syndrome, maps to chromosome 10p11.21-q21.1. J Hum Genet. 2012 Jun 21. doi: 10.1038/jhg.2012.79. [Epub ahead of print].

PubMed ID: 
22718019

Ahmed ZM, Riazuddin S, Riazuddin S, Wilcox ER. The molecular genetics of Usher syndrome. Clin Genet. 2003 Jun;63(6):431-44. Review.

PubMed ID: 
12786748

Smith RJ, Berlin CI, Hejtmancik JF, Keats BJ, Kimberling WJ, Lewis RA, M??ller CG, Pelias MZ, Tranebjaerg L. Clinical diagnosis of the Usher syndromes. Usher Syndrome Consortium. Am J Med Genet. 1994 Mar 1;50(1):32-8.

PubMed ID: 
8160750

Peroxisome Biogenesis Disorder 1B (neonatal adrenoleukodystrophy)

Clinical Characteristics

Ocular Features

This peroxisomal disorder presents in the first year of life with both systemic and ocular features.  Night blindness is the major ocular feature and at least some have optic atrophy similar to the adult form.  Central acuity is reduced secondary to macular degeneration.  A pigmentary retinopathy is frequently present and often follows the appearance of whitish retinal flecks in the midperipheray.  Nystagmus and cataracts are common features.  Reduction or absence of ERG responses can be used in young children to document the retinopathy.  Blindness and deafness commonly occur in childhood.

Systemic Features

This disorder is classified as a leukodystrophy, or disease of white matter of the brain, associated with the breakdown of phytanic acid.  Ataxia and features of motor neuron disease are evident early.  Hepatomegaly and jaundice may also be early diagnostic features as bile acid metabolism is defective.  Infant hypotonia is often seen.  Nonspecific facial dysmorphism has been reported.  The ears are low-set and epicanthal folds are present.  The teeth are abnormally large and often have yellowish discoloration.  Postural unsteadiness is evident when patients begin walking.  Diagnosis can be suspected from elevated serum phytanic and pipecolic acid (in 20% of patients) or by demonstration of decreased phytanic acid oxidation in cultured fibroblasts.  Other biochemical abnormalities such as hypocholesterolemia, and elevated very long chain fatty acids and trihydroxycholestanoic acid are usually present.  Anosmia, developmental delays, and mental retardation are nearly universal features.  Early mortality in infancy or childhood is common.

Genetics

This is a genetically heterogeneous disorder of peroxisome biogenesis caused by mutations in at least three genes, PEX1 (7q21-q22), PEX2 (8q21.1), and PEX6 (22q11-21).  Each is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern.  The mechanism of disease is different from the classic or adult Refsum disorder (266500) and some have debated whether the term ‘infantile Refsum disease’ is appropriate.

This disorder shares some clinical features with other peroxisomal disorders such as Zellweger syndrome (214100) and rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata (215100).  Zellweger syndrome (214100), neonatal adrenoleukodystrophy and infantile Refsum disease (601539) are now considered to be peroxisomal biogenesis or Zellweger spectrum disorders.

Treatment Options

No effective treatment is known.

References

Goez H, Meiron D, Horowitz J, Schutgens RH, Wanders RJ, Berant M, Mandel H. Infantile Refsum disease: neonatal cholestatic jaundice presentation of a peroxisomal disorder. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1995 Jan;20(1):98-101.

PubMed ID: 
7533834

Wanders RJ, Saelman D, Heymans HS, Schutgens RB, Westerveld A, Poll-Th?(c) BT, Saudubray JM, Van den Bosch H, Strijland A, Schram AW, et al. Genetic relation between the Zellweger syndrome, infantile Refsum's disease, and rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata. N Engl J Med. 1986 Mar 20;314(12):787-8.

PubMed ID: 
2419755

Refsum Disease, Adult

Clinical Characteristics

Ocular Features

A retinitis pigmentosa-like retinopathy is the major ocular manifestation of this disease.  There is typical night blindness and visual field constriction.   Rod ERG responses are usually subnormal.  However, central acuity is also reduced due to a degenerative maculopathy.   Cataracts and optic atrophy are common.  The macula may undergo progressive degeneration and optic atrophy is not uncommon.  Some patients have defective pupillary responses.

Systemic Features

Onset of symptoms is usually late in the first decade and sometimes into the third decade.  There is usually a polyneuropathy with impaired motor reflexes and paresis in the limbs.  A progressive sensorineural hearing loss occurs in many patients.  Sensory deficits also occur.  Some have ataxia and skin changes of ichthyosis.  Anosmia is a near universal feature.  Heart failure may occur and cardiac abnormalities such as conduction defects can occur.  A variety of skeletal abnormalities such as pes cavus, short fourth metatarsals, and evidence of epiphyseal dysplasia have been reported.  There is considerable clinical heterogeneity even within families.

Phytanic acid oxidase activity as measured in fibroblasts is often low while serum phytanic acid is increased.  The cerebrospinal fluid contains increased protein but no increase in cells.

Genetics

This disorder results from mutations in the PHYH (PAHX) gene (10pter-p11.2) encoding phytanoyl-CoA hydroxylase, or, more rarely in PEX7 (6q22-q24) encoding peroxin-7 resulting in an uncommon condition (10% of cases) sometimes called adult Refsum disease-2. 

Mutations in the latter gene also cause rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata type 1 (215100) which does not have all of the neurological features or the retinopathy.

There is also so-called infantile form of Refsum disease (266510).

Treatment Options

A diet low in phytanic acid can lead to improvement in the neurologic symptoms such as the ataxia and polyneuropathy but must be instituted in early stages of the disease.  This approach may not be as beneficial for the visual or auditory symptoms.

References

van den Brink DM, Brites P, Haasjes J, Wierzbicki AS, Mitchell J, Lambert-Hamill M, de Belleroche J, Jansen GA, Waterham HR, Wanders RJ. Identification of PEX7 as the second gene involved in Refsum disease. Am J Hum Genet. 2003 Feb;72(2):471-7.

PubMed ID: 
12522768

Jansen GA, Hogenhout EM, Ferdinandusse S, Waterham HR, Ofman R, Jakobs C, Skjeldal OH, Wanders RJ. Human phytanoyl-CoA hydroxylase: resolution of the gene structure and the molecular basis of Refsum's disease. Hum Mol Genet. 2000 May 1;9(8):1195-200.

PubMed ID: 
10767344

Skjeldal OH, Stokke O, Refsum S, Norseth J, Petit H. Clinical and biochemical heterogeneity in conditions with phytanic acid accumulation. J Neurol Sci. 1987 Jan;77(1):87-96.

PubMed ID: 
2433405

Flecked Retina Syndromes

Clinical Characteristics

Ocular Features

There exist a considerable number of disorders often classified under the heading of ‘flecked retina’ syndrome.  Prior to the modern genomic period, distinctions among them were based on the clinical picture, functional abnormalities, and electrophysiological studies.  The nosology is becoming clearer as more individuals are genotyped.  We can expect further discrimination of these disorders in the near future.

White or yellow discrete dots are found throughout the fundus.  These are most dense in the midperiphery RPE and the macula is generally not involved.  This is most common in patients with fundus albipunctatus who have a nonprogressive disease.  Stationary night blindness is the predominant symptom.  However, patients with mutations in RDH5 may have more serious cone involvement and progressive macular disease.  Visual acuity varies from near normal to severe loss.  Photopic ERGs may be normal but only low scotopic responses can be recorded in such patients.  Cone dysfunction is more characteristic of older patients.

Systemic Features

No systemic disease is associated with these syndromes.

Genetics

These disorders are sometimes grouped into the category of 'flecked retina disease'.

Autosomal dominant inheritance is typical for fundus albipunctatus (136880) resulting from mutations in the RDS (PRPH2) gene (6p21.1-cen).

Autosomal recessive fundus albipunctatus (136880) is caused by mutations in RDH5 (12q13-q14) and sometimes in RLBP1 (15q26.1).

Retinitis punctata albescens (136880) and fundus albipunctatus (136880) may both be caused by mutations in RLBP1 (15q26.1).  In a consanguineous family in which younger individuals (aged 3-20 years) had signs of fundus albipunctatis, older individuals in the fourth and fifth decades of life had features of retinitis punctata albescens (136880).  Homozygous mutations in RLBP1 were found in all individuals.  Homozygous mutations in the same gene are also responsible for Bothnia type retinal dystrophy (607475) and for the Newfoundland type of retinal dystrophy (607476).

Familial Benign Fleck Retina (228980) is characterized by a normal ERG and normal vision. The macula is spared from the white/yellow flecks located behind retinal vessels. Autofluorescence is present and the fluorescein angiogram shows irregular hypofluorescence.  Nothing is known about the mutation but the clinical condition is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern.

Some group Stargardt disease (248200), fleck retina of Kandori (228990),  juvenile retinoschisis (312700), and familial benign fleck retina (228980) as well into the category of 'flecked retina disease'.

Other disorders in which retinal flecks may be seen are: spastic paraplegia 15 (270700), hyperoxaluria (259900), Alport syndrome (301050), Bietti-crystalline-corneoretinal-dystrophy (210370 ), Sjogren-Larsson syndrome (270200), pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (234200), Leber congenital amaurosis (204000), and Bardet-Biedl syndrome (209900),

Treatment Options

Low vision aids may be useful when macular disease is present.  A recent report describes improvement in peripheral fields and rod function following administration of high-dose oral 9-cis-beta-carotene.

References

Hipp S, Zobor G, Glockle N, Mohr J, Kohl S, Zrenner E, Weisschuh N, Zobor D. Phenotype variations of retinal dystrophies caused by mutations in the RLBP1 gene. Acta Ophthalmol. 2014 Nov 27.  [Epub ahead of print].

PubMed ID: 
25429852

Ajmal M, Khan MI, Neveling K, Khan YM, Ali SH, Ahmed W, Iqbal MS, Azam M, den Hollander AI, Collin RW, Qamar R, Cremers FP. Novel mutations in RDH5 cause fundus albipunctatus in two consanguineous Pakistani families. Mol Vis. 2012;18:1558-71.

PubMed ID: 
22736946

Rotenstreich Y, Harats D, Shaish A, Pras E, Belkin M. Treatment of a retinal dystrophy, fundus albipunctatus, with oral 9-cis-{beta}-carotene. Br J Ophthalmol. 2010 May;94(5):616-21.

PubMed ID: 
19955196

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

PubMed ID: 
19373677

Niwa Y, Kondo M, Ueno S, Nakamura M, Terasaki H, Miyake Y. Cone and rod dysfunction in fundus albipunctatus with RDH5 mutation: an electrophysiological study. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005 Apr;46(4):1480-5.

PubMed ID: 
15790919

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

Nakamura M, Miyake Y. Macular dystrophy in a 9-year-old boy with fundus albipunctatus. Am J Ophthalmol. 2002 Feb;133(2):278-80.

PubMed ID: 
11812441

Katsanis N, Shroyer NF, Lewis RA, Cavender JC, Al-Rajhi AA, Jabak M, Lupski JR. Fundus albipunctatus and retinitis punctata albescens in a pedigree with an R150Q mutation in RLBP1. Clin Genet. 2001 Jun;59(6):424-9. PubMed PMID: 11453974.

PubMed ID: 
11453974

Isaacs TW, McAllister IL, Wade MS. Benign fleck retina. Br J Ophthalmol. 1996 Mar;80(3):267-8. PubMed PMID: 8703867

PubMed ID: 
8703867

Oguchi Disease, Type 2

Clinical Characteristics

Ocular Features

The distinctive feature of Oguchi disease is the peculiar and distinctive discoloration of the fundus under various light conditions, known as the Mizuo phenomenon.  Typically, the fundus assumes a golden or gray-white coloration under light adapted conditions but this disappears during acute dark adaptation and only reappears after prolonged time spent in darkness.  Rod dark adaptation is markedly delayed while that of cones is normal.  Single flash cone and 30Hz flicker responses are markedly reduced.  Visual acuity, visual fields and color vision are all normal.   A- and b-waves on single flash ERG are decreased or absent under lighted conditions but increase after prolonged dark adaptation.  Night blindness is present from birth without progression.

Systemic Features

No systemic abnormalities are associated with Oguchi disease.

Genetics

Oguchi type 2 disease is an autosomal recessive condition caused by mutations in the rhodopsin kinase (GRK1) gene (13q34) whose product works with arrestin in turning off rhodopsin after light activation as part of the dark adaptation mechanism.

Oguchi type 1 disease (258100) is a similar form of congenital stationary nightblindness caused by mutations in the SAG gene.

Treatment Options

No treatment is available.

References

Yamamoto S, Sippel KC, Berson EL, Dryja TP. Defects in the rhodopsin kinase gene in the Oguchi form of stationary night blindness. Nat Genet. 1997 Feb;15(2):175-8.

PubMed ID: 
9020843

Hayashi T, Gekka T, Takeuchi T, Goto-Omoto S, Kitahara K. A novel homozygous GRK1 mutation (P391H) in 2 siblings with Oguchi disease with markedly reduced cone responses. Ophthalmology. 2007 Jan;114(1):134-41.

PubMed ID: 
17070587

Oguchi Disease, Type 1

Clinical Characteristics

Ocular Features

The distinctive feature of Oguchi disease is the peculiar and distinctive discoloration of the fundus under various light conditions, known as the Mizuo phenomenon.  Typically, the fundus assumes a golden or gray-white coloration under light adapted conditions but this disappears during acute dark adaptation and only reappears after prolonged time spent in darkness.  Rod dark adaptation is markedly delayed while that of cones is normal.  Visual acuity, visual fields and color vision are all normal.   A- and b-waves on single flash ERG are decreased or absent under lighted conditions but increase after prolonged dark adaptation.  Night blindness is present from birth without progression.

Systemic Features

No systemic abnormalities are associated with Oguchi disease.

Genetics

Oguchi type 1 disease is an autosomal recessive condition caused by mutations in the arrestin (SAG) gene (2q37.1) whose product is an intrinsic photoreceptor protein that participates in the recovery phase of light transduction.

Oguchi disease type 2 (613411), a similar form of congenital stationary night blindness, is caused by mutations in the GRK1 gene.  Genotyping is required to distinguish between the two types.

Treatment Options

No treatment is available.

References

Fuchs S, Nakazawa M, Maw M, Tamai M, Oguchi Y, Gal A. A homozygous 1-base pair deletion in the arrestin gene is a frequent cause of Oguchi disease in Japanese. Nat Genet. 1995 Jul;10(3):360-2.

PubMed ID: 
7670478

Maw MA, John S, Jablonka S, M?oller B, Kumaramanickavel G, Oehlmann R, Denton MJ, Gal A. Oguchi disease: suggestion of linkage to markers on chromosome 2q. J Med Genet. 1995 May;32(5):396-8.

PubMed ID: 
7616550