Night Blindness, Congenital Stationary, CSNB1A

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

Night blindness is a feature of many pigmentary and other retinal disorders, most of which are progressive.  However, there is also a group of genetically heterogeneous disorders, with generally stable scotopic defects and without RPE changes, known as congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB).  At least 10 mutant genes are responsible with phenotypes so similar that genotyping is usually necessary to distinguish them.  All are caused by defects in visual signal transduction within rod photoreceptors or in defective photoreceptor-to-bipolar cell signaling with common ERG findings of reduced or absent b-waves and generally normal a-waves.  The photopic ERG is usually abnormal to some degree as well and visual acuity may be subnormal.  In the pregenomic era, subtleties of ERG responses were frequently used in an attempt to distinguish different forms of CSNB.  Genotyping now enables classification with unprecedented precision.

Congenital stationary night blindness disorders are primarily rod dystrophies presenting early with symptoms of nightblindness and relative sparing of central vision.  Nystagmus and photophobia are usually not features.  Dyschromatopsia and loss of central acuity can develop later as the cones eventually become dysfunctional as well but these symptoms are much less severe than those seen in cone-rod dystrophies.  The amount of pigmentary retinopathy is highly variable. 

CSNB1A, or type 1A, is associated with myopia which ranges from mild to severe.  Rod function is completely absent.  Nystagmus and strabismus are inconsistent findings.   Visual acuity ranges from 20/30 to 20/200.  Retinal pigmentation is usually normal in the X-linked forms.  Night blindness is more severe in this form than in another X-linked CSNB, type 2A (300071). 

Systemic Features: 

No systemic disease is associated with congenital stationary night blindness.


Congenital stationary night blindness type 1A is an X-linked disorder caused by a mutation in the NYX gene located at Xp11.4.  Only males are affected and carrier females do not have clinical disease (although homozygous females with typical findings have been described).

Approximately 45% of X-linked CSNB are of this type while about 55% have another X-linked form known as CSNB2A, or type 2A (300071) resulting from a mutation at Xp11.23.  A single patient with high myopia absent night blindness with a mutation in the NYX gene has been reported.

Treatment Options: 

No treatment beyond correction of the refractive error is available but tinted lenses are sometimes used to enhance vision.

Article Title: 


Yip SP, Li CC, Yiu WC, Hung WH, Lam WW, Lai MC, Ng PW, Fung WY, Chu PH, Jiang B, Chan HH, Yap MK. A novel missense mutation in the NYX gene associated with high myopia. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2013 Feb. [Epub ahead of print].

PubMedID: 23406521

Berger W, Kloeckener-Gruissem B, Neidhardt J. The molecular basis of human retinal and vitreoretinal diseases. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2010 Sep;29(5):335-75.

PubMedID: 20362068

Bech-Hansen NT, Naylor MJ, Maybaum TA, Sparkes RL, Koop B, Birch DG, Bergen AA, Prinsen CF, Polomeno RC, Gal A, Drack AV, Musarella MA, Jacobson SG, Young RS, Weleber RG. Mutations in NYX, encoding the leucine-rich proteoglycan nyctalopin, cause X-linked complete congenital stationary night blindness. Nat Genet. 2000 Nov;26(3):319-23.

PubMedID: 11062471

Boycott KM, Pearce WG, Musarella MA, Weleber RG, Maybaum TA, Birch DG, Miyake Y, Young RS, Bech-Hansen NT. Evidence for genetic heterogeneity in X-linked congenital stationary night blindness. Am J Hum Genet. 1998 Apr;62(4):865-75.

PubMedID: 9529339