Retinal Dystrophy, Cataracts, and Short Stature

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

Patients develop progressive night vision problems in the first decade of life.  However, central acuity remains in the 20/20 to 20/30 range at least through the second decade.  Cataracts are noted during this time period as well.  Visual field constriction is present.

Pigmentary retinopathy is present, especially in the posterior poles.  Macular mottling is evident at an early age with attenuation and narrowing of the retinal arterioles.  The pigmentary changes are salt-and-pepper in appearance but there are also areas of RPE atrophy with relative sparing of the fovea.  Pigment clumping in the shape of bone spicules has been observed in the periphery.  Full field ERGs show generalized rod-cone dysfunction with scotopic function more affected.  OCT examination reveals a disruption of the outer retinal layers from the parafoveal region into the periphery.

Systemic Features: 

Early childhood psychomotor delays are evident in early childhood by the lack of fine motor and coordination skills along with learning difficulties.  Patients have facial dysmorphism with hypoplasia of the ala nasae, upslanting palpebral fissures, and malar hypoplasia.  The teeth are widely spaced and there is malocclusion.  Short stature is characteristic (fifth percentile).


This disorder results from homozygosity of mutations in the RDH11 gene (14q24) encoding retinol dehydrogenase 11.

Treatment Options: 

No treatment is available for this condition but patients may benefit from correction of the malocclusion, special education classes, cataract removal, and low vision aids.  Physical therapy may also be helpful.

Article Title: 


Xie YA, Lee W, Cai C, Gambin T, Noupuu K, Sujirakul T, Ayuso C, Jhangiani S, Muzny D, Boerwinkle E, Gibbs R, Greenstein VC, Lupski JR, Tsang SH, Allikmets R. New syndrome with retinitis pigmentosa is caused by nonsense mutations in retinol dehydrogenase RDH11. Hum Mol Genet. 2014 Nov 1;23(21):5774-80.

PubMedID: 24919380