Three families displaying the combination of Stargardt's disease with cone-rod dystrophy or retinitis pigmentosa.
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SourceOphthalmology, 111, 3, (2004), pp. 546-553
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectUMCN 3.3: Neurosensory disorders
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the clinical spectrum and molecular causes of retinal dystrophies in 3 families. DESIGN: Family molecular genetics study. PARTICIPANTS: Sixteen patients and 15 relatives in 3 families. METHODS: Members of 3 families with multiple ABCA4-associated retinal disorders were clinically evaluated. Deoxyribonucleic acid samples of all affected individuals and their family members were analyzed for variants in all 50 exons of the ABCA4 gene. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: ABCA4-associated retinal phenotypes and mutations in the ABCA4 gene. RESULTS: In family A, 2 sisters were diagnosed with Stargardt's disease (STGD); the eldest sister was compound heterozygous for the mild 2588G-->C and the severe 768G-->T mutation. Another patient in this family with a severe type of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) carried the 768G-->T mutation homozygously. In family B, 2 siblings presented with an RP of severity similar to that encountered in family A. Both were homozygous for the severe IVS33+1G-->A mutation. Two other family members with STGD were compound heterozygous for the 2588G-->C and IVS33+1G-->A mutations. In family C, all 5 siblings of generation II demonstrated age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In generations III and IV, 2 STGD patients and 1 cone-rod dystrophy (CRD) patient were present. In 1 STGD patient we identified a heterozygous 768G-->T mutation. Sequence analysis of the entire ABCA4 gene did not reveal the remaining 2 mutations. Nevertheless, the 2 patients with STGD, the patient with CRD, and 2 of the AMD patients shared a common haplotype spanning the ABCA4 gene. CONCLUSIONS: Different mutations in the ABCA4 gene are the cause of STGD and RP or CRD in at least 2 and, possibly, 3 families. Patients with RP caused by ABCA4 mutations are characterized by an early onset and rapid progression of their retinal dystrophy, with extensive chorioretinal atrophy resulting in a very low visual acuity. Various combinations of relatively rare retinal disorders such as STGD, CRD, and RP in one family may not be as uncommon as once believed, in view of the relatively high carrier frequency of ABCA4 mutations (about 5%) in the general population.
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