Early impairment of the full-field photopic negative response in patients with Stargardt disease and pathogenic variants of the ABCA4 gene
To study the photopic negative response of the full-field photopic electroretinography (ERG) in Stargardt patients with pathogenic variants in the ABCA4 gene.Methods
A retrospective analysis of 35 Stargardt patients with ABCA4 gene pathogenic variants, compared to normal age-matched controls. Patients were clinically followed at the Ophthalmology Department of Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli/Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy.Results
The photopic negative response of the full-field photopic ERG was compromised in most Stargardt patients. In the presence of a normal B-wave, the amplitude ratio between the photopic negative response and the B-wave displayed a 97% accuracy in detecting diseased eyes (receiver operating characteristic curves).Conclusions
In Stargardt patients with ABCA4 pathogenic mutations, the photopic negative response of the full-field photopic ERG is a very sensitive disease read-out. Its inclusion in standard ERG analysis would be a no-cost addition of practical consequence in the follow-up of Stargardt disease. The early impairment of the photopic negative response suggests that inner retinal function might be affected in Stargardt disease earlier than previously acknowledged.