CLINICAL AND MOLECULAR GENETIC ANALYSIS OF BEST VITELLIFORM MACULAR DYSTROPHY

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Abstract

Purpose:

To describe the phenotype of Best vitelliform macular dystrophy (BVMD) and to evaluate genotype–phenotype and histopathologic correlations.

Methods:

Retrospective analysis of patients with BVMD who underwent an extensive ophthalmic examination, including best-corrected Snellen visual acuity, fundus examination by indirect ophthalmoscopy, fundus photography, fundus autofluorescence, optical coherence tomography, fundus fluorescein angiography, and electrooculography. In addition, molecular genetic analysis of the BEST1 gene was performed in all patients.

Results:

We examined 40 eyes of 20 patients with BVMD. Sixteen eyes (40%) had a well-defined BVMD stage, whereas 18 eyes displayed characteristics attributable to different stages. Six eyes had an atypical form of BVMD. Fundus autofluorescence and optical coherence tomography frequently detected abnormalities that were not visible on ophthalmoscopy. All patients carried a mutation in the BEST1 gene. Molecular genetic analysis identified 8 different BEST1 mutations in 15 families, including 2 novel mutations (p.Gly299Ala and p.Ile3Thr). Genotype–phenotype correlation was limited, as we observed a broad phenotypic range in association with a single BEST1 mutation. However, the p.Ala243Val seems to cause a mild and relatively invariable BVMD phenotype.

Conclusion:

A broad phenotypic variability may be observed in BVMD, even with a single BEST1 mutation. Fundus autofluorescence and optical coherence tomography are valuable noninvasive imaging techniques for phenotyping and follow-up of BVMD patients.

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