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Michael B. Hoffmann, Barbara Wolynski, Synke Meltendorf, Wolfgang Behrens-Baumann, Barbara Käsmann-Kellner; Multifocal Visual Evoked Potentials Reveal Normal Optic Nerve Projections in Human Carriers of Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 1a. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(6):2756-2764. doi: 10.1167/iovs.07-1461.
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purpose. In albinism, part of the temporal retina projects abnormally to the contralateral hemisphere. A residual misprojection is also evident in feline carriers that are heterozygous for tyrosinase-related albinism. This study was conducted to test whether such residual abnormalities can also be identified in human carriers of oculocutaneous tyrosinase-related albinism (OCA1a).
methods. In eight carriers heterozygous for OCA1a and in eight age- and sex-matched control subjects, monocular pattern-reversal and -onset multifocal visual evoked potentials (mfVEPs) were recorded at 60 locations comprising a visual field of 44° diameter (VERIS 5.01; EDI, San Mateo, CA). For each eye and each stimulus location, interhemispheric difference potentials were calculated and correlated with each other, to assess the lateralization of the responses: positive and negative correlations indicate lateralizations on the same or opposite hemispheres, respectively. Misrouted optic nerves are expected to yield negative interocular correlations. The analysis also allowed for the assessment of the sensitivity and specificity of the detection of projection abnormalities.
results. No significant differences were obtained for the distributions of the interocular correlation coefficients of controls and carriers. Consequently, no local representation abnormalities were observed in the group of OCA1a carriers. For pattern-reversal and -onset stimulation, an assessment of the control data yielded similar specificity (97.9% and 94.6%) and sensitivity (74.4% and 74.8%) estimates for the detection of projection abnormalities.
conclusions. The absence of evidence for projection abnormalities in human OCA1a carriers contrasts with the previously reported evidence for abnormalities in cat-carriers of tyrosinase-related albinism. This discrepancy suggests that animal models of albinism may not provide a match to human albinism.
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