April 2011
Volume 52, Issue 14
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2011
Structural And Functional Characteristics Of A Pigmentary Chorioretinopathy Observed In The Chinese Crested Dog
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kristina Narfstrom
    Dept of Vet Med & Surgery, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri
  • Sari Jalomäki
    Apex Veterinary Clinic, Helsinki, Finland
  • Freya Mowat
    Dept of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
  • Marijana Samardzija
    Dept of Ophthalmology, Laboratory of Retinal Cell Biology, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Christian Grimm
    Dept of Ophthalmology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Kristina Narfstrom, None; Sari Jalomäki, None; Freya Mowat, None; Marijana Samardzija, None; Christian Grimm, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Swedish Kennel Club (KN), MSU Endowed Research Fund and Glassen Memorial Foundation (FM)
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2011, Vol.52, 1835. doi:
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      Kristina Narfstrom, Sari Jalomäki, Freya Mowat, Marijana Samardzija, Christian Grimm; Structural And Functional Characteristics Of A Pigmentary Chorioretinopathy Observed In The Chinese Crested Dog. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):1835.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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To characterize a newly discovered retinal blinding disease of Chinese Crested Dogs (CCD) using clinical and laboratory methods in privately owned animals.


Ophthalmic examination was performed in 123 1-10-year-old CCDs of both sexes, including indirect ophthalmoscopy, followed by full-field flash electroretinography (ERG) using a standardized protocol in 25 of the dogs anesthetized with dexmeditomidine. Four affected and one normal CCD, age 6-8 years, were euthanised and the eyes immersion fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde for immunohistochemistry, and in 2.5% glutaraldehyde for light- and electron microscopy.


In 32 CCDs, age 3-10 years, areas of circular donut shaped darkly pigmented lesions with a light-colored center were observed. They started in peripheral fundus, increased in number and expanded centrally, as observed in older affected dogs. ERG scotopic and photopic responses were normal in younger dogs with less severe clinical disease but a- and b-wave amplitudes became markedly reduced or non-recordable over time in clinically more severely affected animals. Morphology showed conglomerates of RPE65-positive retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells in the subretinal space and/or hypertrophy, detachment and migration of RPE cells into overlying neuro-retina. There were also areas of geographic atrophy with RPE and photoreceptor degeneration and dystrophic changes in choriocapillaris.


The RPE and choriocapillaris appear primarily affected in the CCD disease with secondary degeneration of the photoreceptors. This spontaneous disease of CCDs has some similarities to human age related macular degeneration but not to generalized primary photoreceptor disorders such are progressive retinal atrophy of dogs or retinitis pigmentosa of humans.

Keywords: degenerations/dystrophies • retinal pigment epithelium • microscopy: electron microscopy 

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