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Tomas S. Aleman, Katherine E. Uyhazi, Leona W. Serrano, Vidyullatha Vasireddy, Scott J. Bowman, Michael J. Ammar, Denise J. Pearson, Albert M. Maguire, Jean Bennett; RDH12 Mutations Cause a Severe Retinal Degeneration With Relatively Spared Rod Function. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(12):5225-5236. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-24708.
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To describe the retinal phenotype of pediatric patients with mutations in the retinol dehydrogenase 12 (RDH12) gene.
Twenty-one patients from 14 families (ages 2–17 years) with RDH12-associated inherited retinal degeneration (RDH12-IRD) underwent a complete ophthalmic exam and imaging with spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and near infrared and short-wavelength fundus autofluorescence. Visual field extent was measured with Goldmann kinetic perimetry, visual thresholds with dark-adapted static perimetry or with dark-adapted chromatic full-field stimulus testing (FST) and transient pupillometry.
Visual acuity ranged from 20/40 to light perception. There was parafoveal depigmentation or atrophic maculopathies accompanied by midperipheral intraretinal pigment migration. SD-OCT revealed foveal thinning in all patients and detectable but thinned outer nuclear layer (ONL) at greater eccentricities from the fovea. Photoreceptor outer segment (POS) signals were only detectable in small pockets within the central retina. Measurable kinetic visual fields were limited to small (<5–10°) central islands of vision. Electroretinograms were reported as undetectable or severely reduced in amplitude. FST sensitivities to a 467 nm stimulus were rod-mediated and reduced on average by ∼2.5 log units. A thinned central ONL colocalized with severely reduced to nondetectable cone-mediated sensitivities. Pupillometry confirmed the psychophysically measured abnormalities.
RDH12-IRD causes an early-onset, retina-wide disease with particularly severe central retinal abnormalities associated with relatively less severe rod photoreceptor dysfunction, a pattern consistent with an early-onset cone-rod dystrophy. Severely abnormal POS but detectable ONL in the pericentral and peripapillary retina suggest these regions may become targets for gene therapy.
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