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Valentina Di Iorio, Gabriella Esposito, Francesca De Falco, Rosa Boccia, Tiziana Fioretti, Raffaella Colucci, Giuseppe De Rosa, Paolo Melillo, Francesco Salvatore, Francesca Simonelli, Francesco Testa; CHM/REP1 Transcript Expression and Loss of Visual Function in Patients Affected by Choroideremia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(5):1547-1555. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-25501.
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To evaluate the disease progression in patients with clinical and genetic diagnoses of choroideremia during a long-term follow-up and to investigate the relationship between pathogenic variants in the CHM/REP1 gene and disease phenotypes.
We performed a retrospective longitudinal study on 51 affected men by reviewing medical charts at baseline and follow-up visits to extract the following ocular findings: best-corrected visual acuity, Goldmann visual field, optical coherence tomography, microperimetry. Data obtained from the analysis of DNA and mRNA were reevaluated for genetic classification of patients.
The longitudinal analysis showed a significant (P < 0.001) worsening of best-corrected visual acuity with a mean rate of 0.011 logMar per year before 50 years and 0.025 logMar per year after 50 years. Similarly, V4e Goldmann visual field area significantly (P ≤ 0.01) decreased at a mean rate of 2.7% per year before 40 years and 5.7% after 40 years. Moreover, we observed a significant (P < 0.05) decrease of macular sensitivity with a mean rate of 5.0% per year and a decrease of mean macular thickness with a mean rate of 0.8% per year. We classified our patients into two groups according to the expression of the CHM/REP1 gene transcript and observed that mutations leading to mRNA absence are associated with an earlier best-corrected visual acuity and Goldmann visual field loss.
Our analysis of morphological and functional parameters in choroideremia patients showed a slow disease progression, particularly in the first decades of life. Overall, reevaluation of clinical and molecular data suggests exploring the genotype–phenotype relationship based on CHM/REP1 transcript expression.
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