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Romain Touzé, Marc M. Abitbol, Dominique Bremond-Gignac, Matthieu P. Robert; Function of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium in Patients With Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(4):6. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.63.4.6.
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Retinal and choroidal abnormalities in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) remain poorly studied. It has been reported, however, that the function of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) in NF1 was abnormal, with a supra-normal Arden ratio of the electro-oculogram (EOG). This study aims to evaluate the function of the RPE, using EOG, first in patients with NF1 compared to controls and second in patients with NF1 with choroidal abnormalities compared to patients with NF1 without choroidal abnormalities.
This prospective case-control study included 20 patients with NF1 (10 patients with choroidal abnormalities and 10 patients without) and 10 healthy patients, matched for age. A complete ophthalmologic assessment with multimodal imaging, an EOG, and a full-field electroretinogram were performed for each included patient. The main outcome measured was the EOG light peak (LP)/dark trough (DT) ratio.
The LP/DT ratio was 3.02 ± 0.52 in patients with NF1 and 2.63 ± 0.31 in controls (P = 0.02). DT values were significantly lower in patients with NF1 than in controls (240 vs. 325 µV, P = 0.02), while light peak values were not significantly different (P = 0.26). No difference was found for peak latencies. No significant correlation between the surface and number of choroidal abnormalities and EOG parameters was demonstrated.
This study confirms the dysfunction of the RPE in patients with NF1, involving a lower DT and a corresponding higher LP/DT ratio. We hypothesize that this pattern may be due to a dysregulation of the melanocytogenesis, inducing a disruption in Ca2+ ion flux and an abnormal polarization of the RPE.
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