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Yin-Hsi Chang, Eugene Yu-Chuan Kang, Pei-Kang Liu, Sarah R. Levi, Hung-Hsuan Wang, Yun-Ju Tseng, Go Hun Seo, Hane Lee, Lung-Kun Yeh, Kuan-Jen Chen, Wei-Chi Wu, Chi-Chun Lai, Laura Liu, Nan-Kai Wang; Photoreceptor Manifestations of Primary Mitochondrial Optic Nerve Disorders. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(5):5. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.63.5.5.
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To compare the manifestations of photoreceptors (PRs) in three hereditary optic neuropathies affected by primary mitochondrial dysfunction and discuss whether the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) or the PRs are preferentially affected.
A retrospective analysis of patients with genetically confirmed diagnoses of optic neuropathies associated with mitochondrial dysfunction was performed. This cohort included Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON), autosomal dominant optic atrophy type 1 (OPA1), and optic atrophy type 13 (OPA13). Patient chart evaluations included clinical characteristics, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), fundus photography, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), electroretinogram (ERG), and visual evoked potential data.
This analysis included seven patients with LHON, six with OPA1, and one with OPA13 from a tertiary medical center. Thirteen of the 14 individuals were male. The average BCVA at diagnosis was 20/285 and 20/500 in the right and left eyes, respectively. Five of the seven patients with LHON, and three of the six patients with OPA1 also showed a mild amplitude reduction or delayed latency on light-adapted ERG and 30-Hz flicker responses; however, SD-OCT imaging did not show correlated PR abnormalities. Notably, a 7-year follow-up of a patient with OPA13 revealed degeneration of RGCs prior to the degeneration of PRs. Follow-up data also demonstrated continuous loss of cone outer segment tips on SD-OCT imaging.
RGCs are, in general, affected by mitochondrial dysfunction, whereas variable PR dysfunction exists in patients with LHON and OPA1, especially with respect to the cone responses. Involvement of PRs is particularly evident in OPA13 after RGC degenerations.
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