Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography findings in Alström syndrome.

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Ophthalmic Genet 2017 Sep-Oct; 38(5):440-445.








BACKGROUND: Alström syndrome is a multi-system recessive disorder caused by mutations in ALMS1 gene. The aim of this study was to characterize morphological retinal changes in Alström patients using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography.

METHODS: We studied volunteer patients attending the conference of Alström Syndrome International, a support group for affected families, using hand-held spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) in an office setting. Patients had a clinical dilated retinal examination. Past medical records were reviewed.

RESULTS: Twenty-two Alström patients (mean age 17 years, range 2-38 years, 12 males) were studied. OCT imaging demonstrated that central macular OCT changes are often mild during the first decade of life and gradually progress, demonstrating disruption of normal retinal architecture, and progressive loss of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium. Other changes found included hyperreflectivities in all retinal layers, severe retinal wrinkling, optic nerve drusen, and vitreoretinal separation. Vision correlated with severity of OCT macular changes (r = 0.89, p = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS: This study reports on OCT findings in a large group of patients with Alström syndrome. We document a panretinal gradual progression of retinal changes, which are often mild during the first years of life. Previously unreported observations include intraretinal opacities, optic nerve drusen, and foveal contour abnormalities. Morphological retinal changes demonstrated by SD-OCT may help in understanding the pathophysiology of the disease and defining strategies for treatment such as gene therapy.

Ophthalmic Genet 2017 Sep-Oct; 38(5):440-445.

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