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Comparing Retinal Structure in Patients with Achromatopsia and Blue Cone Monochromacy Using OCT. Ophthalmol Sci 2021 Sep;1(3)



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2-s2.0-85121266757 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   3 Citations


PURPOSE: To compare foveal hypoplasia and the appearance of the ellipsoid zone (EZ) at the fovea in patients with genetically confirmed achromatopsia (ACHM) and blue cone monochromacy (BCM).

DESIGN: Retrospective, multi-center observational study.

SUBJECTS: Molecularly confirmed patients with ACHM (n = 89) and BCM (n = 33).

METHODS: We analyzed high-resolution spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) images of the macula from aforementioned patients with BCM. Three observers independently graded SD-OCT images for foveal hypoplasia (i.e. retention of one or more inner retinal layers at the fovea) and four observers judged the integrity of the EZ at the fovea, based on an established grading scheme. These measures were compared with previously published data from the ACHM patients.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Presence of foveal hypoplasia and EZ grade.

RESULTS: Foveal hypoplasia was significantly more prevalent in ACHM than in BCM (p<0.001). In addition, we observed a significant difference in the distribution of EZ grades between ACHM and BCM, with grade II EZ being by far the most common phenotype in BCM (61% of patients). In contrast, ACHM patients had a relatively equal prevalence of EZ grades I, II, and IV. Interestingly, grade IV EZ was 2.6 times more prevalent in ACHM compared to BCM, while grade V EZ (macular atrophy) was present in 3% of both the ACHM and BCM cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS: The higher incidence of foveal hypoplasia in ACHM than BCM supports a role for cone activity in foveal development. Although there are differences in EZ grades between these conditions, the degree of overlap suggests EZ grade is not sufficient for definitive diagnosis, in contrast to previous reports. Analysis of additional OCT features in similar cohorts may reveal differences with greater diagnostic value. Finally, the extent to which foveal hypoplasia or EZ grade is prognostic for therapeutic potential in either group remains to be seen, but motivates further study.

Author List

Patterson EJ, Langlo CS, Georgiou M, Kalitzeos A, Pennesi ME, Neitz J, Hardcastle AJ, Neitz M, Michaelides M, Carroll J


Joseph J. Carroll PhD Director, Professor in the Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences department at Medical College of Wisconsin