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Krunoslav T. Stingl, Laura Kuehlewein, Nicole Weisschuh, Saskia Biskup, Frans P. M. Cremers, M. Imran Khan, Carina Kelbsch, Tobias Peters, Marius Ueffing, Barbara Wilhelm, Eberhart Zrenner, Katarina Stingl; Chromatic Full-Field Stimulus Threshold and Pupillography as Functional Markers for Late-Stage, Early-Onset Retinitis Pigmentosa Caused by CRB1 Mutations. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2019;8(6):45. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.6.45.
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Mutations in the CRB1 gene cause early-onset retinal degeneration (EORD). Clinical disease progression markers, such as visual fields or electrophysiology, are not reliably measurable in most patients to follow the retinal function in patients with CRB1-mutations.
Ten patients (five females, five males; age 22–56 years) with EORD caused by CRB1 mutations were examined in a cross-sectional manner using best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), perimetry, full-field and multifocal electroretinography, full-field stimulus threshold (FST), and pupillography to red and blue light. Disease duration was defined as the difference between the age at the first symptoms to the age at examination in years.
BCVA was quantifiable in six patients and ranged from light perception to 20/50. The visual field was measurable only in three patients who had the shortest disease duration. Full-field and multifocal electroretinography were not measurable in any patient. FST to blue and red light were measurable in all patients except the one with the longest disease duration; the thresholds ranged from −16.7 to 1.5 dB for red light and from −40.2 to 2.5 dB for blue light (0 dB = 0.01 cd.s/m2) and showed correlations with disease duration (r = 0.87 for blue, r = 0.65 for red, r = 0.8 for blue–red difference). The maximal relative pupil constriction amplitude (MRA) showed low or no correlations with disease duration (r = −0.55 for blue, r = −0.3 for red light); the blue–red difference in the post-illumination pupil responses (PIPR) showed no correlation with disease duration (r = −0.05). Compared to healthy eyes, the MRA to red and blue light was significantly decreased (P < 0.001) and the blue–red PIPR difference was significantly increased (P = 0.003).
FST features a valid clinical marker in late-stage early-onset retinitis pigmentosa caused by CRB1 mutations correlating with disease duration. This indicates the potential as a progression marker of disease. The pupil responses to full-field chromatic stimuli show significant differences from the normal population: the remaining responses, although reduced, indicate a partially preserved inner retinal function despite severe photoreceptor dysfunction.
The functional measurements presented in this study present a valid clinical progression marker in late-stage early onset retinitis pigmentosa caused by biallelic CRB1 mutations. Additionally, they can be used as outcome measures for safety and efficacy in clinical therapy trials.
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