Phenotype Analysis of Retinal Dystrophies in Light of the Underlying Genetic Defects: Application to Cone and Cone-Rod Dystrophies


Phenotypes observed in a large cohort of patients with cone and cone-rod dystrophies (COD/CORDs) are described based on multimodal retinal imaging features in order to help in analyzing massive next-generation sequencing data. Structural abnormalities of 58 subjects with molecular diagnosis of COD/CORDs were analyzed through specific retinal imaging including spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and fundus autofluorescence (BAF/IRAF). Findings were analyzed with the underlying genetic defects. A ring of increased autofluorescence was mainly observed in patients with CRX and GUCY2D mutations (33% and 22% of cases respectively). "Speckled" autofluorescence was observed with mutations in three different genes (ABCA4 64%; C2Orf71 and PRPH2, 18% each). Peripapillary sparing was only found in association with mutations in ABCA4, although only present in 40% of such genotypes. Regarding SD-OCT, specific outer retinal abnormalities were more commonly observed in particular genotypes: focal retrofoveal interruption and GUCY2D mutations (50%), foveal sparing and CRX mutations (50%), and outer retinal atrophy associated with hyperreflective dots and ABCA4 mutations (69%). This study outlines the phenotypic heterogeneity of COD/CORDs hampering statistical correlations. A larger study correlating retinal imaging with genetic results is necessary to identify specific clinical features that may help in selecting pathogenic variants generated by high-throughput sequencing.


Christina Zeitz


Isabelle Audo

Journal/Conference Information

International Journal of Molecular Sciences ,DOI:, ISSN: 1422-0067, Volume: 20, Issue: 19, Pages Range: 1-18,