Background: It has been previously described that Wagner disease is linked to chromosome 5q13-q14. This study was carried out to describe the ophthalmological aspects and report the results of genetic linkage analysis in a large pedigree affected by Wagner disease.
Methods: Fourty members of one same family agreed to be examined.
Results: Twenty patients presented vitreoretinal degeneration in both eyes without any extra-ocular abnormalities. In young patients, visual acuity was usually normal after correction of frequent mild myopia. Presenile cataracts progressed by the third decade and required removal for visual rehabilitation. The primary disorder involved an abnormal vitreous. A few avascular vitreous bands were usually the only optical feature in the mostly empty vitreous cavity. A circumferential vitreous condensation formed in contact with the retina on many spots. Less common retinal findings included retinal detachment, abnormal retinal pigmentation, progressive atrophy of the RPE simulating choroideremia and lattice degeneration. Genetic analysis revealed a highly significant linkage (lod score >5.0) between the disease and 10 markers of the chromosome 5q13-q14 region. Two recombination events allowed us to refine the linked interval to 20 cM between the D5S650 and D5S618 markers.
Conclusion: Ophthalmological aspects of Wagner's disease appear to progress with age. Regular ophthalmological examination is important for detecting retinal abnormalities. The gene involved in Wagner's disease lies in a 20 cM interval on chromosome 5q13-q14.