Background: Progressive retinal degeneration without retinal pigmentation has been repeatedly observed in Korean nephronophthisis (NPHP) type 1 patients with a total homozygous deletion of NPHP1.
Design: Retrospective case series.
Participants: Patients with clinical diagnosis of NPHP and genetic diagnosis of total deletion of NPHP1 (n = 5) were included in this study.
Methods: Patients with clinical diagnosis of NPHP (n = 57) were screened for total deletion of NPHP1 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the 20 exons of NPHP1. The clinical and ophthalmological findings of NPHP type 1 patients were reviewed. Additionally, four exons of MALL, a gene adjacent to NPHP1, were amplified using PCR, and amplification failure was considered a homozygous deletion encompassing the corresponding exons.
Main outcome measure: Ophthalmological findings in NPHP type 1 patients.
Results: Five of 57 patients with clinical diagnosis of NPHP were diagnosed as having NPHP type 1 by genetic analysis. Chronic renal failure was diagnosed in these five patients at 7.9-15.4 years of age. All the patients with NPHP type 1 had progressive decline in visual acuity with various ages of onset (2-17 years). Ophthalmological examinations revealed unexpected findings of retinopathy with large or small flecks, which was compatible with Stargardt-like retinopathy or albipunctatus retinopathy in majority of them (four of five). The genetic study revealed an additional deletion of exon 1 of the adjacent gene MALL.
Conclusions: We report the unexpectedly common retinal involvement of NPHP type 1 with an additional MALL deletion in a Korean cohort.
Keywords: MALL; NPHP1; nephronophthisis; retinopathy.
© 2014 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.