Focal/multifocal and geographic retinal dysplasia in the dog-In vivo retinal microanatomy analyses

Vet Ophthalmol. 2020 Mar;23(2):292-304. doi: 10.1111/vop.12725. Epub 2019 Nov 20.


Purpose: To examine the in vivo microanatomy of retinal folds and geographic lesions in dogs with acquired or inherited retinal dysplasia.

Material and methods: Thirteen dogs had retinal microanatomy evaluation under general anesthesia using cSLO/sdOCT; two eyes had noninherited multifocal retinal folds, five had inherited multifocal retinal folds (drd1 or drd2), and 10 geographic retinal dysplasia. Retinas from two drd2 carrier dogs were examined by histology and immunohistochemistry (IHC) after in vivo imaging.

Results: Retinal folds are the common feature of acquired focal/multifocal or geographic retinal dysplasia, are indistinguishable structurally from those associated with syndromic oculoskeletal dysplasia, and represent outer nuclear layer invaginations and rosettes visible by sdOCT. In dogs heterozygous for oculoskeletal dysplasia, the folds form clusters in a perivascular distribution along superior central vessels. IHC confirmed photoreceptor identity in the retinal folds. The geographic dysplasia plaques are not focally detached, but have inner retinal disorganization and intense autofluorescence in cSLO autofluorescence mode that is mainly limited to the geographic lesion, but is not uniform and in some extends beyond the plaques.

Conclusion: We propose that the autofluorescent characteristic of the geographic lesions is associated with an inner retinal disruption associated with perivascular or infiltrating macrophages and phagocytosis of cellular debris. As well, we suggest restructuring the examination forms to distinguish the folds that are sporadically distributed from those that have a perivascular distribution as the latter likely represent carriers for drd. In this latter group, DNA testing would be a helpful tool to provide specific breeding advice.

Keywords: dog; geographic plaques; oculoskeletal dysplasia; retinal dysplasia; retinal folds.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases / genetics
  • Dog Diseases / pathology*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Male
  • Retinal Dysplasia / genetics
  • Retinal Dysplasia / pathology
  • Retinal Dysplasia / veterinary*