The Clinical Features and Genetic Spectrum of a Large Cohort of Chinese Patients With Vitelliform Macular Dystrophies

Am J Ophthalmol. 2020 Aug:216:69-79. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2020.03.047. Epub 2020 Apr 9.


Purpose: To provide the clinical and genetic characteristics of a large cohort of Chinese patients with vitelliform macular dystrophies.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Methods: One hundred and thirty-four unrelated Chinese patients diagnosed with Best vitelliform macular dystrophy (BVMD), autosomal recessive bestrophinopathy (ARB), or adult vitelliform macular dystrophy (AVMD) were enrolled. Detailed ophthalmic examinations and genetic testing on vitelliform macular dystrophy-related genes were performed. Genotype and phenotype association were analyzed among different diagnostic groups.

Results: In total, 87 BVMD, 30 AVMD, and 17 ARB patients were enrolled in this study. Genetic analysis identified 37 BEST1 mutations in 53 patients with BVMD and ARB. Of these, 5 variants (c.254A>C, c.291C>G, c.722C>G, c.848_850del, c.1740-2A>C) were novel. The variant c.898G>A was a hotspot mutation, which was identified in 13 patients with BVMD and 1 patient with ARB. There were significant differences of ocular biometric parameters among patients with homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations, heterozygous mutations, and those without mutations of BEST1. Homozygous or compound heterozygous patients had shortest axial length (AL), shallowest anterior chamber depth (ACD), and highest intraocular pressure (IOP); patients without mutations had longest AL, deepest ACD, and lowest IOP; and heterozygous patients were in between. Moreover, 7 patients harboring heterozygous mutations in BEST1 and 3 patients without BEST1 mutations showed similar clinical appearance to ARB in our cohort.

Conclusions: This is the largest sample size study of Chinese vitelliform macular dystrophy patients. Our results indicated that assessment of angle-closure risk is a necessary consideration for all types of BEST1-related vitelliform macular dystrophies. The study expanded both the clinical and genetic findings of 3 common types of vitelliform macular dystrophies in a Chinese population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asian People / genetics
  • Bestrophins / chemistry
  • Bestrophins / genetics*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electrooculography
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Testing
  • Genotype
  • Glaucoma, Angle-Closure / diagnosis
  • Glaucoma, Angle-Closure / genetics
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Pedigree
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Tonometry, Ocular
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Vitelliform Macular Dystrophy / diagnosis*
  • Vitelliform Macular Dystrophy / genetics*
  • Young Adult


  • BEST1 protein, human
  • Bestrophins