Purpose: To define genotype-phenotype correlations in the largest cohort study worldwide of patients with biallelic ABCA4 variants, including 434 patients with Stargardt disease (STGD1) and 72 with cone-rod dystrophy (CRD).
Design: Cohort study.
Methods: We characterized 506 patients with ABCA4 variants using conventional genetic tools and next-generation sequencing technologies. Medical history and ophthalmologic data were obtained from 372 patients. Genotype-phenotype correlation studies were carried out for the following variables: variant type, age at symptom onset (AO), and clinical phenotype.
Results: A total of 228 different pathogenic variants were identified in 506 ABCA4 patients, 50 of which were novel. Genotype-phenotype correlations showed that most of the patients with biallelic truncating variants presented with CRD and that these cases had a significantly earlier AO than patients with STGD1. Three missense variants are associated with CRD for the first time (c.1804C>T; p.[Arg602Trp], c.3056C>T; p.[Thr1019Met], and c.6320G>C; p.[Arg2107Pro]). Analysis of the most prevalent ABCA4 variant in Spain, c.3386G>T; p.(Arg1129Leu), revealed that is correlated to STGD1, later AO, and foveal sparing.
Conclusions: Our study, conducted in the largest ABCA4-associated disease cohort reported to date, updates the genotype-phenotype model established for ABCA4 variants and broadens the mutational spectrum of the gene. According to our observations, patients with ABCA4 presenting with 2 truncating variants may first present features of STGD1 but eventually develop rod dysfunction, and specific missense variants may be associated with a different phenotype, underscoring the importance of an accurate genetic diagnosis. Also, it is a prerequisite for enrollment in clinical trials, and to date, no other treatment has been approved for STGD1.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.