Clinical Heterogeneity in Autosomal Recessive Bestrophinopathy with Biallelic Mutations in the BEST1 Gene

Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Dec 8;21(24):9353. doi: 10.3390/ijms21249353.


Autosomal recessive bestrophinopathy (ARB) has been reported as clinically heterogeneous. Eighteen patients (mean age: 22.5 years; 15 unrelated families) underwent ophthalmological examination, fundus photography, fundus autofluorescence, and optical coherence tomography (OCT). Molecular genetic testing of the BEST1 gene was conducted by the chain-terminating dideoxynucleotide Sanger methodology. Onset of symptoms (3 to 50 years of age) and best-corrected visual acuity (0.02-1.0) were highly variable. Ophthalmoscopic and retinal imaging defined five phenotypes. Phenotype I presented with single or confluent yellow lesions at the posterior pole and midperiphery, serous retinal detachment, and intraretinal cystoid spaces. In phenotype II fleck-like lesions were smaller and extended to the far periphery. Phenotype III showed a widespread continuous lesion with sharp peripheral demarcation. Single (phenotype IV) or multifocal (phenotype V) vitelliform macular dystrophy-like lesions were observed as well. Phenotypes varied within families and in two eyes of one patient. In addition, OCT detected hyperreflective foci (13/36 eyes) and choroidal excavation (11/36). Biallelic mutations were identified in each patient, six of which have not been reported so far [c.454C>T/p.(Pro152Ser), c.620T>A/p.(Leu207His), c.287_298del/p.(Gln96_Asn99del), c.199_200del/p.(Leu67Valfs*164), c.524del/p.(Ser175Thrfs*19), c.590_615del/p.(Leu197Profs*26)]. BEST1-associated ARB presents with a variable age of onset and clinical findings, that can be categorized in 5 clinical phenotypes. Hyperreflective foci and choroidal excavation frequently develop as secondary manifestations.

Keywords: BEST1; autosomal recessive bestrophinopathy (ARB); bestrophin-1; fundus autofluorescence; inherited retinal dystrophy; optical coherence tomography; phenotyping.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Bestrophins / genetics*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Eye Diseases, Hereditary / diagnostic imaging
  • Eye Diseases, Hereditary / genetics*
  • Eye Diseases, Hereditary / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype*
  • Retinal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Retinal Diseases / genetics*
  • Retinal Diseases / pathology


  • BEST1 protein, human
  • Bestrophins

Supplementary concepts

  • Bestrophinopathy