Neuro-Ophthalmic Phenotype of OPA3

J Neuroophthalmol. 2022 Mar 1;42(1):e147-e152. doi: 10.1097/WNO.0000000000001249. Epub 2021 Apr 14.


Background: Type III 3-methylglutaconic aciduria (OPA 3) is a neuro-ophthalmologic syndrome consisting of early-onset bilateral optic atrophy. Since Costeff described the phenotype of 19 patients in 1989, several reports described approximately 50 patients, but most of them lack details about neuro-ophthalmic phenotype. Our aim was to characterize the clinical neuro-ophthalmic phenotype of this syndrome.

Methods: Nine patients underwent meticulous visual function history and medical documents' review. Results of best-corrected visual acuity (VA), color vision, visual field (VF), ocular motility, pupillary reaction, slit-lamp, and dilated fundus examinations were recorded. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) was performed whenever possible.

Results: The average VA was 1.4 ± 0.8 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution. Poor vision was the presenting symptom in 5 patients. Six patients had decreased VA and variable degrees of optic atrophy. Humphrey VF testing of 7 patients revealed generalized depression in 5 and a cecocentral defect in 2. All patients demonstrated dysmetric saccades. Four patients had strabismus, 3 with exotropia, and one with esotropia. Seven patients had nystagmus. Ocular motility abnormality is possibly the result of cerebellar atrophy that was found in MRI studies of our patients. OCT of the retina was possible in 6 patients and revealed retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thinning as well as average retinal thinning. Three patients, in whom ganglion cell layer-inner plexiform layer (IPL) measurement was possible, also showed diffused thinning.

Conclusions: This study compiled data regarding neuro-ophthalmic manifestation of OPA 3 Type III patients. Contrary to established literature, poor vision was the presenting symptom in only 50% of our patients. This is the first report of OCT findings in 3MGA patients. The results demonstrated diffused thinning of the RNFL and ganglion cell complex-IPL with correlation to VA, which is in contrast to OPA1 patients in whom the most severe thinning is at the level of the papillomacular bundle. Average retinal thinning was identified at second and third decades of life, possibly resulting from early ganglion cell loss. These results may contribute to visual prognosis, and OCT may help monitor experimental therapies.

MeSH terms

  • Chorea* / diagnosis
  • Chorea* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors* / diagnosis
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors* / physiopathology
  • Optic Atrophy* / diagnosis
  • Optic Atrophy* / physiopathology
  • Phenotype
  • Spastic Paraplegia, Hereditary* / diagnosis
  • Spastic Paraplegia, Hereditary* / physiopathology
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods
  • Visual Acuity

Supplementary concepts

  • Costeff optic atrophy syndrome