Utilizing Advanced Technology to Facilitate Diagnosis of Rare Retinal Disorders: A Case of Bietti Crystalline Dystrophy

Optom Vis Sci. 2021 Sep 1;98(9):1031-1038. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001763.


Significance: Optometrists, as primary eye care providers, encounter patients with rare ocular disease such as Bietti crystalline dystrophy from time to time. Using advanced technologies, which are also useful in managing common ocular conditions, to facilitate a prompt diagnosis is highly recommended.

Purpose: This report describes a patient with clinically diagnosed Bietti crystalline dystrophy with findings on funduscopy, multimodal imaging, and visual electrophysiology.

Case report: A 41-year-old Chinese woman who had subjectively progressing dimmed vision (especially in the left eye) for 9 months was referred to our clinic to test for retinitis pigmentosa. Best-corrected visual acuities were 6/6 and 6/7.6 in the right and left eyes, respectively. Funduscopy revealed multiple crystalline deposits on the posterior pole in both eyes. The 30-2 perimetry displayed bi-inferotemporal scotoma (left > right eye). Scotopic flash electroretinogram (ERG) yielded a normal result, whereas photopic ERG was slightly attenuated. Electro-oculogram showed an abnormal adaptation time course of the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE). Multifocal ERG revealed a decreased central retinal response, but paracentral responses were relatively better preserved. Optical coherence tomography showed multiple patches of RPE atrophy, with disruption of the left ellipsoid zone. Outer retinal tubulations, hyperreflective dots on RPE-Bruch's membrane interface, and intraretinal bright spots were also identified.

Conclusions: Rare ocular diseases like Bietti crystalline dystrophy can be encountered by optometrists. This case report shows the ophthalmic findings of a rare chorioretinal dystrophy and provides insight on how to better use advanced equipment in an optometric practice to facilitate prompt diagnoses.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Corneal Dystrophies, Hereditary
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Retinal Degeneration*
  • Retinal Diseases
  • Technology
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*
  • Visual Acuity

Supplementary concepts

  • Bietti Crystalline Dystrophy