The coincidence of two ultra-rare hereditary eye diseases: gyrate atrophy and Kjer optic atrophy - a surprising diagnosis based on next-generation sequencing

Intractable Rare Dis Res. 2021 Aug;10(3):202-206. doi: 10.5582/irdr.2021.01042.


Genetically determined ophthalmic diseases form a numerous and heterogenic group of disorders. Making the accurate clinical diagnosis of genetic eye disease is often a challenge for an ophthalmologist. In many cases, only genetic testing enables the establishment of the proper clinical diagnosis. Here we describe two ultra-rare diseases: gyrate atrophy of the choroid and retina (GACR) and Kjer-type optic atrophy coexisting in a 39-year-old Polish patient with severe visual impairment including a significant reduction of visual acuity and night blindness. Atrophic pigmented changes with large pigment deposits and chorioretinal atrophy with the retina's disturbed structure (with atrophic scarring changes and the epiretinal membrane) of both eyes were observed. Electroretinography (ERG) revealed extinguished responses. A Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) panel comprising 275 retinal genes revealed a presence of potentially pathogenic variants in two genes: a homozygous variant c.1058G>A (p.Gly353Asp) in the OAT gene and a heterozygous variant c.1886C>G (p.Ser629Ter) in the OPA1 gene. The diagnosis established based on NGS is surprising because initially, several different diagnoses have been made, including high degenerative myopia, choroideremia, Leber congenital amaurosis, and severe, atypical retinitis pigmentosa. This report provides the unquestioned diagnostic value of the combination of chorioretinal imaging and the NGS technique. To our knowledge, this is the first and the only description of the coincidence of gyrate atrophy and Kjer-type optic atrophy.

Keywords: Kjer-type optic atrophy; Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS); gyrate atrophy of the choroid and retina (GACR).