Multimodal imaging evaluation of occult macular dystrophy associated with a novel RP1L1 variant

Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep. 2022 Apr 21:26:101550. doi: 10.1016/j.ajoc.2022.101550. eCollection 2022 Jun.


Purpose: Occult Macular Dystrophy (OMD) is an autosomal dominant inherited retinal dystrophy caused by mutations in the retinitis pigmentosa 1-like 1 (RP1L1) gene. The present study describes a novel RP1L1 variant, identified for the first time in two Italian sisters diagnosed with OMD, along with multimodal imaging features, including Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Angiography.

Methods: We performed multimodal imaging including spectral-domain OCT, blue light autofluorescence (BAF), infrared autofluorescence (IRAF), swept-source OCT Angiography (OCTA), full-field and multifocal electroretinography. Genetic analysis was performed using Next-Generation Sequencing. Pathogenic potential of nonsynonymous novel variants was scored with two in silico algorithms.

Results: Proband 1 (P1) and proband 2 (P2) were two Italian sisters of 61 and 56 years old. Both reported a history of progressive visual loss without fundoscopic alterations. P1 reported a 4-year history of rapid visual function worsening, and her best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was counting fingers in both eyes. P2 reported a 20-year history of mild but progressive visual acuity loss, and her BCVA was 1/10 and 2/10 respectively in her right and left eye. Structural OCT displayed disorganization of outer retinal bands at the macula and foveal cavitation; loss of foveal photoreceptors was remarkably evident on en-face OCT slabs. OCTA quantitative analysis found that vessel density was reduced both at SCP and DCP while choriocapillaris blood flow was relatively spared. Genetic analysis found the same rare dominant c.2873G > C, p.Arg958Pro variant in the RP1L1 gene. The substitution was regarded as moderately radical according to Grantham score while PolyPhen2 classified the amino acidic substitution as probably damaging.

Conclusions and importance: Our study expands the mutational spectrum of RP1L1 gene: the rare c.2873G > C, p.Arg958Pro missense variant may be considered a new pathogenic variant for OMD, the first to be identified exclusively in an Italian family. Moreover, our quantitative OCTA data suggest that OMD is characterized by a rarefaction of superficial and deep capillary plexus.

Keywords: Macular dystrophy without fundus abnormalities; Miyake disease; Multimodal imaging; OCT Angiography; Occult macular dystrophy; RP1L1.