Familial normal tension glaucoma genetics

Prog Retin Eye Res. 2023 Sep:96:101191. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2023.101191. Epub 2023 Jun 22.


Glaucoma is defined by characteristic optic nerve damage and corresponding visual field defects and is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is a strong risk factor for developing glaucoma. However, glaucoma can occur at any IOP. Normal tension glaucoma (NTG) arises with IOPs that are within what has been defined as a normal range, i.e., 21 mm Hg or less, which may present challenges in its diagnosis and management. Identifying inheritance patterns and genetic mutations in families with NTG has helped elucidate mechanisms of NTG, however the pathophysiology is complex and not fully understood. Approximately 2% of NTG cases are caused primarily by mutations in single genes, optineurin (OPTN), TANK binding kinase 1 (TKB1), or myocilin (MYOC). Herein, we review pedigree studies of NTG and autosomal dominant NTG caused by OPTN, TBK1, and MYOC mutations. We review identified mutations and resulting clinical features of OPTN-associated and TBK1-associated NTG, including long-term follow up of these patients with NTG. In addition, we report a new four-generation pedigree of NTG caused by a Glu50Lys OPTN mutation, including six family members with a mean follow up of 17 years. Common features of OPTN -associated NTG due to Glu50Lys mutation included early onset of disease with an IOP <21 mm Hg, marked optic disc cupping, and progressive visual field loss which appeared to stabilize once an IOP of less than 10 mm Hg was achieved. Lastly, we review risk factor genes which have been identified to contribute to the complex inheritance of NTG.

Keywords: Gene; Genetics; Glaucoma; Heredity; Normal tension glaucoma; Primary open angle glaucoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blindness
  • Glaucoma* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Low Tension Glaucoma* / diagnosis
  • Low Tension Glaucoma* / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Optic Disk*
  • Vision Disorders