Introduction: Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) describes a group of inherited disorders characterised by progressive retinal dysfunction, cell loss and atrophy of retinal tissue. RP demonstrates considerable clinical and genetic heterogeneity, with wide variations in disease severity, progression, and gene involvement. We studied a large family with RP to determine the pattern of inheritance and identify the disease-causing mutation, and then to describe the phenotypic presentation of this family.Materials and Methods: Ophthalmic examination was performed on 46 family members to identify affected individuals and to characterise the disease phenotype. Family pedigree was obtained. Some family members also had fundus photographs, fluorescein angiography, and/or optical coherence tomography (OCT) analysis performed. Genetic linkage was performed using short tandem repeat (STR) polymorphic markers encompassing the known loci for autosomal dominant RP. Finally, DNA sequencing was performed to identify the mutation present in this family. Results: Clinical features included nyctalopia, constriction of visual fields and eventual loss of central vision. Sequence analysis revealed a G-to-T nucleotide change in the Rhodopsin gene, predicting a Gly-51-Val substitution. Conclusions: This large multi-generation family demonstrates the phenotypic variability of a previously identified autosomal dominant mutation of the Rhodopsin gene.
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the most prevalent group of inherited retinopathies. This spectrum of diseases affects approximately 1 in 4800 individuals.
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