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      Multiple Vitelliform Lesions as a Retinal Manifestation of Alport Syndrome

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          Alport syndrome is associated with various ocular phenotypic features, including several retinal manifestations. The purpose of this case report was to describe a case of multiple vitelliform lesions in Alport syndrome. This particular finding has, to our knowledge, not been reported previously. A 63-year-old man with known Alport syndrome presented with symptomatic, bilateral anterior lenticonus. Fundoscopic examination revealed multiple vitelliform lesions, which were symmetrically distributed at the posterior poles. Additional retinal findings included an irregular foveal contour and central macular thinning in both eyes, as well as a multilayered retinoschisis in the left eye. The underlying pathophysiology of the vitelliform lesions may be a dysfunctional Bruch’s membrane.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Alport syndrome. An inherited disorder of renal, ocular, and cochlear basement membranes.

           C Kashtan (1999)
          Alport syndrome (AS) is a genetically heterogeneous disease arising from mutations in genes coding for basement membrane type IV collagen. About 80% of AS is X-linked, due to mutations in COL4A5, the gene encoding the alpha 5 chain of type IV collagen (alpha 5[IV]). A subtype of X-linked Alport syndrome (XLAS) in which diffuse leiomyomatosis is an associated feature reflects deletion mutations involving the adjacent COL4A5 and COL4A6 genes. Most other patients have autosomal recessive Alport syndrome (ARAS) due to mutations in COL4A3 or COL4A4, which encode the alpha 3(IV) and alpha 4(IV) chains, respectively. Autosomal dominant AS has been mapped to chromosome 2 in the region of COL4A3 and COL4A4. The features of AS reflect derangements of basement membrane structure and function resulting from changes in type IV collagen expression. The primary pathologic event appears to be the loss from basement membranes of a type IV collagen network composed of alpha 3, alpha 4, and alpha 5(IV) chains. While this network is not critical for normal glomerulogenesis, its absence appears to provoke the overexpression of other extracellular matrix proteins, such as the alpha 1 and alpha 2(IV) chains, in glomerular basement membranes, leading to glomerulosclerosis. The diagnosis of AS still relies heavily on histologic studies, although routine application of molecular genetic diagnosis will probably be available in the future. Absence of epidermal basement membrane expression of alpha 5(IV) is diagnostic of XLAS, so in some cases kidney biopsy may not be necessary for diagnosis. Analysis of renal expression of alpha 3(IV)-alpha 5(IV) chains may be a useful adjunct to routine renal biopsy studies, especially when ultrastructural changes in the GBM are ambiguous. There are no specific therapies for AS. Spontaneous and engineered animal models are being used to study genetic and pharmacologic therapies. Renal transplantation for AS is usually very successful. Occasional patients develop anti-GBM nephritis of the allograft, almost always resulting in graft loss.
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            Ocular features in Alport syndrome: pathogenesis and clinical significance.

            Alport syndrome is an inherited disease characterized by progressive renal failure, hearing loss, and ocular abnormalities. Mutations in the COL4A5 (X-linked), or COL4A3 and COL4A4 (autosomal recessive) genes result in absence of the collagen IV α3α4α5 network from the basement membranes of the cornea, lens capsule, and retina and are associated with corneal opacities, anterior lenticonus, fleck retinopathy, and temporal retinal thinning. Typically, these features do not affect vision or, in the case of lenticonus, are correctable. In contrast, the rarer ophthalmic complications of posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy, giant macular hole, and maculopathy all produce visual loss. Many of the ocular features of Alport syndrome are common, easily recognizable, and thus, helpful diagnostically, and in identifying the likelihood of early-onset renal failure. Lenticonus and central fleck retinopathy strongly suggest the diagnosis of Alport syndrome and are associated with renal failure before the age of 30 years, in males with X-linked disease. Sometimes, ophthalmic features suggest the mode of inheritance. A peripheral retinopathy in the mother of a male with hematuria suggests X-linked inheritance, and central retinopathy or lenticonus in a female means that recessive disease is likely. Ocular examination, retinal photography, and optical coherence tomography are widely available, safe, fast, inexpensive, and acceptable to patients. Ocular examination is particularly helpful in the diagnosis of Alport syndrome when genetic testing is not readily available or the results are inconclusive. It also detects complications, such as macular hole, for which new treatments are emerging.
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              Clinical and genetic heterogeneity in multifocal vitelliform dystrophy.

              To describe the clinical and genetic findings in 15 patients with multifocal vitelliform lesions. All patients and, if possible, affected family members underwent an ophthalmic examination and their genomic DNA was analyzed for mutations in the vitelliform macular dystrophy 2 (VMD2) gene. Patients who did not have a mutation in the VMD2 gene were screened for mutations in the peripherin/RDS gene. Patient age at onset of the disease was highly variable, ranging from 5 to 59 years. The peripheral lesions varied in number, size, and overall appearance but showed similar characteristics at autofluorescence imaging and optical coherence tomography compared with the central vitelliform lesion. Mutations in the VMD2 gene were identified in 9 of 15 patients. One patient without a VMD2 mutation carried a sequence variant in the 5' untranslated region of the peripherin/RDS gene. Multifocal vitelliform dystrophy is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous retinal disease that can be caused by mutations in the VMD2 gene. Other genes associated with this phenotype remain to be identified. Clinical and molecular genetic characterization of multifocal vitelliform dystrophy may lead to better understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this phenotype and may enable a more accurate prognosis in individual patients.

                Author and article information

                Case Reports in Ophthalmology
                S. Karger AG
                Januar - April 2020
                12 February 2020
                : 11
                : 1
                : 79-84
                aDepartment of Ophthalmology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
                bFaculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
                Author notes
                *Kathrine O. Eriksen, Oslo University Hospital, Kirkeveien 166, NO–0450 Oslo (Norway), kathrineoeriksen@gmail.com
                505948 PMC7098359 Case Rep Ophthalmol 2020;11:79–84
                © 2020 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 2, Pages: 6
                Case Report


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