Chronic untreated retinal detachment in a patient with choroideremia provides insight into the disease process and potential therapy
Martin-Gutierrez MP., Buckley TMW., MacLaren RE.
© The Author(s) 2021. Aim: We present the case of a 72-year-old male with advanced choroideremia and a left chronic rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, which to our knowledge is the first formal report of a retinal detachment in this disease. Background: Choroideremia is a rare X-linked inherited retinal dystrophy, caused by mutations in the CHM gene which encodes Rab escort protein 1 (REP1), and affected males typically experience a progressive centripetal loss of vision. The disease pathology is caused by a primary retinal pigment epithelium degeneration, which leads to secondary loss of photoreceptors and choriocapillaris. This in turn leads to fusion of the degenerate outer retinal layers resulting in a retinopexy that is known to make subretinal gene therapy particularly challenging in these patients. Conclusion: Although retinal gene therapy is commonly targeted to the macular area in choroideremia, the observation of a rhegmatogenous retinal detachment indicates that the peripheral retina may not fuse with the residual choroid as occurs in the equatorial and macular regions. If this hypothesis is correct, targeting gene therapy to the retinal periphery even in advanced cases may be feasible and could potentially be used to preserve navigational vision.