PURPOSE: To evaluate the long-term clinical course and visual outcome of patients with choroideremia.
METHODS: Clinical examination, a social questionnaire, and medical records review of 21 patients with choroideremia from 14 families.
RESULTS: The mean follow-up time was 25.2 years (SD: 13.3; range 2-57 years). The mean age at symptom onset was 15.1 years (SD: 10.1; range 5-40 years). Best-corrected visual acuity was stable until the age of 35 (P = 0.96), but declined significantly faster after the age of 35 (11%/year, P = 0.001), with a high variability between individual patients. The mean age at which patients discontinued working was 48.1 years (SD: 11.7, range 25-65 years). The reason for work discontinuation was vision related in 60% of cases. Most patients (70%) reported visual field constriction as the most debilitating symptom. The authors report scleral pits and tunnels as a novel finding visible on spectral domain optical coherence tomography and ophthalmoscopy.
CONCLUSION: Choroideremia is a severely debilitating disease showing a rapid decline of visual acuity generally after the age of 35, but a more gradual decline for other abnormalities.