The Natural History of Leber Congenital Amaurosis and Cone-Rod Dystrophy Associated with Variants in the GUCY2D Gene

Leo C Hahn, Michalis Georgiou, Hind Almushattat, Mary J van Schooneveld, Emanuel R de Carvalho, Nieneke L Wesseling, Jacoline B Ten Brink, Ralph J Florijn, Birgit I Lissenberg-Witte, Ine Strubbe, Caroline van Cauwenbergh, Julie de Zaeytijd, Sophie Walraedt, Elfride de Baere, Rajarshi Mukherjee, Martin McKibbin, Magda A Meester-Smoor, Alberta A H J Thiadens, Saoud Al-Khuzaei, Engin AkyolAndrew J Lotery, Maria M van Genderen, Jeannette Ossewaarde-van Norel, L Ingeborgh van den Born, Carel B Hoyng, Caroline C W Klaver, Susan M Downes, Arthur A Bergen, Bart P Leroy, Michel Michaelides, Camiel J F Boon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To describe the spectrum of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) and cone-rod dystrophy (CORD) associated with the GUCY2D gene and to identify potential end points and optimal patient selection for future therapeutic trials.

DESIGN: International, multicenter, retrospective cohort study.

SUBJECTS: Eighty-two patients with GUCY2D-associated LCA or CORD from 54 families.

METHODS: Medical records were reviewed for medical history, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), ophthalmoscopy, visual fields, full-field electroretinography, and retinal imaging (fundus photography, spectral-domain OCT [SD-OCT], fundus autofluorescence).

MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURES: Age of onset, evolution of BCVA, genotype-phenotype correlations, anatomic characteristics on funduscopy, and multimodal imaging.

RESULTS: Fourteen patients with autosomal recessive LCA and 68 with autosomal dominant CORD were included. The median follow-up times were 5.2 years (interquartile range [IQR] 2.6-8.8 years) for LCA and 7.2 years (IQR 2.2-14.2 years) for CORD. Generally, LCA presented in the first year of life. The BCVA in patients with LCA ranged from no light perception to 1.00 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR) and remained relatively stable during follow-up. Imaging for LCA was limited but showed little to no structural degeneration. In patients with CORD, progressive vision loss started around the second decade of life. The BCVA declined annually by 0.022 logMAR (P < 0.001) with no difference between patients with the c.2513G>A and the c.2512C>T GUCY2D variants (P = 0.798). At the age of 40 years, the probability of being blind or severely visually impaired was 32%. The integrity of the ellipsoid zone (EZ) and that of the external limiting membrane (ELM) on SD-OCT correlated significantly with BCVA (Spearman ρ = 0.744, P = 0.001, and ρ = 0.712, P < 0.001, respectively) in those with CORD.

CONCLUSIONS: Leber congenital amaurosis associated with GUCY2D caused severe congenital visual impairment with relatively intact macular anatomy on funduscopy and available imaging, suggesting long preservation of photoreceptors. Despite large variability, GUCY2D-associated CORD generally presented during adolescence, with a progressive loss of vision, and culminated in severe visual impairment during mid-to-late adulthood. The integrity of the ELM and EZ may be suitable structural end points for therapeutic studies of GUCY2D-associated CORD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-722
Number of pages12
JournalOphthalmology. Retina
Issue number8
Early online date18 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


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