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Ophthalmology. 2005 Apr;112(4):586-92.

Late onset is common in best macular dystrophy associated with VMD2 gene mutations.

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  • 1Augenklinik, Charité Campus Benjamin Franklin, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.



To perform a detailed morphologic and functional evaluation of Best macular dystrophy (BMD) associated with mutations in the VMD2 gene.


Retrospective study.


The records of 16 patients with BMD and heterozygous VMD2 mutations (group 1) and 5 patients with Best-like lesions with no detectable disease-associated alterations in the VMD2 gene (group 2) were evaluated retrospectively.


The data were reviewed regarding visual acuity (VA), color vision, perimetry, autofluorescence of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), fluorescein angiography, electro-oculography (EOG), and full-field electroretinography (ERG) and multifocal ERG (mfERG).


VMD2 mutations, age at onset of BMD, RPE autofluorescence, EOG, ERG, and mfERG.


The mean age of the patients in group 1 was 47.1 years (range, 16.7-86.5), and age at onset varied between 5 and 58 years (median, 42.0). Visual acuity ranged between 20/16 and 20/400 (median, 20/40). No association existed between the specific nature of the VMD2 mutation and disease onset or expressivity. Retinal pigment epithelium autofluorescence was increased corresponding to ophthalmoscopically visible yellow material, whereas it was decreased in the atrophic stage of BMD. Electro-oculography light rise was reduced in 18 of 19 eyes. Electroretinography amplitudes were normal in 3 patients and reduced in 6 patients. Multifocal ERG revealed in 10 of 20 eyes a central amplitude reduction and in 7 eyes a generalized one. There were no marked differences in clinical and functional findings between the patients in groups 1 and 2, except that the mean age of the patients in group 2 was higher (64.0 years [range, 45.7-80.6]) and the median VA lower (20/50 [range, 20/32-20/320]).


The onset of BMD is highly variable and occurred in the majority of patients after the second decade of life. Best-like lesions may develop in older patients without associated VMD2 mutations. Those manifestations may be related to a specific form of age-related macular degeneration. This article contains additional online-only material available at .

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