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Arch Ophthalmol. 2010 Apr;128(4):456-60. doi: 10.1001/archophthalmol.2009.403.

Early vitrectomy effective for Norrie disease.

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Associated Retinal Consultants, PC, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan, USA.



To review our experience with Norrie disease to determine if early vitrectomy abrogates the natural history of this rare disease; namely, bilateral no light perception visual acuity and phthisis bulbi.


We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all patients seen in our tertiary care pediatric retinal clinical practice from 1988 through 2008 with a potential diagnosis of Norrie disease. Inclusion required not only clinical findings consistent with Norrie disease but also genetics and/or a family history consistent with Norrie disease.


Medical record review revealed 14 boys with clinically diagnosed Norrie disease and either Norrie disease gene (NDP) mutations noted on genetic testing (13 patients) and/or a clear family history consistent with Norrie disease (4 patients). All 14 boys with definite Norrie disease had vitrectomy with or without lensectomy in at least 1 eye prior to 12 months of age. Of the 14 boys with definite Norrie disease, 7 maintained at least light perception visual acuity in 1 eye and 3 had no light perception visual acuity bilaterally; visual acuity data were not available for 4 patients. Only 2 of 24 (8%) eyes became phthisical.


Historically, no treatment has been offered to mitigate the dismal natural history of Norrie disease. We recommend consideration of early vitrectomy in Norrie disease.

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