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N Engl J Med. 1981 Apr 9;304(15):867-70.

Supplementary creatine as a treatment for gyrate atrophy of the choroid and retina.


Gyrate atrophy of the choroid and retina is a disease characterized by progressive constriction of visual fields, a 10-fold to 20-fold elevation in plasma ornithine, and depressed activity of L-ornithine:2 oxoacid aminotransferase. Morphologically conspicuous but clinically unimportant atrophy of Type II muscle fibers progresses concomitantly with the eye disease. A pathogenic component of the disease may be deficient formation of creatine, caused by hyperornithinemia, which leads to a shortage of cellular phosphocreatine energy stores. To test the therapeutic value of replenishing the postulated deficiency of creatine, we supplemented the diet of seven patients with 1.5 g of creatine daily. During one year of this treatment the diameters of Type II muscle fibers increased from 34.1 +/- 7.1 to 49.9 +/- 7.0 micron (mean +/- S.D.) (P less than 0.001). There was no significant increase in the diameters of Type I fibers. The visual-field tests showed no further constriction during the therapy. Fundus photography revealed slow impairment at an age otherwise associated with rapid progression of the disease. These promising preliminary results need further evaluation with long-term follow-up studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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