Am J Ophthalmol. 2022 Nov;243:10-18. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2022.07.003. Epub 2022 Jul 16.
PURPOSE: To report long-term ophthalmic findings in Wolfram syndrome, including rates of visual decline, macular thinning, retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thinning, and outer plexiform layer (OPL) lamination.
DESIGN: Single-center, cohort study.
METHODS: A total of 38 participants were studied, who underwent a complete ophthalmic examination as well as optical coherence tomography imaging of the macula and nerve on an annual basis. Linear mixed-effects models for longitudinal data were used to examine both fixed and random effects related to visual acuity and optic nerve quadrants of RNFL and macula thickness.
RESULTS: Participants completed a mean of 6.44 years of follow-up (range 2-10 years). Visual acuity declined over time in all participants, with a mean slope of 0.059 logMAR/y (95% CI = 0.07-0.05 logMAR/y), although nearly 25% of participants experienced more rapid visual decline. RNFL thickness decreased in superior, inferior, and nasal quadrants (β = -0.5 µm/y, -0.98 µm/y, -0.28 µm/y, respectively). OPL lamination was noted in 3 study participants, 2 of whom had autosomal dominant mutations.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study describes the longest and largest natural history study of visual acuity decline and retinal morphometry in Wolfram syndrome to date. Results suggest that there are slower and faster progressing subgroups and that OPL lamination is present in some individuals with this disease.