Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2023 Jul 3;64(10):32. doi: 10.1167/iovs.64.10.32.
PURPOSE: The extreme variation in expressivity of autosomal dominant optic atrophy (ADOA) is unexplained. It is present from early childhood, why there is reason to search for pre- and perinatal risk factors for poor vision in ADOA. The process of ganglion cell pruning in the fetus is of interest because mitochondria are involved in apoptosis. We hypothesized that suboptimal mitochondrial function makes the developing retina and optic nerve vulnerable to fetal stress in ADOA. We have examined visual function and inner retinal layer structure in relation to birth parameters in ADOA.
METHODS: The study included 142 participants with OPA1 ADOA, 62 unaffected first-degree relatives, and 90 unrelated control subjects. Outcome measures included best-corrected visual acuity, microperimetric sensitivity, nerve fiber layer (NFL) volume, and ganglion cell layer (GCL) volume. Descriptive parameters included birth weight, maternal age at birth, birth complications, and gestational age. Analysis was made using mixed modeling.
RESULTS: The analysis showed a significant positive association between microperimetric sensitivity and longer gestational age in ADOA (0.5 dB/week, P = 0.017). Interaction analysis showed a significant different association between microperimetric sensitivity and gestational age between participants with ADOA and the control groups (P = 0.007) and a significant difference in association between NFL volume and birth weight (P = 0.04) and gestational age (P = 0.02) between variant types.
CONCLUSIONS: The study suggests that gestational age and birth weight may affect the expressivity of ADOA. The results support that prospectively collected pre- and perinatal data should be included in future studies of the natural history of ADOA.