Prevalence of Leber hereditary optic neuropathy in the Community of Madrid (Spain), estimation with a capture-recapture method

Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2024 May 29;19(1):220. doi: 10.1186/s13023-024-03225-7.


BACKGROUND: Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) typically presents in young adults as bilateral painless subacute visual loss. Prevalence data are scarce. The aim of this study was to examine the validity of different ascertainment sources used in population-based rare diseases registries to detect cases, and to explore the impact of a capture-recapture method in the estimation of the prevalence of LHON in the Autonomous Community of Madrid (ACM) in 2022.

METHODS: Descriptive cross-sectional population-based study. Potential LHON cases were detected by automatic capture from the healthcare information sources usually explored for the Regional Registry for Rare Diseases (SIERMA). Ophthalmologists provided data from their clinical registry. Positive predictive values (PPV) and sensitivity with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated. Global and by sex prevalences were calculated with confimed cases and with those estimated by the capture-recapture method.

RESULTS: A total of 102 potential LHON cases were captured from healthcare information sources, 25 of them (24.5%) finally were confirmed after revision, with an overall PPV of 24.5% (95%CI 17.2-33.7). By source, the electronic clinical records of primary care had the highest PPV (51.2, 95%CI 36.7-65.4). The ophthalmologists clinical registry provided 22 cases, 12 of them not detected in the automatic capture sources. The clinical registry reached a sensitivity of 59.5% (95%CI 43.5-73.6) and the combination of automatic capture sources reached a 67.6% (95%CI: 51.5-80.4). The total confirmed cases were 37, with a mean age of 48.9 years, and a men: women ratio of 2.4:1. Genetic information was recovered in 27 cases, with the m.3460 mutation being the most frequent (12 cases). The global prevalence was 0.55 cases/100,000 inhabitants (95%CI 0.40-0.75), and with the capture-recapture method reached 0.79 cases/100,000 (95%CI 0.60-1.03), a 43.6% higher, 1.15 cases/100,000 (95%CI 0.83-1.58) in men and 0.43 cases/100,000 (95%CI 0.26-0.70) in women.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of LHON estimated in the ACM was lower than in other European countries. Population-based registries of rare diseases require the incorporation of confirmed cases provided by clinicians to asure the best completeness of data. The use of more specific coding for rare diseases in healthcare information systems would facilitate the detection of cases. Further epidemiologic studies are needed to assess potential factors that may influence the penetrance of LHON.

PMID:38811977 | DOI:10.1186/s13023-024-03225-7