FAM161A mutations are the most common cause of autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa in the Israeli-Jewish population. We aimed to characterize the spectrum of FAM161A-associated phenotypes and identify characteristic clinical features. We identified 114 bi-allelic FAM161A patients and obtained clinical records of 100 of these patients. The most frequent initial symptom was night blindness. Best-corrected visual acuity was largely preserved through the first three decades of life and severely deteriorated during the 4th–5th decades. Most patients manifest moderate-high myopia. Visual fields were markedly constricted from early ages, but maintained for decades. Bone spicule-like pigmentary changes appeared relatively late, accompanied by nummular pigmentation. Full-field electroretinography responses were usually non-detectable at first testing. Fundus autofluorescence showed a hyper-autofluorescent ring around the fovea in all patients already at young ages. Macular ocular coherence tomography showed relative preservation of the outer nuclear layer and ellipsoid zone in the fovea, and frank cystoid macular changes were very rare. Interestingly, patients with a homozygous nonsense mutation manifest somewhat more severe disease. Our clinical analysis is one of the largest ever reported for RP caused by a single gene allowing identification of characteristic clinical features and may be relevant for future application of novel therapies.
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