Retinal degeneration in autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1: A case series

Serge Bourgault, Catherine Baril, Ajoy Vincent, Elise Héon, Asim Ali, Ian MacDonald, Gregg T. Lueder, Kevin M. Colleaux, Isabelle Laliberté

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1 (APS1) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder due to mutations in the AIRE gene. Aim To report the ocular features and characterise the retinal phenotype in molecularly confirmed APS1. Method This retrospective case series reviewed five molecularly confirmed cases with APS1 known to have ocular involvement (age range: 19 months-44 years; mean follow-up of 8 years). The medical history, ocular history and evaluation, visual field testing, full-field electroretinogram (ERG) and antiretinal antibody results were reviewed. Results All but one case had decreased vision at first presentation. All cases had peripheral pigmentary retinal changes; macular atrophy was noted in 80% of cases. The most common feature on spectral-domain optical coherence tomography was a disruption of the external limiting membrane and inner segment ellipsoid band (n=3). Fundus autofluorescence imaging demonstrated a parafoveal ring of hyper-autofluorescence (n=1) or a stippled and patchy autofluorescence pattern in the macula (n=1). The visual fields were constricted in all tested patients (n=3). The rod ERG was abnormal in all cases; the relative involvement of rods and cones differed. Four patients who were tested for antiretinal antibodies were found positive by immunohistochemistry (n=3) and/or western blot (n=2). Conclusions Photoreceptor degeneration is part of APS1 phenotype and the presence of antiretinal antibodies strongly supports an aetiology similar to that of non-paraneoplastic autoimmune retinopathy. Periodic retinal evaluation and imaging, visual field testing and ERG would assist in monitoring the retinopathy in APS1-related disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1536-1542
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015


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