Juvenile retinoschisis: A model for molecular diagnostic testing of X- linked ophthalmic disease

P. A. Sieving, B. M. Yashar, R. Ayyagari, J. R. Heckenlively, K. W. Small, D. H. Char, W. S. Tasman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: X-linked juvenile retinoschisis (RS) provides a starting point to define clinical paradigms and understand the limitations of diagnostic molecular testing. The RS phenotype is specific, but the broad severity range is clinically confusing. Molecular diagnostic testing obviates unnecessary examinations for boys at-risk and identifies carrier females who otherwise show no clinical signs. Methods: The XLRS1 gene has 6 exons of 26- 196 base-pair size. Each exon is amplified by a single polymerase chain reaction and then sequenced, starting with exons 4 through 6, which contain mutation 'hot spots.' Results: The 6 XLRS1 exons are sequenced serially. If alterations are found, they are compared with mutations in our >120 XLRS families and with the >300 mutations reported worldwide. Point mutations, small deletions, or rearrangements are identified in nearly 90% of males with a clinical diagnosis of RS. XLBS1 has very few sequence polymorphisms. Carrier-state testing produces 1 of 3 results: (1) positive, in which the woman has the same mutation as an affected male relative or known in other RS families; (2) negative, in which she lacks the mutation of her affected male relative; and (3) uninformative, in which no known mutation is identified or no information exists about the familial mutation. Conclusions: Molecular RS screening is an effective diagnostic tool that complements the clinician's skills for early detection of at-risk males. Useful outcomes of carrier testing depend on several factors: (1) a male relative with a clear clinical diagnosis; (2) a well-defined inheritance pattern; (3) high disease penetrance; (4) size and organization of the gene; and (5) the types of disease-associated mutations. Ethical questions include molecular diagnostic testing of young at-risk females before the age of consent, the impact of this information on the emotional health of the patient and family, and issues of employability and insurance coverage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-469
Number of pages19
JournalTransactions of the American Ophthalmological Society
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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