Objective: To describe the clinical phenotype of juvenile X-linked retinoschisis in patients with different mutations in the XLRS1 gene. Methods: Thirty patients with 7 different XLRS1 mutations were examined. The genotype was determined by molecular genetics, which identified 6 known and 1 novel mutation (exon 5,489 G→T). Ophthalmologic examination included full-field electroretinogram (ERG) recordings. Results: The fundus appearance showed marked variations between, as well as; within, families with different XLRS1 mutations. The ERG demonstrated typical reduction of B-wave amplitude, with relative A-wave preservation, causing a reduced B-A ratio in all affected males. The implicit time of the 30-Hz flicker ERG was prolonged in all patients examined. In a large family with a deletion of exon 1 and the promoter region, 12 affected males showed a phenotype ranging from moderate to severe vision impairment and a broad range of ERG abnormality, suggesting that additional factors may contribute to the disease severity. Conclusions: Juvenile retinoschisis shows a wide variability in the phenotype between, as well as within, families with different genotypes. The ERG findings show reduced B-A ratios of dark-adapted recordings and prolonged implicit times of 30-Hz flicker response, which provide a useful clinical marker to confirm the clinical diagnosis. Clinical Relevance: This study describes the wide variability in the phenotype in patients with juvenfie retinoschisis and different mutations in the XLRS1 gene. The study emphasizes the importance of complementing the ophthalmologic examination with full-field ERG and molecular genetics in boys with visual failure of unknown etiology to determine the diagnosis early in the course of the disease.
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