To determine outcome measures for a clinical trial of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) associated with mutations in the GUCY2D gene.
Retrospective observational case series.
Twenty-eight patients with GUCY2D-LCA (aged 2-59 years) were studied clinically and with chromatic full-field sensitivity testing (FST), optical coherence tomography (OCT), pupillometry, and the NEI Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ).
FST permitted quantitation of cone and rod sensitivity in these patients with severe visual impairment. For most patients, the degree of rod and cone sensitivity losses showed a relationship, thereby providing an opportunity to divide patients into cohorts by severity of rod and cone dysfunction. OCT analyses indicated that retinal structure could be used not only as an objective safety measure but also as an exploratory efficacy outcome. A foveal bulge was not present in 67% of patients. The intensity of inner segment/outer segment (ellipsoid zone line) reflectivity was reduced significantly at the fovea and in the rod-dense superior retina. Based on OCT and FST parameters, most patients had dissociation of structure and function. Abnormal pupillometry sensitivity in the majority of GUCY2D-LCA patients provided another objective efficacy outcome. NEI VFQ scores showed a similar range of findings to those of other severe retinal diseases.
Conventional outcome measures, such as visual acuity and the NEI VFQ, will need to be complemented by methods more specific to this GUCY2D-LCA population. Any therapeutic strategy should determine if there is an effect on rod as well as cone function and structure. FST provides a photoreceptor-based subjective outcome; and OCT in 2 retinal regions, fovea and superior retina, can assess photoreceptor structure. A change in the relationship of structure and function away from baseline becomes evidence of efficacy.