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Importance: Detailed phenotypic information on the spectrum of fundus abnormalities and clinical variability of all phenotypes associated with sequence variations in BEST1 is limited. Objective: To report a detailed phenotypic and genetic analysis of a patient cohort with sequence variations in BEST1. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective case series took place at the Oxford Eye Hospital in Oxford, UK. Thirty-six patients from a single center with disease-causing sequence variations in BEST1 from 25 different families were analyzed. Data were collected from November 2017 to June 2018, and analysis began April 2018. Main Outcomes and Measures: Results of ocular phenotyping and genetic testing using targeted next-generation sequencing to identify BEST1 sequence variations. Results: Thirty-six patients from 25 families with disease-causing sequence variations in BEST1 were included. Of 36 patients, 20 (55.6%) were female. Three distinct clinical phenotypes were identified: autosomal recessive bestrophinopathy (ARB), best vitelliform macular dystrophy (BVMD), and adult-onset vitelliform macular dystrophy. The ARB phenotype group comprised 18 patients from 9 families with age in years at symptom onset ranging from less than 10 to 40s. All patients showed a common phenotype of fundus autofluorescence abnormalities, and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography features were similar in all patients with schitic and cystoid changes. A phenotype of a beaten metallic retinal appearance extending from the mid periphery to the far periphery was identified in 8 patients. Four patients from 1 family with ARB were previously reported to have autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa but were reclassified as having ARB as part of this study. The BVMD phenotype group comprised 16 patients from 14 families with age at symptom onset ranging from less than 10 to 70s. Fundus features were localized to the macula and consistent with the stage of BVMD. In the adult-onset vitelliform macular dystrophy phenotype group, the age in years at symptom onset varied from 50s to 70s in 2 patients from 2 families. Fundus features included small vitelliform lesions. Where available, electro-oculogram results demonstrated a reduced or absent light rise in all patients with ARB and BVMD. Genetic testing identified 22 variants in BEST1. Conclusions and Relevance: These findings support the notion that ARB, BVMD, and adult-onset vitelliform macular dystrophy are clinically distinct and recognizable phenotypes and suggest that the association of autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa with sequence variations in BEST1 should be rereviewed.

Original publication




Journal article


JAMA Ophthalmol

Publication Date





544 - 551