Clinical, biochemical and molecular analysis in a cohort of individuals with gyrate atrophy

Eleanor Palmer, Karolina M. Stepien, Christopher Campbell, Stephanie Barton, Christos Iosifidis, Arunabha Ghosh, Alexander Broomfield, Alyson Woodall, Gisela Wilcox, Panagiotis Sergouniotis, Graeme Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Gyrate atrophy of the choroid and retina is a rare autosomal recessive metabolic disorder caused by biallelic variants in the OAT gene, encoding the enzyme ornithine -aminotransferase. Impaired enzymatic activity leads to systemic hyperornithaemia, which in turn underlies progressive chorioretinal degeneration. In this study, we describe the clinical and molecular findings in a cohort of individuals with gyrate atrophy.
Methods: Study participants were recruited through a tertiary UK clinical ophthalmic genetic service. All cases had a biochemical and molecular diagnosis of gyrate atrophy. Retrospective phenotypic and biochemical data were collected using electronic healthcare records.
Results: 18 affected individuals from 12 families (8 male, 12 female) met the study inclusion criteria. The median age at diagnosis was 8 years (range 10 months – 33 years) and all cases had hyperornithaemia (median: 800 micromoles/L; range: 458- 1244 micromoles/L). Common features at presentation included high myopia (10/18) and nyctalopia (5/18). Ophthalmic findings were present in all study participants who were above the age of 6 years. One third of patients had co-existing macular oedema and two thirds developed pre-senile cataracts. Compliance with dietary modifications was suboptimal in most cases. A subset of participants had extraocular features
including a trend towards reduced fat-free mass and developmental delay.
Conclusions: Our findings highlight the importance of multidisciplinary care in families with gyrate atrophy. Secondary ophthalmic complications such as macular oedema and cataract formation are common. Management of affected individuals remains challenging due to the highly restrictive nature of the recommended diet and the limited evidence-base for current strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number256
JournalOrphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2023


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