Reports have appeared of abnormal copper metabolism in retinitis pigmentosa, and of a family with vitelliform retinal degeneration in which other members suffered from hepatolenticular degeneration. In the present study 15 patients with retinitis pigmentosa, 4 with various other retinal degenerations, and 1 with a family disposition to retinitis pigmentosa were examined. The copper concentration in serum and the coeruloplasmin concentration in plasma were found to be within normal limits. In 9 of the patients with retinitis pigmentosa the urinary excretion of copper per 24 hours was determined and was found to be normal. The results of the present study lend no support to the hypothesis of abnormal copper metabolism in retinitis pigmentosa.
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