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Long-term natural history of visual acuity in eyes with choroideremia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of data from 1004 individual eyes


Background/aims Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) is the most common primary endpoint in treatment trials for choroideremia (CHM) but the long-term natural history of BCVA is unclear.

Methods We searched in seven databases to identify studies that reported BCVA of untreated eyes with CHM. We sought individual-level data and performed segmented regression between BCVA and age. For eyes followed longitudinally, we introduced a horizontal translation factor to each dataset to account for different ages at onset of a rapid BCVA decline.

Results We included 1004 eyes from 23 studies. BCVA of the right and left eyes was moderately correlated (r=0.60). BCVA as a function of age followed a 2-phase decline (slow followed by rapid decline), with an estimated transition age of 39.1 years (95% CI 33.5 to 44.7). After the introduction of horizontal translation factors to longitudinal datasets, BCVA followed a 2-phase decline until it reached 0 letters (r2=0.90). The BCVA decline rate was 0.33 letters/year (95% CI −0.38 to 1.05) before 39 years, and 1.23 letters/year (95% CI 0.55 to 1.92) after 39 years (p=0.004).

Conclusion BCVA in eyes with CHM follows a 2-phase linear decline with a transition age of approximately 39 years. Future trials enrolling young patients may not be able to use BCVA as a primary or sole endpoint, but rather, may need to employ additional disease biomarkers that change before age 39. BCVA may still have utility as a primary endpoint for patients older than 39 years who have measurable BCVA decline rates.

  • degeneration
  • retina
  • vision
  • genetics
  • clinical trial

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