Faster Sensitivity Loss around Dense Scotomas than for Overall Macular Sensitivity in Stargardt Disease: ProgStar Report No. 14

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American Journal of Ophthalmology


Purpose: Mean sensitivity (MS) derived from a standard test grid using microperimetry is a sensitive outcome measure in clinical trials investigating new treatments for degenerative retinal diseases. This study hypothesizes that the functional decline is faster at the edge of the dense scotoma (eMS) than by using the overall MS.

Design: Multicenter, international, prospective cohort study: ProgStar Study.

Methods: Stargardt disease type 1 patients (carrying at least 1 mutation in the ABCA4 gene) were followed over 12 months using microperimetry with a Humphrey 10-2 test grid. Customized software was developed to automatically define and selectively follow the test points directly adjacent to the dense scotoma points and to calculate their mean sensitivity (eMS).

Results: Among 361 eyes (185 patients), the mean age was 32.9 ± 15.1 years old. At baseline, MS was 10.4 ± 5.2 dB (n = 361), and the eMS was 9.3 ± 3.3 dB (n = 335). The yearly progression rate of MS (1.5 ± 2.1 dB/year) was significantly lower (β = -1.33; P < .001) than that for eMS (2.9 ± 2.9 dB/year). There were no differences between progression rates using automated grading and those using manual grading (β = .09; P = .461).

Conclusions: In Stargardt disease type 1, macular sensitivity declines significantly faster at the edge of the dense scotoma than in the overall test grid. An automated, time-efficient approach for extracting and grading eMS is possible and appears valid. Thus, eMS offers a valuable tool and sensitive outcome parameter with which to follow Stargardt patients in clinical trials, allowing clinical trial designs with shorter duration and/or smaller cohorts.

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Publication Date

Summer 8-2020