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August 1996

Clinical and Histopathologic Findings in Clumped Pigmentary Retinal Degeneration

Author Affiliations

From the Berman-Gund Laboratory for the Study of Retinal Degenerations and the Ophthalmic Pathology Service, Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114(8):950-955. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100140158008

Objective:  To describe the clinical and histopathologic features of clumped pigmentary retinal degeneration (CPRD).

Design:  Retrospective case series.

Setting:  Tertiary referral center.

Patients:  Twenty-four patients, aged 7 to 83 years, were identified from the medical record files of the Berman-Gund Laboratory, Boston, Mass, as having the clinical features of CPRD. The autopsy eye from a 56-year-old man with CPRD was studied with light and electron microscopy.

Main Outcome Measures:  Visual acuities, visual fields, dark-adaptation thresholds, and results of electroretinograms; histopathologic study of an autopsy eye.

Results:  The functional deficit of patients with CPRD seems to be similar to that of patients with typical retinitis pigmentosa. Different degrees of severity were observed among patients of similar age. The histopathologic data showed that the clinically distinct areas of clumped pigment are due to excessive accumulation of melanin granules in retinal pigment epithelial cells.

Conclusion:  Based on the distinct clinical and histopathologic appearance, CPRD should be considered as a separate form of retinal degeneration.