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Original Investigation
May 2018

Multimodal Retinal Imaging in Incontinentia Pigmenti Including Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography: Findings From an Older Cohort With Mild Phenotype

Author Affiliations
  • 1Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • 3Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2018;136(5):467-472. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.0475
Key Points

Question  What are the structural and vascular abnormalities seen in the maculas of patients with incontinentia pigmenti, and how do they correlate with the peripheral pathologies?

Findings  In this prospective cross-sectional study of 5 patients with incontinentia pigmenti, multiple structural and vascular abnormalities were observed on optical coherence tomography and optical coherence tomography angiography.

Meaning  These findings suggest that in addition to peripheral vascular changes, macular abnormalities are frequently encountered in patients with incontinentia pigmenti.


Importance  Incontinentia pigmenti (IP) is a rare, X-linked dominant disease with potentially severe ocular complications that predominantly affect the peripheral retina. However, little is known about its effects on the macula.

Objective  To describe the structural and vascular abnormalities observed in the maculas of patients with IP and to correlate these findings with peripheral pathologies.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Prospective, cross-sectional study at Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University. Five participants with a clinical diagnosis of IP were included and underwent multimodal imaging with ultra–wide-field fluorescein angiography (FA), spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT), and OCT angiography.

Main Outcomes and Measures  The structural and vascular abnormalities observed on spectral-domain OCT and OCT angiography and their correlation with peripheral pathologies seen on ultra–wide-field FA.

Results  A total of 9 eyes from 5 patients (median age, 20.5 years; range, 8.4-54.2 years) were included. Median Snellen visual acuity was 20/32 (range, 20/16 to 20/63). ultra–wide-field FA-identified retinal vascular abnormalities in all 7 eyes in which FA was obtained. These abnormalities included microaneurysms, areas of nonperfusion, and vascular anastomoses, most of which were peripheral to the standard view of 30° FA with peripheral sweeps. Structural abnormalities were observed in 6 eyes on spectral-domain OCT, including inner retinal thinning and irregularities in the outer plexiform layer. Optical coherence tomography angiography abnormalities were noted in all 9 eyes, including decreased vascular density, abnormal vascular loops, and flow loss in the superficial and deep plexuses, which corresponded to areas of retinal thinning on spectral-domain OCT.

Conclusions and Relevance  Although our study is limited by the small sample size, the findings suggest that multimodal imaging is useful for detecting structural and vascular abnormalities that may not be apparent on ophthalmoscopy in patients with IP. Macular pathologies, especially a decrease in vascular density on OCT angiography, are common. Further studies are needed to characterize further the association between macular and peripheral abnormalities in patients with IP.