[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Major advances in understanding the pathogenesis of inherited metabolic disease caused by mitochondrial DNA mutations have yet to translate into treatments of proven efficacy. Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy is the most common mitochondrial DNA disorder causing irreversible blindness in young adult life. Anecdotal reports support the use of idebenone in Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy, but this has not been evaluated in a randomized controlled trial. We conducted a 24-week multi-centre double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in 85 patients with Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy due to m.3460G>A, m.11778G>A, and m.14484T>C or mitochondrial DNA mutations. The active drug was idebenone 900 mg/day. The primary end-point was the best recovery in visual acuity. The main secondary end-point was the change in best visual acuity. Other secondary end-points were changes in visual acuity of the best eye at baseline and changes in visual acuity for both eyes in each patient. Colour-contrast sensitivity and retinal nerve fibre layer thickness were measured in subgroups. Idebenone was safe and well tolerated. The primary end-point did not reach statistical significance in the intention to treat population. However, post hoc interaction analysis showed a different response to idebenone in patients with discordant visual acuities at baseline; in these patients, all secondary end-points were significantly different between the idebenone and placebo groups. This first randomized controlled trial in the mitochondrial disorder, Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy, provides evidence that patients with discordant visual acuities are the most likely to benefit from idebenone treatment, which is safe and well tolerated.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The majority of patients with autosomal dominant optic atrophy (DOA) harbour pathogenic OPA1 mutations. Although DOA is characterised by the preferential loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), about 20% of patients with OPA1 mutations will develop a more severe disease variant (DOA+), with additional neuromuscular features. In this prospective, observational case series, optical coherence tomography (OCT) was used to define the pattern of retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) loss in patients with both the pure and syndromal forms of DOA.
Forty patients with a molecular diagnosis of DOA due to OPA1 mutations were prospectively recruited from our neuro-ophthalmology clinic: 26 patients with isolated optic atrophy and 14 patients manifesting DOA+ features. Peripapillary RNFL thickness was measured with the Fast RNFL (3.4) acquisition protocol on a Stratus OCT.
There was a statistically significant reduction in average RNFL thickness in the OPA1 group compared with normal controls (P<0.0001). The percentage decrease was greatest in the temporal quadrant (59.0%), followed by the inferior (49.6%), superior (41.8%), and nasal (25.9%) quadrants. Patients with DOA+ features had worse visual outcomes compared with patients with pure DOA. Except in the temporal quadrant, RNFL measurements were significantly thinner for the DOA+ group. There was an inverse correlation between average RNFL thickness and logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (LogMAR) visual acuity (P<0.0001).
RGC loss in DOA is characterised by severe involvement of the temporal papillomacular bundle, with relative sparing of the nasal fibres. RNFL thinning is more pronounced in patients with DOA+ phenotypes.