BACKGROUND: Doyne honeycomb retinal dystrophy (DHRD)/malattia leventinese (ML) is an autosomal dominant, progressive retinal disorder characterized by massive central retinal drusen often partly coalescent forming a characteristic honeycomb-like pattern. Debut of vision loss often occurs in early to mid-adulthood, and the degree varies. A single variant in EFEMP1: c.1033C>T (R345W) has been identified as the cause in all cases.
METHODS: Following DNA isolation, exome sequencing was performed in seven genes associated with flecked retina. Direct sequencing was used for variant verification.
RESULTS: We report the first Scandinavian case of molecular genetically verified DHRD/ML: a 57-year-old woman debuting with vision loss and metamorphopsia. On both eyes, ophthalmological findings included massive hard drusen in the macular region and nasal to the optic disc as well as macular hyperpigmentation. Secondary choroidal neovascularizations were identified on both eyes, and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor was administered, without effect.
CONCLUSION: Molecular genetic investigation revealed heterozygosity for the known pathogenic missense variant in EFEMP1: c.1033C>T (R345W) previously reported in relation to DHRD/ML. Family history revealed no other cases of similar visual impairment suggesting a de novo mutation. Furthermore, there was no correlation between the unique DHRD/ML haplotypes reported in the literature and our patient.