Visual impairment in Finnish Usher syndrome type III


Professor Dr A F Deutman
Department of Ophthalmology
813, UMC St Radboud
PO Box 9101
6500 HB Nijmegen
The Netherlands
Tel: + 31 24 361 3138
Fax: + 31 24 354 0522


Purpose: To evaluate visual impairment in Finnish Usher syndrome type 3 (USH3) and compare this with visual impairment in Usher syndrome types 1b (USH1b) and 2a (USH2a).

Methods: We carried out a retrospective study of 28 Finnish USH3 patients, 24 Dutch USH2a patients and 17 Dutch USH1b patients. Cross-sectional regression analyses of the functional acuity score (FAS), functional field score (FFS*) and functional vision score (FVS*) related to age were performed for all patients. The FFS* and FVS* were calculated using the isoptre V-4 test target instead of the usual III-4 target. Statistical tests relating to regression lines and Student's t-test were used to compare between USH3 patients and the other genetic subtypes of Usher syndrome.

Results: Cross-sectional analyses revealed significant deterioration in the FAS (1.3% per year), FFS* (1.4% per year) and FVS* (1.8% per year) with advancing age in the USH3 patient group. At a given age the USH3 patients showed significantly poorer visual field function than the USH2a patients.

Conclusions: The rate of deterioration in visual function in Finnish USH3 patients was fairly similar to that in Dutch USH1b or USH2a patients. At a given age, visual field impairment in USH3 patients was similar to that in USH1b patients but poorer than in USH2a patients.