PURPOSE: To examine the difference in expression of retinitis pigmentosa from mutations at codon 23 and codon 347 or rhodopsin; to report a novel mutation in rhodopsin. METHODS: Goldmann perimetry (solid angle of I4e isopter) and electroretinographic amplitudes (square root transform of a response ratio) were analyzed for 24 patients with mutations at codon 347 (15 with Pro347Ala, 2 with Pro347Gln, 6 with Pro347Leu, and 1 with a novel Pro347Cys change) and 41 patients with mutations at codon 23 (6 with Pro23Ala; 35 with Pro23His). RESULTS: When all patients with mutations at codons 347 and 23 were compared, loss of visual fields was significantly worse in patients with codon 347 changes (P = .0003). Only rod responses of the electroretinograms were significantly different between the two groups (P = .048). Specific comparison of Pro347Ala with Pro23Ala using regression analysis demonstrated significant differences in severity between codon 23 and codon 347 patients for b-wave amplitudes of rod (P = .0069), cone (P = .039) and maximum combined response (P = .049). The solid angle of the I4e isopter was also significantly different (P = .025) between the groups after controlling for age. Modeling age by group for Pro347Ala comparison produced an R2 of .44. CONCLUSION: We reconfirmed that rhodopsin-related retinitis pigmentosa from mutations involving codon 347 produces a more severe phenotype than that involving codon 23. Accurate modeling of disease was shown to be possible by incorporating the effects of a patient's age and specific genotype. Therefore, both of these variables must be considered in prognostic counseling and subject recruitment for future therapeutic trials.
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