Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) is an autosomal dominant disease that is characterized by nervous system tumors and ocular abnormalities.
To investigate genotype-phenotype correlations demonstrated for NF2-associated nervous system tumors, cataracts, and retinal lesions.
Forty-eight patients with NF2 from a tertiary neurological referral center underwent screening for constitutional NF2 mutations with multiple screening methods. Each patient underwent a complete ophthalmic examination, including fluorescein angiography to detect retinal vascular lesions.
Retinal abnormalities (epiretinal membranes or retinal microaneurysms) were present in 25 of the 48 patients (52%). The occurrence of epiretinal membranes and retinal microaneurysms was highly correlated, but retinal abnormalities were not significantly correlated with cataracts (present in 39 of 47 patients [83%]). Logistic regression with full constitutional nonsense or frameshift mutations as the reference group demonstrated that somatic mosaicism was associated with a significantly lower likelihood of retinal abnormalities (odds ratio, 0.05; 95% confidence interval, 0.01-0.49).
To our knowledge, this is the first genetic, clinical, and angiographic characterization of retinal abnormalities in NF2. Severe mutations are correlated with a more severe retinal involvement.
Retinal abnormalities, which can be revealed by means of fluorescein angiography, are more common in patients with NF2 who have nonsense or frameshift mutations.