Phenotypic characteristics of Danish patients with achromatopsia


PURPOSE: To describe the phenotype of Danish patients with genetically verified achromatopsia (ACHM) with special focus on signs of progression on structural or functional parameters, and possible genotype-phenotype correlations.

METHODS: Forty-eight patients were identified, with disease-causing variants in five different genes: CNGA3, CNGB3, GNAT2, PDE6C and PDE6H. Longitudinal evaluation was possible for 11 patients and 27 patients participated in a renewed in-depth phenotyping consisting of visual acuity assessment, optical coherence tomography (OCT), fundus autofluorescence, colour vision evaluation, contrast sensitivity, mesopic microperimetry and full-field electroretinography. Foveal morphology was evaluated based on OCT images for all 48 patients using a grading system based on the integrity of the hyperreflective photoreceptor band, the inner segment ellipsoid zone (ISe). Signs of progression were evaluated based on longitudinal data and correlation with age.

RESULTS: We found a statistically significant positive correlation between OCT grade and age (Spearman ρ = 0.62, p < 0.0001) and we observed changes in the foveal morphology in 2 of 11 patients with ≥5 years of follow-up. We did not find any convincing correlation between age and functional parameters (visual acuity, retinal sensitivity and contrast sensitivity) nor did we find correlation between structural and functional parameters, or any clear genotype-phenotype correlation.

CONCLUSIONS: Some patients with ACHM demonstrate signs of progressive foveal changes in OCT characteristics with increasing age. This is relevant in terms of possible new treatments. However, functional characteristics, such as visual acuity, remained stable despite changing foveal structure. Thus, seen from a patient perspective, ACHM can still be considered a non-progressive condition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Ophthalmologica (Online)
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Feb 2024


  • achromatopsia (ACHM)
  • CNGA3
  • CNGB3
  • genotype–phenotype
  • GNAT2
  • optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • PDE6C
  • PDE6H


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