Familial Asymptomatic Macular Telangiectasia Type 2

Mark C. Gillies, Meidong Zhu, Emily Chew, Daniel Barthelmes, Edward Hughes, Haipha Ali, Frank G. Holz, Hendrik P.N. Scholl, Peter Charbel Issa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Objective: To report findings in asymptomatic family members of patients with macular telangiectasia type 2. Design: Prospective, observational, cross-sectional case series. Participants: Four patients with symptomatic macular telangiectasia type 2 (index patients) and 5 relatives, including 2 sets of monozygotic twins. Methods: Screening of family members of participants in a non-interventional natural history study of macular telangiectasia type 2. Ophthalmologic examination included best-corrected visual acuity testing, fundus biomicroscopy, fluorescein angiography (FA), optical coherence tomography (OCT), and fundus autofluorescence (FAF) imaging. Main Outcome Measures: Evidence for macular telangiectasia type 2 in any of the imaging methods used and visual function of the family members studied. Results: In the first family, 2 of 3 daughters of a severely affected 68-year-old woman had features of macular telangiectasia type 2. Although one of the daughters was diagnosed by biomicroscopic examination, the second daughter was diagnosed only by subtle changes on OCT and FAF imaging. Both affected daughters were asymptomatic and were unaware that they had the condition. In the second family, clinical examination showed that the 60-year-old brother of the 75-year-old index patient obviously was affected, despite a lack of any subjective visual dysfunction. The 65-year-old monozygotic twin of the third index patient showed a slight retinal thinning within a small area temporal to the foveola in both eyes as well as minor staining on FA and a subtle monocular loss of macular pigment. The 56-year-old asymptomatic monozygotic twin of the last proband had opacification of the retina with leakage on FA in the right eye. The fellow eye was unremarkable except for an abnormal FAF signal that was present in both eyes. Conclusions: Macular telangiectasia type 2 may be more common than previously assumed, but patients may not seek ophthalmic care if their visual function is normal. The study of these early, asymptomatic cases may yield valuable insights into the pathogenesis of the condition. Further research is warranted to determine whether there is an underlying, dominantly inherited genetic abnormality in macular telangiectasia type 2 of variable penetrance and expressivity. Financial Disclosure(s): The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2422-2429
Number of pages8
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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