A review of treatment modalities in gyrate atrophy of the choroid and retina (GACR)

Berith M. Balfoort, Mark J.N. Buijs, Anneloor L.M.A. ten Asbroek, Arthur A.B. Bergen, Camiel J.F. Boon, Elise A. Ferreira, Riekelt H. Houtkooper, Margreet A.E.M. Wagenmakers, Ronald J.A. Wanders, Hans R. Waterham, Corrie Timmer, Clara D. van Karnebeek, Marion M. Brands*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Gyrate atrophy of the choroid and retina (GACR) is a rare inborn error of amino acid metabolism caused by bi-allelic variations in OAT. GACR is characterised by vision decline in early life eventually leading to complete blindness, and high plasma ornithine levels. There is no curative treatment for GACR, although several therapeutic modalities aim to slow progression of the disease by targeting different steps within the ornithine pathway. No international treatment protocol is available. We systematically collected all international literature on therapeutic interventions in GACR to provide an overview of published treatment effects. Methods: Following the PRISMA guidelines, we conducted a systematic review of the English literature until December 22nd 2020. PubMed and Embase databases were searched for studies related to therapeutic interventions in patients with GACR. Results: A total of 33 studies (n = 107 patients) met the inclusion criteria. Most studies were designed as case reports (n = 27) or case series (n = 4). No randomised controlled trials or large cohort studies were found. Treatments applied were protein-restricted diets, pyridoxine supplementation, creatine or creatine precursor supplementation, L-lysine supplementation, and proline supplementation. Protein-restricted diets lowered ornithine levels ranging from 16.0–91.2%. Pyridoxine responsiveness was reported in 30% of included mutations. Lysine supplementation decreased ornithine levels with 21–34%. Quality assessment showed low to moderate quality of the articles. Conclusions: Based primarily on case reports ornithine levels can be reduced by using a protein restricted diet, pyridoxine supplementation (variation-dependent) and/or lysine supplementation. The lack of pre-defined clinical outcome measures and structural follow-up in all included studies impeded conclusions on clinical effectiveness. Future research should be aimed at 1) Unravelling the OAT biochemical pathway to identify other possible pathologic metabolites besides ornithine, 2) Pre-defining GACR specific clinical outcome measures, and 3) Establishing an international historical cohort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-116
Number of pages21
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
PhD salaries of M.J.N. Buijs and B.M. Balfoort were funded by: Amsterdam Gastroenterology & Metabolism Institute (Amsterdam UMC), Stichting Steun Emma Kinderziekenhuis, Horstingstuit Foundation via AMC Foundation, Stichting Metakids.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors


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