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Inherited Retinal Diseases
Ophthalmology

Many patients with retinitis pigmentosa don’t meet current driving standards

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One study found that nearly half of patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) were unaware that they failed to meet the current driving visual standards, highlighting the need for binocular Esterman visual field (BEVF) testing in patients with RP who are still driving.

In this prospective consecutive case series, 228 patients with RP underwent BEVF  assessment, of which, only 39% met the Australian fitness to drive (FTD) visual standards. The only significant predictor of passing was younger age at the time of testing.

In a sub-analysis of the 125 patients who said they still drove, 52% met the standards. Only 14% met the standards amongst patients 56 to 65 years of age.

When patients were grouped according to specific genotypes, it was found that patients with mutations in HK1 or RHO genes may have slower rates of decline in their visual field parameters.

Reference
Heath Jeffery RC, Lo J, Thompson JA, et al. Driving with retinitis pigmentosa. Ophthalmic Genet. 2023 Apr 4:1-9. doi: 10.1080/13816810.2023.2196338. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37013444.

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