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Introduction: Refsum disease is a potentially lethal and disabling condition associated with retinitis pigmentosa in which early treatment can prevent some of the systemic manifestations. Case presentation: We present the cases of two brothers with a diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa from childhood in whom Refsum disease was subsequently diagnosed midlife, after routine enquiry into hand and feet abnormalities. Subsequent treatment through dietary modification stabilised visual impairment and has prevented development of neurological complications to date. Conclusion: It is therefore important to consider the diagnosis of Refsum disease in any patient with autosomal recessive or simplex retinitis pigmentosa, and to enquire about the presence of "unusual" feet or hands in such patients. © 2008 Jayaram and Downes; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Original publication

DOI

10.1186/1752-1947-2-80

Type

Journal article

Journal

Journal of Medical Case Reports

Publication Date

12/03/2008

Volume

2