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PURPOSE: To review the clinical characteristics and address the aetiology in a group of patients presenting with unilateral retinal pigmentary changes, best described as unilateral pigmentary retinopathy (UPR). METHODS: The cohort of 42 patients was identified retrospectively from the Moorfields Eye Hospital electrophysiology database. All had undergone full-field [electroretinography (ERG)] and pattern electroretinography (PERG), with 13 additionally having multifocal ERG (mfERG). The clinical findings, fundus photographs and fundus autofluorescence (AF) images were reviewed. RESULTS: All index eyes showed ERG evidence of generalized photoreceptor dysfunction with most showing a similar degree of rod and cone involvement. However, although the fellow eyes all had a normal fundus examination, there were bilateral but asymmetrical ERG abnormalities in eight patients and a further four patients had PERG evidence of macular dysfunction in the fellow eye. A relevant medical history or the diagnosis of an ophthalmologic entity that might be related to the unilateral fundus changes was ascertained in 15 cases (~36%) including acute zonal occult outer retinopathy, trauma, systemic malignancy or autoimmune disease, retinal vasculitis, presumed pregnancy-related choroidal ischaemia and meningitis. Two patients had a family history of retinitis pigmentosa (RP; 4.8%). CONCLUSION: The underlying aetiology in most cases of UPR cannot accurately be identified, but an heritable cause is unlikely. Aspects of the history clearly suggest an acquired disorder in some patients. Twenty-five patients (60%) with nongenetic UPR did not adhere to the pattern of rod greater than cone dysfunction that occurs in RP (rod-cone dystrophy), and the pattern of rod > cone dysfunction seen in true RP is thus not a feature of most patients with UPR.

Original publication




Journal article


Acta Ophthalmol

Publication Date





e601 - e617


ERG , AZOOR, ocular trauma, retina, unilateral pigmentary retinopathy, uveitis, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Electroretinography, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells, Retinitis Pigmentosa, Retrospective Studies, Tomography, Optical Coherence, Visual Acuity, Visual Fields, Young Adult