Purpose Reports of best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) in albinism are often based on overlapping clinical phenotypes. BCVA in albinism has been shown to improve with age. This study reports a large cross-sectional investigation to determine whether BCVA differs by specific type of albinism when age-corrected. Methods This retrospective review identified 170 individuals with a specific type of albinism identified by mutation(s) in a gene known to cause albinism (for OCA1, OCA2, and Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome ([HPS]) or a specific phenotype (white hair and no melanin pigment in OCA1A; pigmentary mosaicism in the obligate carriers for males with OA1). We recorded optotype binocular BCVA at final follow-up. Patients were age-grouped (2-5 years, 6-14 years, and ≥15 years) for comparison. Results The greatest visual acuity deficit was found for OCA1A in all age groups. At age ≥15 years (n = 79), mean BCVA was 20/128 for OCA1A, 20/37 for OCA1B, 20/59 for OCA2, 20/63 for OA1, and 20/121 for HPS. Significant differences between BCVA at ≥15 years were found in the following: OCA1A vs OCA1B, OCA1A vs OCA2, OCA1A vs OA1, OCA1B vs HPS, OCA2 vs HPS, and OA1 vs HPS (P ≤ 0.02). Conclusions This study provides a large sample size and includes only those with a specific type of albinism. BCVA varies by albinism type, and there is overlap in BCVA, particularly in the younger age groups. For ages ≥15 years, there are significant differences in BCVA between several types of albinism.
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© 2016 American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus