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Choroidal dystrophies

Choroidal dystrophies

Choroideremia; Gyrate atrophy; Central areolar choroidal dystrophy


Choroidal dystrophy is an eye disorder that involves a layer of blood vessels called the choroid. These vessels are between the sclera and retina.

In most cases, choroidal dystrophy is due to an abnormal gene, which is passed down through families. It most often affects males, starting in childhood.

The first symptoms are peripheral vision loss and vision loss at night. An eye surgeon who specializes in the retina (back of the eye) can diagnose this disorder.

Exams and Tests


The following tests may be needed to diagnose the condition:

  • Electroretinography
  • Fluorescein angiography
  • Genetic testing




Clinical trials have been underway to try to slow the disease progression by injecting a form of the missing genetic material under the retina.




Freund KB, Sarraf D, Mieler WF, Yannuzzi LA. Hereditary chorioretinal dystrophies. In: Freund KB, Sarraf D, Mieler WF, Yannuzzi LA, eds. The Retinal Atlas. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 2.

Grover S, Fishman GA. Choroidal dystrophies. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 6.16.

Klufas MA, Kiss S. Wide-field imaging. In: Schachat AP, Sadda SVR, Hinton DR, Wilkinson CP, Wiedemann P, eds. Ryan's Retina. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 5.

Lam BL, Davis JL, Gregori NZ. Choroideremia gene therapy. Int Ophthalmol Clin. 2021;61(4):185-193. PMID: 34584056.

Yanoff M, Sassani JW. Uvea. In: Yanoff M, Sassani JW, eds. Ocular Pathology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 9.

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  • External and internal eye anatomy

    External and internal eye anatomy


    • External and internal eye anatomy

      External and internal eye anatomy


    Tests for Choroidal dystrophies


      Review Date: 12/9/2021

      Reviewed By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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