Taylor & Francis
School of Science
Background: To establish the proportion of patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) meeting the Australian fitness to drive (FTD) visual standards. Methodology: A prospective consecutive case series of patients with a clinical or genetic diagnosis of RP. Data on age at symptom onset, current driving status, inheritance pattern, better eye visual acuity (BEVA), binocular Esterman visual field (BEVF) parameters, genotype and ability to meet the driving standards based on BEVA and BEVF were collected. Outcome measures included the proportion of RP patients overall meeting the standards and clinical predictors for passing. A sub-analysis was performed on those RP patients who reported to drive. Change in BEVA and BEVF parameters across age in specific genotype groups was assessed. Results: Overall, 228 patients with RP had a BEVF assessment. Only 39% (89/228) met the driving standards. Younger age at the time of testing was the only significant predictor (p < 0.01) for passing. Of the 55% of RP patients who reported to drive, 52% (65/125) met the standards, decreasing to 14% in the 56- to 65-year-old age group. RP patients harbouring mutations in HK1 or RHO genes may have slower rates of decline in their VF parameters. Conclusion: Nearly 40% of RP patients met the driving standards. However, almost 50% of RP drivers were unaware of their failure to meet the current standards. BEVF testing is essential in the assessment of RP patients who are still driving. Phenotype and genotype predictors for passing the standards warrant further investigation. Abbreviation: FTD, fitness to drive; IRD, inherited retinal disease; RP, retinitis pigmentosa; RHO, rhodopsin; HK1, hexokinase 1; PRPF31 pre-mRNA processing factor 31; RPGR, retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator; VF, visual field; BEVA, better eye visual acuity; BEVF, binocular Esterman visual field.
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