Foveal Cone Structure in Patients With Blue Cone Monochromacy

Emily J. Patterson, Angelos Kalitzeos, Thomas M. Kane, Navjit Singh, Joseph Kreis, Mark E. Pennesi, Alison J. Hardcastle, Jay Neitz, Maureen Neitz, Michel Michaelides, Joseph Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. Blue cone monochromacy (BCM) is a rare inherited cone disorder in which both long- (L-) and middle- (M-) wavelength sensitive cone classes are either impaired or nonfunctional. Assessing genotype-phenotype relationships in BCM can improve our understanding of retinal development in the absence of functional L- and M-cones. Here we examined foveal cone structure in patients with genetically-confirmed BCM, using adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO). METHODS. Twenty-three male patients (aged 6-75 years) with genetically-confirmed BCM were recruited for high-resolution imaging. Eight patients had a deletion of the locus control region (LCR), and 15 had a missense mutation-Cys203Arg-affecting the first two genes in the opsin gene array. Foveal cone structure was assessed using confocal and non-confocal split-detection AOSLO across a 300 × 300 μm area, centered on the location of peak cell density. RESULTS. Only one of eight patients with LCR deletions and 10 of 15 patients with Cys203Arg mutations had analyzable images. Mean total cone density for Cys203Arg patients was 16,664 ± 11,513 cones/mm2 (n = 10), which is, on average, around 40% of normal. Waveguiding cone density was 2073 ± 963 cones/mm2 (n = 9), which was consistent with published histological estimates of S-cone density in the normal eye. The one patient with an LCR deletion had a total cone density of 10,246 cones/mm2 and waveguiding density of 1535 cones/mm2. CONCLUSIONS. Our results show that BCM patients with LCR deletions and Cys203Arg mutations have a population of non-waveguiding photoreceptors, although the spectral identity and level of function remain unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number23
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • S-cone
  • adaptive optics
  • blue cone monochromacy
  • opsin
  • wave guiding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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