Francesco Testa

Professor of Ophtalmology

Name Francesco
Surname Testa
Institution Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
E-Mail francesco.testa@unicampania.it
Address Eye Clinic, Multidisciplinary Department of Medical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy

Member PUBLICATIONS

  • Usher syndrome and color vision.

    Publication Date: 17/07/2018 on Current eye research
    by Kurtenbach A, Hahn G, Kernstock C, Hipp S, Zobor D, Stingl K, Kohl S, Bonnet C, Mohand-Saïd S, Sliesoraityte I, Sahel JA, Audo I, Fakin A, Hawlina M, Testa F, Simonelli F, Petit C, Zrenner E
    DOI: 10.1080/02713683.2018.1501804

    Purpose The aim of this study is to report on the results of color vision testing in a European cohort of patients with Usher syndrome (USH). We describe the results in relation to Usher type (USH1, USH2), age and visual acuity. Methods and Methods The color vision of 220 genetically confirmed adult USH patients, aged 18-70 years, was analyzed with one of 3 methods: the Farnsworth D-15 Dichotomous test (D-15) along with the Lanthony desaturated 15 Hue tests (D-15d), the Roth 28-Hue test, or the Ishihara 14-plate test. Visual acuity was measured with either the ETDRS or the SNELLEN charts. The Confusion index, the Selectivity index and the Confusion angle were calculated for the panel tests and used for analysis. The number of plates that could not be read were analyzed for the Ishihara test. Results For the panel tests, the degree of color loss (Confusion index) is similar in both subtypes of USH, but the polarization of error scores (Selectivity index) is significantly lower in USH1 than USH2, showing more diffuse errors than those found in USH2. There is no significant correlation between logMAR visual acuity and the Confusion or the Selectivity indices. Additionally, we find a significant correlation between patient age and the degree and the polarity of the loss only in USH2. There was no difference between USH1 and USH2 in the results of the Ishihara test. Conclusions The examination of color vision in patients with USH, shows a significant difference in the pattern of color vision loss in USH1 and USH2 patients, but not in the severity of the loss. In USH2 we find a correlation between patient age and the degree and the polarity of the loss. These results may be due to differences in the pathogenesis of retinal dystrophy in USH1 and USH2.

  • ASSOCIATION BETWEEN GENOTYPE AND DISEASE PROGRESSION IN ITALIAN STARGARDT PATIENTS: A Retrospective Natural History Study.

    Publication Date: 10/04/2018 on Retina (Philadelphia, Pa.)
    by Di Iorio V, Orrico A, Esposito G, Melillo P, Rossi S, Sbordone S, Auricchio A, Testa F, Simonelli F
    DOI: 10.1097/IAE.0000000000002151

    To investigate the natural history of Stargardt disease over a multiyear follow-up.

  • Visual Cortex Activation in Patients With Stargardt Disease.

    Publication Date: 01/03/2018 on Investigative ophthalmology & visual science
    by Melillo P, Prinster A, Di Iorio V, Olivo G, D'Alterio FM, Cocozza S, Orrico A, Quarantelli M, Testa F, Brunetti A, Simonelli F
    DOI: 10.1167/iovs.17-22900

    Primary visual cortex (PVC) contains a retinotopic map in which the central visual field (CVF) is highly magnified compared to the peripheral field. Several studies have used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in patients with macular degeneration to assess the reorganization of visual processing in relationship with the development of extrafoveal preferred retinal locus (PRL). We evaluated the functional response in PVC and its correlation with retinal parameters in patients with Stargardt disease due to ABCA4 mutations (STGD1).

  • Autosomal dominant myopia associated to a novel P4HA2 missense variant and defective collagen hydroxylation.

    Publication Date: 24/01/2018 on Clinical genetics
    by Napolitano F, Di Iorio V, Testa F, Tirozzi A, Reccia MG, Lombardi L, Farina O, Simonelli F, Gianfrancesco F, Di Iorio G, Melone MAB, Esposito T, Sampaolo S
    DOI: 10.1111/cge.13217

    We recently described a complex multisystem syndrome in which mild-moderate myopia segregated as an independent trait. A plethora of genes has been related to sporadic and familial myopia. More recently, in Chinese patients severe myopia (MYP25, OMIM:617238) has been linked to mutations in P4HA2 gene. Seven family members complaining of reduced distance vision especially at dusk underwent complete ophthalmological examination. Whole exome sequencing was performed to identify the gene responsible for myopia in the pedigree. Moderate myopia was diagnosed in the family which was associated to the novel missense variant c.1147A>G p.(Lys383Glu) in the prolyl 4-hydroxylase,alpha-polypeptide 2 (P4HA2) gene, which catalyzes the formation of 4-hydroxyproline residues in the collagen strands. In vitro studies demonstrated P4HA2 mRNA and protein reduced expression level as well as decreased collagen hydroxylation and deposition in mutated fibroblast primary cultures compared to healthy cell lines. This study suggests that P4HA2 mutations may lead to myopic axial elongation of eyeball as a consequence of quantitative and structural alterations of collagen. This is the first confirmatory study which associates a novel dominant missense variant in P4HA2 with myopia in Caucasian patients. Further studies in larger cohorts are advisable to fully clarify genotype-phenotype correlations.

  • Clinical and Genetic Evaluation of a Cohort of Pediatric Patients with Severe Inherited Retinal Dystrophies.

    Publication Date: 20/10/2017 on Genes
    by Di Iorio V, Karali M, Brunetti-Pierri R, Filippelli M, Di Fruscio G, Pizzo M, Mutarelli M, Nigro V, Testa F, Banfi S, Simonelli F
    DOI: 10.3390/genes8100280

    We performed a clinical and genetic characterization of a pediatric cohort of patients with inherited retinal dystrophy (IRD) to identify the most suitable cases for gene therapy. The cohort comprised 43 patients, aged between 2 and 18 years, with severe isolated IRD at the time of presentation. The ophthalmological characterization also included assessment of the photoreceptor layer integrity in the macular region (ellipsoid zone (EZ) band). In parallel, we carried out a targeted, next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based analysis using a panel that covers over 150 genes with either an established or a candidate role in IRD pathogenesis. Based on the ophthalmological assessment, the cohort was composed of 24 Leber congenital amaurosis, 14 early onset retinitis pigmentosa, and 5 achromatopsia patients. We identified causative mutations in 58.1% of the cases. We also found novel genotype-phenotype correlations in patients harboring mutations in the CEP290 and CNGB3 genes. The EZ band was detectable in 40% of the analyzed cases, also in patients with genotypes usually associated with severe clinical manifestations. This study provides the first detailed clinical-genetic assessment of severe IRDs with infantile onset and lays the foundation of a standardized protocol for the selection of patients that are more likely to benefit from gene replacement therapeutic approaches.

  • Prevalence of macular abnormalities assessed by optical coherence tomography in patients with Usher syndrome.

    Publication Date: 13/07/2017 on Ophthalmic genetics
    by Testa F, Melillo P, Rossi S, Marcelli V, de Benedictis A, Colucci R, Gallo B, Brunetti-Pierri R, Donati S, Azzolini C, Marciano E, Simonelli F
    DOI: 10.1080/13816810.2017.1329445

    To investigate the prevalence of macular abnormalities in patients affected by Usher syndrome (USH), by comparing the clinical findings between two types (i.e., USH1 and USH2).

  • Multilayer microstructure of idiopathic epiretinal macular membranes.

    Publication Date: 19/05/2017 on European journal of ophthalmology
    by Azzolini C, Congiu T, Donati S, Passi A, Basso P, Piantanida E, Mariotti C, Testa F, Caprani SM, Cattaneo J, Vinciguerra R
    DOI: 10.5301/ejo.5000982

    To identify the ultramicroscopic structure of idiopathic epiretinal macular membranes (iEMMs) by scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

  • Wearable Improved Vision System for Color Vision Deficiency Correction.

    Publication Date: 02/05/2017 on IEEE journal of translational engineering in health and medicine
    by Melillo P, Riccio D, Di Perna L, Sanniti Di Baja G, De Nino M, Rossi S, Testa F, Simonelli F, Frucci M
    DOI: 10.1109/JTEHM.2017.2679746

    Color vision deficiency (CVD) is an extremely frequent vision impairment that compromises the ability to recognize colors. In order to improve color vision in a subject with CVD, we designed and developed a wearable improved vision system based on an augmented reality device. The system was validated in a clinical pilot study on 24 subjects with CVD (18 males and 6 females, aged 37.4 ± 14.2 years). The primary outcome was the improvement in the Ishihara Vision Test score with the correction proposed by our system. The Ishihara test score significantly improved ([Formula: see text]) from 5.8 ± 3.0 without correction to 14.8 ± 5.0 with correction. Almost all patients showed an improvement in color vision, as shown by the increased test scores. Moreover, with our system, 12 subjects (50%) passed the vision color test as normal vision subjects. The development and preliminary validation of the proposed platform confirm that a wearable augmented-reality device could be an effective aid to improve color vision in subjects with CVD.

  • Mutations in the PCYT1A gene are responsible for isolated forms of retinal dystrophy.

    Publication Date: 01/05/2017 on European journal of human genetics : EJHG
    by Testa F, Filippelli M, Brunetti-Pierri R, Di Fruscio G, Di Iorio V, Pizzo M, Torella A, Barillari MR, Nigro V, Brunetti-Pierri N, Simonelli F, Banfi S
    DOI: 10.1038/ejhg.2017.23

    Mutations in the PCYT1A gene have been recently linked to two different phenotypes: one characterized by spondylometaphyseal dysplasia and cone-rod dystrophy (SMD-CRD) and the other by congenital lipodystrophy, severe fatty liver disease, and reduced HDL cholesterol without any retinal or skeletal involvement. Here, we identified, by next generation sequencing, sequence variants affecting function in the PCYT1A gene in three young patients with isolated retinal dystrophy from two different Italian families. A thorough clinical evaluation of the patients, with whole skeleton X-ray, metabolic assessment and liver ultrasound failed to reveal signs of skeletal dysplasia, metabolic and hepatic alterations. This is the first report showing that the PCYT1A gene can be responsible for isolated forms of retinal dystrophy, particularly without any skeletal involvement, thus further expanding the phenotypic spectrum induced by mutations in this gene.

  • Identifying fallers among ophthalmic patients using classification tree methodology.

    Publication Date: 23/03/2017 on PloS one
    by Melillo P, Orrico A, Chirico F, Pecchia L, Rossi S, Testa F, Simonelli F
    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0174083

    To develop and validate a tool aiming to support ophthalmologists in identifying, during routine ophthalmologic visits, patients at higher risk of falling in the following year.