Oral treatment with 9-cis beta-carotene markedly improved retinal function in patients with retinitis pigmentosa, according to a study.
The randomized clinical trial included 29 patients who underwent a 90-day regimen of four daily capsules of 300-mg 9-cis β-carotene-rich alga D bardawil (β-carotene powder, approximately 20 mg) or a placebo comprising starch powder.
A 90-day washout period followed treatment; crossover treatment was administered for 90 days.
Investigators evaluated changes in dark-adapted maximal electroretinographic b-wave amplitude from baseline, light-adapted maximal b-wave amplitude, dark- and light-adapted visual fields and best corrected visual acuity (BCVA).
Mean change in dark-adapted maximal b-wave amplitude from baseline was +8.4. μV in the study group and –5.9 μV in the placebo group. The between-group difference was statistically significant (P = .001).
Maximal b-wave amplitude increased by more than 10 μV in both eyes of 10 patients in the study group and no patients in the placebo group.
Both groups had similar visual fields and BCVA.
A larger clinical trial is needed to determine the appropriate regimen, the study authors said.
Disclosure: See the study for a full list of all authors’ relevant financial disclosures.