April 2019

Gupta A, El-Rami H, Barham R, Fleming A, van Hemert J, Sun JK, Silva PS, Aiello LP. Effect of phase-plate adjustment on retinal image sharpness and visible retinal area on ultrawide field imaging. Eye (Lond) 2019;33(4):587-591.Abstract
BACKGROUND: To evaluate changes in image sharpness across ultrawide field (UWF) images and the effect of phase-plate adjustment on image contrast and extent of visible retinal area (VRA). METHODS: This was a single site evaluation of 200° UWF images acquired with phase-plate adjustment (California, Optos, plc) and without (200TX, Optos, plc). Images were acquired using standardized protocol. VRA was manually outlined on each image and quantified using customized software. Mean image sharpness was evaluated using an automated method within the full VRA of each image and within the peripheral region of the VRA. The VRA and image sharpness were evaluated and compared between the two devices. RESULTS: Twenty eyes of 10 healthy volunteers were evaluated. Devices with and without phase-plate adjustment produced a similar extent of VRA. Eye steering increased VRA in devices with and without phase-plate adjustment by 39.3% and 34.3%, respectively. Regardless of gaze direction, mean sharpness of the full VRA was reduced in peripheral area with or without phase-plate adjustment. Compared to images without phase-plate adjustment, use of phase-plate adjustment reduced the loss of peripheral image sharpness in all fields (-4.2 to -26.0%; p < 0.001 all fields). The sharpness of the peripheral area for on-axis images was 61.5% higher with phase-plate adjustment. CONCLUSIONS: The use of phase-plate adjustment does not alter the extent of VRA. However, for on-axis images the loss of sharpness in the periphery is 4.5-fold less with phase-plate adjustment, potentially reducing the need to steer images and improving lesion detection in these areas.
Chew EY, Clemons TE, Jaffe GJ, Johnson CA, Farsiu S, Lad EM, Guymer R, Rosenfeld P, Hubschman J-P, Constable I, Wiley H, Singerman LJ, Gillies M, Comer G, Blodi B, Eliott D, Yan J, Bird A, Friedlander M, Group MTT 2-PCNTFR2. Effect of Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor on Retinal Neurodegeneration in Patients with Macular Telangiectasia Type 2: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Ophthalmology 2019;126(4):540-549.Abstract
PURPOSE: To test the effects of an encapsulated cell-based delivery of a neuroprotective agent, ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), on progression of macular telangiectasia type 2, a neurodegenerative disease with no proven effective therapy. DESIGN: Randomized sham-controlled clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: Ninety-nine study eyes of 67 eligible participants were enrolled. METHODS: Single-masked randomized clinical trial of 24 months' duration conducted from May 2014 through April 2017 in 11 clinical centers of retinal specialists in the United States and Australia. Participants were randomized 1:1 to surgical implantation of intravitreal sustained delivery of human CNTF versus a sham procedure. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was the difference in the area of neurodegeneration as measured in the area of the ellipsoid zone disruption (or photoreceptor loss) measured on spectral-domain (SD) OCT images at 24 months from baseline between the treated and untreated groups. Secondary outcomes included comparison of visual function changes between treatment groups. RESULTS: Among the 67 participants who were randomized (mean age, 62±8.9 years; 41 women [61%]; 58 white persons [86%]), 65 (97%) completed the study. Two participants (3 study eyes) died and 3 participants (4 eyes) were found ineligible. The eyes receiving sham treatment had 31% greater progression of neurodegeneration than the CNTF-treated eyes. The difference in mean area of photoreceptor loss was 0.05±0.03 mm (P = 0.04) at 24 months. Retinal sensitivity changes, measured using microperimetry, were correlated highly with the changes in the area of photoreceptor loss (r = 0.86; P < 0.0001). The mean retinal sensitivity loss of the sham group was 45% greater than that of the treated group (decrease, 15.81±8.93 dB; P = 0.07). Reading speed deteriorated in the sham group (-13.9 words per minute) with no loss in the treated group (P = 0.02). Serious adverse ocular effects were found in 2 of 51 persons (4%) in the sham group and 2 of 48 persons (4%) in the treated group. CONCLUSIONS: In participants with macular telangiectasia type 2, a surgical implant that released CNTF into the vitreous cavity, compared with a sham procedure, slowed the progression of retinal degeneration. Further research is needed to assess longer-term clinical outcomes and safety.
Totsuka K, Ueta T, Uchida T, Roggia MF, Nakagawa S, Vavvas DG, Honjo M, Aihara M. Oxidative stress induces ferroptotic cell death in retinal pigment epithelial cells. Exp Eye Res 2019;181:316-324.Abstract
The dysfunction and cell death of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells are hallmarks of late-stage dry (atrophic) age-related macular degeneration (AMD), for which no effective therapy has yet been developed. Previous studies have indicated that iron accumulation is a source of excess free radical production in RPE, and age-dependent iron accumulation in RPE is accelerated in patients with dry AMD. Although the pathogenic role of oxidative stress in RPE in the development of dry AMD is widely accepted, the mechanisms of oxidative stress-induced RPE cell death remain elusive. Here, we show that ferroptotic cell death, a mode of regulated necrosis mediated by iron and lipid peroxidation, is implicated in oxidative stress-induced RPE cell death in vitro. In ARPE-19 cells we observed that the ferroptosis inhibitors ferrostatin-1 and deferoxamine (DFO) rescued tert-butyl hydroperoxide (tBH)-induced RPE cell death more effectively than inhibitors of apoptosis or necroptosis. tBH-induced RPE cell death was accompanied by the three characteristics of ferroptotic cell death: lipid peroxidation, glutathione depletion, and ferrous iron accumulation, which were all significantly attenuated by ferrostatin-1 and DFO. Exogenous iron overload enhanced tBH-induced RPE cell death, but this effect was also attenuated by ferrostatin-1 and DFO. Furthermore, mRNA levels of numerous genes known to regulate iron metabolism were observed to be influenced by oxidative stress. Taken together, our observations suggest that multiple modes of cell death are involved in oxidative stress-induced RPE cell death, with ferroptosis playing a particularly important role.
Liu Y, Rajamanickam VP, Parikh RS, Loomis SJ, Kloek CE, Kim LA, Hitchmoth DL, Song BJ, Xerras DC, Pasquale LR. Diabetic Retinopathy Assessment Variability Among Eye Care Providers in an Urban Teleophthalmology Program. Telemed J E Health 2019;25(4):301-308.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Teleophthalmology is an evidence-based method for diabetic eye screening. It is unclear whether the type of eye care provider performing teleophthalmology interpretation produces significant variability. INTRODUCTION: We assessed grading variability between an optometrist, general ophthalmologist, and retinal specialist using images from an urban, diabetic retinopathy teleophthalmology program. METHODS: Three readers evaluated digital retinal images in 100 cases (178 eyes from 90 patients with type 2 diabetes). Fisher's exact test, percent agreement, and the observed proportion of positive (P) or negative agreement (P) were used to assess variability. RESULTS: Among cases deemed gradable by all three readers (n = 65), there was substantial agreement on absence of any retinopathy (88% ± 4.6%, P = 0.91-0.95), presence of moderate nonproliferative or worse retinopathy (87% ± 3.9%, P = 0.67-1.00), and presence of macular edema (99% ± 0.9%, P = 0.67-1.00). There was limited agreement regarding presence of referable nondiabetic eye pathology (61% ± 11%, P = 0.21-0.59) and early, nonroutine referral for a follow-up clinical eye exam (66% ± 8.1%, P = 0.19-0.54). Among all cases (n = 100), there was acceptable agreement regarding which had gradable images (77% ± 5.0%, P = 0.50-0.90). DISCUSSION: Inclusion of multiple types of eye care providers as teleophthalmology readers is unlikely to produce significant variability in the assessment of diabetic retinopathy among high-quality images. Greater variability was found regarding image gradability, nondiabetic eye pathology, and recommended clinical referral times. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that more extensive training and uniform referral standards are needed to improve consensus on image gradability, referable nondiabetic eye pathology, and recommended clinical referral times.

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