April 2020

Inomata T, Iwagami M, Nakamura M, Shiang T, Fujimoto K, Okumura Y, Iwata N, Fujio K, Hiratsuka Y, Hori S, Tsubota K, Dana R, Murakami A. Association between dry eye and depressive symptoms: Large-scale crowdsourced research using the DryEyeRhythm iPhone application. Ocul Surf 2020;18(2):312-319.Abstract
PURPOSE: Dry eye (DE) disease and depression are increasing in modern times. We investigated the association between DE and depressive symptoms using the iPhone application, DryEyeRhythm. METHODS: This large-scale crowdsourced observational study was conducted within iPhone users in Japan who downloaded DryEyeRhythm. Participants with a Zung Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) score ≥ 40 were defined as having depressive symptoms, and those with an Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) score ≥ 13 were defined as having DE symptoms (mild, 13-22; moderate, 23-32; and severe, 33-100). We compared SDS scores between participants with normal eye and mild, moderate, and severe OSDI-based DE symptoms. Logistic regression analyses were used to determine the association between DE severity and depressive symptoms after adjustment for demographic characteristics, medical history, and lifestyle habits. RESULTS: This study included 4454 participants (mean age, 27.9 ± 12.6 years; female, 66.7%). Participants with SDS scores ≥40 accounted for 58.2%, 70.9%, 79.4%, and 85.0% of normal controls and participants with mild, moderate, and severe DE symptoms, respectively (P trend < 0.001). The adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence interval) for depressive symptoms (SDS score of ≥40) were 1.62 (1.35-1.95) for mild, 2.39 (1.92-2.97) for moderate, and 3.29 (2.70-4.00) for severe DE symptoms. CONCLUSION: This large-scale crowdsourced clinical study using DryEyeRhythm suggests that depressive symptoms are more common in individuals with more severe DE symptoms. DryEyeRhythm could play a role in earlier prevention or future prospective interventions for depressive symptoms in individuals with DE symptoms.
Chen EM, Cox JT, Begaj T, Armstrong GW, Khurana RN, Parikh R. Private Equity in Ophthalmology and Optometry: Analysis of Acquisitions from 2012 through 2019 in the United States. Ophthalmology 2020;127(4):445-455.Abstract
PURPOSE: To identify temporal and geographic trends in private equity (PE)-backed acquisitions of ophthalmology and optometry practices in the United States. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study using private equity acquisition and investment data from January 1, 2012, through October 20, 2019. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 228 PE acquisitions of ophthalmology and optometry practices in the United States between 2012 and 2019. METHODS: Acquisition and financial investment data were compiled from 6 financial databases, 4 industry news outlets, and publicly available press releases from PE firms or platform companies. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Yearly trends in ophthalmology and optometry acquisitions, including number of total acquisitions, clinical locations, and providers of acquired practices as well as subsequent sales, median holding period, geographic footprint, and financing status of each platform company. RESULTS: A total of 228 practices associated with 1466 clinical locations and 2146 ophthalmologists or optometrists were acquired by 29 PE-backed platform companies. Of these acquisitions, 127, 9, and 92 were comprehensive or multispecialty, retina, and optometry practices, respectively. Acquisitions increased rapidly between 2012 and 2019: 42 practices were acquired between 2012 and 2016 compared to 186 from 2017 through 2019. Financing rounds of platform companies paralleled temporal acquisition trends. Three platform companies, comprising 60% of platforms formed before 2016, were subsequently sold or recapitalized to new PE investors by the end of this study period with a median holding period of 3.5 years. In terms of geographic distribution, acquisitions occurred in 40 states with most PE firms developing multistate platform companies. New York and California were the 2 states with the greatest number of PE acquisitions with 22 and 19, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Private equity-backed acquisitions of ophthalmology and optometry practices have increased rapidly since 2012, with some platform companies having already been sold or recapitalized to new investors. Additionally, private equity-backed platform companies have developed both regionally focused and multistate models of add-on acquisitions. Future research should assess the impact of PE investment on patient, provider, and practice metrics, including health outcomes, expenditures, procedural volume, and staff employment.
Hysi PG, Choquet H, Khawaja AP, Wojciechowski R, Tedja MS, Yin J, Simcoe MJ, Patasova K, Mahroo OA, Thai KK, Cumberland PM, Melles RB, Verhoeven VJM, Vitart V, Segre A, Stone RA, Wareham N, Hewitt AW, Mackey DA, Klaver CCW, Macgregor S, for and Myopia CRE, Khaw PT, Foster PJ, and Consortium UKEV, Guggenheim JA, Guggenheim JA, Rahi JS, Jorgenson E, Hammond CJ. Meta-analysis of 542,934 subjects of European ancestry identifies new genes and mechanisms predisposing to refractive error and myopia. Nat Genet 2020;52(4):401-407.Abstract
Refractive errors, in particular myopia, are a leading cause of morbidity and disability worldwide. Genetic investigation can improve understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie abnormal eye development and impaired vision. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) that involved 542,934 European participants and identified 336 novel genetic loci associated with refractive error. Collectively, all associated genetic variants explain 18.4% of heritability and improve the accuracy of myopia prediction (area under the curve (AUC) = 0.75). Our results suggest that refractive error is genetically heterogeneous, driven by genes that participate in the development of every anatomical component of the eye. In addition, our analyses suggest that genetic factors controlling circadian rhythm and pigmentation are also involved in the development of myopia and refractive error. These results may enable the prediction of refractive error and the development of personalized myopia prevention strategies in the future.
Lu X, Kugadas A, Smith-Page K, Lamb J, Lin T, Ru Y, Morley SC, Fichorova R, Mittal SK, Chauhan SK, Littleton S, Saban D, Gadjeva M. Neutrophil L-Plastin Controls Ocular Paucibacteriality and Susceptibility to Keratitis. Front Immunol 2020;11:547.Abstract
Why ocular mucosa is paucibacterial is unknown. Many different mechanisms have been suggested but the comprehensive experimental studies are sparse. We found that a deficiency in L-plastin (LCP1), an actin bundling protein, resulted in an ocular commensal overgrowth, characterized with increased presence of conjunctival spp. The commensal overgrowth correlated with susceptibility to -induced keratitis. L-plastin knock-out (KO) mice displayed elevated bacterial burden in the -infected corneas, altered inflammatory responses, and compromised bactericidal activity. Mice with ablation of LPL under the LysM Cre ( ) and S100A8 Cre ( ) promoters had a similar phenotype to the LPL KOs mice. In contrast, infected mice did not display elevated susceptibility to infection, implicating the myeloid L-plastin-sufficient cells (e.g., macrophages and neutrophils) in maintaining ocular homeostasis. Mechanistically, the elevated commensal burden and the susceptibility to infection were linked to defects in neutrophil frequencies at steady state and during infection and compromised bactericidal activities upon priming. Macrophage exposure to commensal organisms primed neutrophil responses to , augmenting PMN bactericidal capacity in an L-plastin dependent manner. Cumulatively, our data highlight the importance of neutrophils in controlling ocular paucibacteriality, reveal molecular and cellular events involved in the process, and suggest a link between commensal exposure and resistance to infection.
Wallace DK, Kraker RT, Freedman SF, Crouch ER, Bhatt AR, Hartnett EM, Yang MB, Rogers DL, Hutchinson AK, VanderVeen DK, Haider KM, Siatkowski MR, Dean TW, Beck RW, Repka MX, Smith LE, Good WV, Kong L, Cotter SA, Holmes JM, Holmes JM. Short-term Outcomes After Very Low-Dose Intravitreous Bevacizumab for Retinopathy of Prematurity. JAMA Ophthalmol 2020;Abstract
Importance: Intravitreous bevacizumab (0.25 mg to 0.625 mg) is commonly used to treat type 1 retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), but there are concerns about systemic toxicity, particularly the risk of neurodevelopmental delay. A much lower dose may be effective for ROP while reducing systemic risk. Previously, after testing doses of 0.25 mg to 0.031 mg, doses as low as 0.031 mg were found to be effective in small cohorts of infants. Objective: To find the lowest dose of intravitreous bevacizumab effective for severe ROP. Design, Setting, and Participants: Between April 2017 and May 2019, 59 premature infants with type 1 ROP in 1 or both eyes were enrolled in a masked, multicenter, dose de-escalation study. In cohorts of 10 to 14 infants, 1 eye per infant received 0.016 mg, 0.008 mg, 0.004 mg, or 0.002 mg of intravitreous bevacizumab. Diluted bevacizumab was prepared by individual research pharmacies and delivered using 300-µL syringes with 5/16-inch, 30-guage fixed needles. Analysis began July 2019. Interventions: Bevacizumab intravitreous injections at 0.016 mg, 0.008 mg, 0.004 mg, or 0.002 mg. Main Outcomes and Measures: Success was defined as improvement by 4 days postinjection and no recurrence of type 1 ROP or severe neovascularization requiring additional treatment within 4 weeks. Results: Fifty-five of 59 enrolled infants had 4-week outcomes completed; the mean (SD) birth weight was 664 (258) g, and the mean (SD) gestational age was 24.8 (1.6) weeks. A successful 4-week outcome was achieved for 13 of 13 eyes (100%) receiving 0.016 mg, 9 of 9 eyes (100%) receiving 0.008 mg, 9 of 10 eyes (90%) receiving 0.004 mg, but only 17 of 23 eyes (74%) receiving 0.002 mg. Conclusions and Relevance: These data suggest that 0.004 mg may be the lowest dose of bevacizumab effective for ROP. Further investigation is warranted to confirm effectiveness of very low-dose intravitreous bevacizumab and its effect on plasma vascular endothelial growth factor levels and peripheral retinal vascularization.
Vujosevic S, Aldington SJ, Silva P, Hernández C, Scanlon P, Peto T, Simó R. Screening for diabetic retinopathy: new perspectives and challenges. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2020;8(4):337-347.Abstract
Although the prevalence of all stages of diabetic retinopathy has been declining since 1980 in populations with improved diabetes control, the crude prevalence of visual impairment and blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy worldwide increased between 1990 and 2015, largely because of the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes, particularly in low-income and middle-income countries. Screening for diabetic retinopathy is essential to detect referable cases that need timely full ophthalmic examination and treatment to avoid permanent visual loss. In the past few years, personalised screening intervals that take into account several risk factors have been proposed, with good cost-effectiveness ratios. However, resources for nationwide screening programmes are scarce in many countries. New technologies, such as scanning confocal ophthalmology with ultrawide field imaging and handheld mobile devices, teleophthalmology for remote grading, and artificial intelligence for automated detection and classification of diabetic retinopathy, are changing screening strategies and improving cost-effectiveness. Additionally, emerging evidence suggests that retinal imaging could be useful for identifying individuals at risk of cardiovascular disease or cognitive impairment, which could expand the role of diabetic retinopathy screening beyond the prevention of sight-threatening disease.
Orts-Vila P, Amparo F, Rodríguez-Prats JL, Tañá-Rivero P. Alport Syndrome and Femtosecond Laser-assisted Cataract Surgery. J Ophthalmic Vis Res 2020;15(2):264-269.Abstract
We report the surgical management of a patient with bilateral anterior lenticonus due to Alport syndrome using femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS) and the Optiwave Refractive Analysis (ORA) system. A 38-year-old man with Alport syndrome presented to our department with visual loss due to anterior lenticonus in both eyes. Adjustments during bilateral FLACS were performed with the software's calipers to manually delineate the anterior capsulotomy. Multifocal toric intraocular lenses (IOLs) were selected and placed in the posterior chamber with the aid of intraoperative aberrometry. The intended postoperative positioning parameters for the IOL as well as the planned visual acuity and refraction were achieved. The implementation of FLACS and intraoperative wavefront aberrometry is a safe and useful surgical approach for the management of cataract in challenging cases such as patients with anterior lenticonus due to Alport syndrome.
Bothun ED, Wilson EM, VanderVeen DK, Plager DA, Freedman SF, Trivedi RH, Traboulsi EI, Anderson JS, Loh AR, Yen KG, Weil NC, Morrison D, Lambert SR. Outcomes of Bilateral Cataracts Removed in Infants 1 to 7 Months of Age Using the Toddler Aphakia and Pseudophakia Treatment Study Registry. Ophthalmology 2020;127(4):501-510.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate outcomes of bilateral cataract surgery in infants 1 to 7 months of age performed by Infant Aphakia Treatment Study (IATS) investigators during IATS recruitment and to compare them with IATS unilateral outcomes. DESIGN: Retrospective case series review at 10 IATS sites. PARTICIPANTS: The Toddler Aphakia and Pseudophakia Study (TAPS) is a registry of children treated by surgeons who participated in the IATS. METHODS: Children underwent bilateral cataract surgery with or without intraocular lens (IOL) placement during IATS enrollment years 2004 through 2010. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Visual acuity (VA), strabismus, adverse events (AEs), and reoperations. RESULTS: One hundred seventy-eight eyes (96 children) were identified with a median age of 2.5 months (range, 1-7 months) at the time of cataract surgery. Forty-two eyes (24%) received primary IOL implantation. Median VA of the better-seeing eye at final study visit closest to 5 years of age with optotype VA testing was 0.35 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR; optotype equivalent, 20/45; range, 0.00-1.18 logMAR) in both aphakic and pseudophakic children. Corrected VA was excellent (<20/40) in 29% of better-seeing eyes, 15% of worse-seeing eyes. One percent showed poor acuity (≥20/200) in the better-seeing eye, 12% in the worse-seeing eye. Younger age at surgery and smaller (<9.5 mm) corneal diameter at surgery conferred an increased risk for glaucoma or glaucoma suspect designation (younger age: odds ratio [OR], 1.44; P = 0.037; and smaller cornea: OR, 3.95; P = 0.045). Adverse events also were associated with these 2 variables on multivariate analysis (younger age: OR, 1.36; P = 0.023; and smaller cornea: OR, 4.78; P = 0.057). Visual axis opacification was more common in pseudophakic (32%) than aphakic (8%) eyes (P = 0.009). Unplanned intraocular reoperation occurred in 28% of first enrolled eyes (including glaucoma surgery in 10%). CONCLUSIONS: Visual acuity after bilateral cataract surgery in infants younger than 7 months is good, despite frequent systemic and ocular comorbidities. Although aphakia management did not affect VA outcome or AE incidence, IOL placement increased the risk of visual axis opacification. Adverse events and glaucoma correlated with a younger age at surgery and glaucoma correlated with the presence of microcornea.
Agrawal R, Testi I, Mahajan S, Yuen YS, Agarwal A, Rousselot A, Raje D, Gunasekeran DV, Kon OM, Barisani-Asenbauer T, Kempen JH, Gupta A, Jabs DA, Smith JR, Bodaghi B, Zierhut M, DeSmet M, McCluskey P, Agarwal M, Agarwal M, Aggarwal K, Agrawal M, Al-Dhibi H, Androudi S, Asyari F, Balasundaram MB, Murthy KB, Baglivo E, Banker A, Bansal R, Basu S, Behera D, Biswas J, Carreño E, Caspers L, Chee SP, Chhabra R, Cimino L, Del Rio LEC, Cunningham ET, Curi ALL, Das D, Denisova E, Denniston AK, Errera M-H, Fonollosa A, George A, Goldstein DA, Crosier YG, Gurbaxani A, Invernizzi A, Isa HM, Md Islam S, Jones N, Katoch D, Khairallah M, Khosla A, Kramer M, Kumar A, Kumar A, Distia Nora RL, Lee R, Lowder C, Luthra S, Mahendradas P, Makhoul D, Mazumdar S, Mehta S, Miserocchi E, Mochizuki M, Mohamed OS, Muccioli C, Munk MR, Murthy S, Narain S, Nascimento H, Neri P, Nguyen M, Okada AA, Ozdal P, Palestine A, Pichi F, Rathinam SR, Schlaen A, Sehgal S, Sen NH, Sharma A, Sharma K, Shoughy SS, Singh N, Singh R, Soheilian M, Sridharan S, Thorne JE, Tappeiner C, Teoh S, Tognon MS, Tugal-Tutkun I, Tyagi M, Uy H, Santos DVV, Valentincic NV, Westcott M, Yanai R, Alvarez BY, Zahedur R, Nguyen QD, Pavesio C, Gupta V. The Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS) Consensus (CON) Group Meeting Proceedings. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-11.Abstract
An international, expert led consensus initiative was set up by the Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS) group to develop systematic, evidence, and experience-based recommendations for the treatment of ocular TB using a modified Delphi technique process. In the first round of Delphi, the group identified clinical scenarios pertinent to ocular TB based on five clinical phenotypes (anterior uveitis, intermediate uveitis, choroiditis, retinal vasculitis, and panuveitis). Using an interactive online questionnaires, guided by background knowledge from published literature, 486 consensus statements for initiating ATT were generated and deliberated amongst 81 global uveitis experts. The median score of five was considered reaching consensus for initiating ATT. The median score of four was tabled for deliberation through Delphi round 2 in a face-to-face meeting. This report describes the methodology adopted and followed through the consensus process, which help elucidate the guidelines for initiating ATT in patients with choroidal TB.

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