April 2020

Horton MB, Brady CJ, Cavallerano J, Abramoff M, Barker G, Chiang MF, Crockett CH, Garg S, Karth P, Liu Y, Newman CD, Rathi S, Sheth V, Silva P, Stebbins K, Zimmer-Galler I. Practice Guidelines for Ocular Telehealth-Diabetic Retinopathy, Third Edition. Telemed J E Health 2020;26(4):495-543.Abstract
Contributors The following document and appendices represent the third edition of the . These guidelines were developed by the Diabetic Retinopathy Telehealth Practice Guidelines Working Group. This working group consisted of a large number of subject matter experts in clinical applications for telehealth in ophthalmology. The editorial committee consisted of Mark B. Horton, OD, MD, who served as working group chair and Christopher J. Brady, MD, MHS, and Jerry Cavallerano, OD, PhD, who served as cochairs. The writing committees were separated into seven different categories. They are as follows: 1.Clinical/operational: Jerry Cavallerano, OD, PhD (Chair), Gail Barker, PhD, MBA, Christopher J. Brady, MD, MHS, Yao Liu, MD, MS, Siddarth Rathi, MD, MBA, Veeral Sheth, MD, MBA, Paolo Silva, MD, and Ingrid Zimmer-Galler, MD. 2.Equipment: Veeral Sheth, MD (Chair), Mark B. Horton, OD, MD, Siddarth Rathi, MD, MBA, Paolo Silva, MD, and Kristen Stebbins, MSPH. 3.Quality assurance: Mark B. Horton, OD, MD (Chair), Seema Garg, MD, PhD, Yao Liu, MD, MS, and Ingrid Zimmer-Galler, MD. 4.Glaucoma: Yao Liu, MD, MS (Chair) and Siddarth Rathi, MD, MBA. 5.Retinopathy of prematurity: Christopher J. Brady, MD, MHS (Chair) and Ingrid Zimmer-Galler, MD. 6.Age-related macular degeneration: Christopher J. Brady, MD, MHS (Chair) and Ingrid Zimmer-Galler, MD. 7.Autonomous and computer assisted detection, classification and diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy: Michael Abramoff, MD, PhD (Chair), Michael F. Chiang, MD, and Paolo Silva, MD.
Bronstein R, Capowski EE, Mehrotra S, Jansen AD, Navarro-Gomez D, Maher M, Place E, Sangermano R, Bujakowska KM, Gamm DM, Pierce EA. A combined RNA-seq and whole genome sequencing approach for identification of non-coding pathogenic variants in single families. Hum Mol Genet 2020;29(6):967-979.Abstract
Inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs) are at the focus of current genetic therapeutic advancements. For a genetic treatment such as gene therapy to be successful, an accurate genetic diagnostic is required. Genetic diagnostics relies on the assessment of the probability that a given DNA variant is pathogenic. Non-coding variants present a unique challenge for such assessments as compared to coding variants. For one, non-coding variants are present at much higher number in the genome than coding variants. In addition, our understanding of the rules that govern the non-coding regions of the genome is less complete than our understanding of the coding regions. Methods that allow for both the identification of candidate non-coding pathogenic variants and their functional validation may help overcome these caveats allowing for a greater number of patients to benefit from advancements in genetic therapeutics. We present here an unbiased approach combining whole genome sequencing (WGS) with patient-induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived retinal organoids (ROs) transcriptome analysis. With this approach, we identified and functionally validated a novel pathogenic non-coding variant in a small family with a previously unresolved genetic diagnosis.
Jamali A, Harris DL, Blanco T, Lopez MJ, Hamrah P. Resident plasmacytoid dendritic cells patrol vessels in the naïve limbus and conjunctiva. Ocul Surf 2020;18(2):277-285.Abstract
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) constitute a unique population of bone marrow-derived cells that play a pivotal role in linking innate and adaptive immune responses. While peripheral tissues are typically devoid of pDCs during steady state, few tissues do host resident pDCs. In the current study, we aim to assess presence and distribution of pDCs in naïve murine limbus and bulbar conjunctiva. Immunofluorescence staining followed by confocal microscopy revealed that the naïve bulbar conjunctiva of wild-type mice hosts CD45 CD11c PDCA-1 pDCs. Flow cytometry confirmed the presence of resident pDCs in the bulbar conjunctiva through multiple additional markers, and showed that they express maturation markers, the T cell co-inhibitory molecules PD-L1 and B7-H3, and minor to negligible levels of T cell co-stimulatory molecules CD40, CD86, and ICAM-1. Epi-fluorescent microscopy of DPE-GFP×RAG1 transgenic mice with GFP-tagged pDCs indicated lower density of pDCs in the bulbar conjunctiva compared to the limbus. Further, intravital multiphoton microscopy revealed that resident pDCs accompany the limbal vessels and patrol the intravascular space. In vitro multiphoton microscopy showed that pDCs are attracted to human umbilical vein endothelial cells and interact with them during tube formation. In conclusion, our study shows that the limbus and bulbar conjunctiva are endowed with resident pDCs during steady state, which express maturation and classic T cell co-inhibitory molecules, engulf limbal vessels, and patrol intravascular spaces.
Sahin A, Liu Y, Kam WR, Rahimi Darabad R, Sullivan DA. Dihydrotestosterone suppression of proinflammatory gene expression in human meibomian gland epithelial cells. Ocul Surf 2020;18(2):199-205.Abstract
PURPOSE: We discovered that dihydrotestosterone (DHT) decreases the ability of lipopolysaccharide, a bacterial toxin, to stimulate the secretion of leukotriene B4, a potent proinflammatory mediator, by immortalized human meibomian gland epithelial cells (IHMGECs). We hypothesize that this hormone action reflects an androgen suppression of proinflammatory gene activity in these cells. Our goal was to test this hypothesis. For comparison, we also examined whether DHT treatment elicits the same effect in immortalized human corneal (IHC) and conjunctival (IHConj) ECs. METHODS: Differentiated cells were cultured in media containing vehicle or 10 nM DHT. Cells (n = 3 wells/treatment group) were then processed for RNA isolation and the analysis of gene expression by using Illumina BeadChips, background subtraction, cubic spline normalization and Geospiza software. RESULTS: Our results demonstrate that DHT significantly suppressed the expression of numerous immune-related genes in HMGECs, such as those associated with antigen processing and presentation, innate and adaptive immune responses, chemotaxis, and cytokine production. DHT also enhanced the expression of genes for defensin β1, IL-1 receptor antagonist, and the anti-inflammatory serine peptidase inhibitor, Kazal type 5. In contrast, DHT had no effect on proinflammatory gene expression in HCECs, and significantly increased 33 gene ontologies linked to the immune system in HConjECs. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support our hypothesis that androgens suppress proinflammatory gene expression in IHMGECs. This hormone effect may contribute to the typical absence of inflammation within the human meibomian gland.
Wu W, Zhou G, Han H, Huang X, Jiang H, Mukai S, Kazlauskas A, Cui J, Matsubara JA, Vanhaesebroeck B, Xia X, Wang J, Lei H. PI3Kδ as a Novel Therapeutic Target in Pathological Angiogenesis. Diabetes 2020;69(4):736-748.Abstract
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common microvascular complication of diabetes, and in the advanced diabetic retinopathy appear vitreal fibrovascular membranes that consist of a variety of cells, including vascular endothelial cells (ECs). New therapeutic approaches for this diabetic complication are urgently needed. Here, we report that in cultured human retinal microvascular ECs, high glucose induced expression of p110δ, which was also expressed in ECs of fibrovascular membranes from patients with diabetes. This catalytic subunit of a receptor-regulated PI3K isoform δ is known to be highly enriched in leukocytes. Using genetic and pharmacological approaches, we show that p110δ activity in cultured ECs controls Akt activation, cell proliferation, migration, and tube formation induced by vascular endothelial growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor, and epidermal growth factor. Using a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy, p110δ inactivation was found to attenuate pathological retinal angiogenesis. p110δ inhibitors have been approved for use in human B-cell malignancies. Our data suggest that antagonizing p110δ constitutes a previously unappreciated therapeutic opportunity for diabetic retinopathy.
Riau AK, Lwin NC, Gelfand L, Hu H, Liedberg B, Chodosh J, Venkatraman SS, Mehta JS. Surface modification of corneal prosthesis with nano-hydroxyapatite to enhance in vivo biointegration. Acta Biomater 2020;107:299-312.Abstract
The majority of clinical corneal prostheses (KPros) adopt a core-skirt configuration. This configuration is favored owing to the optic core (generally a cylindrical, acrylic-based material, such as PMMA), that not only provides a clear window for the patients' vision, but also confers resistance to biodegradability. The surrounding skirt (typically a biological material, such as corneal tissue) allows for host tissue integration. However, due to poor biointegration between the dissimilar core and skirt materials, it results in a weak adhesion at the interface, giving rise to clinical complications, such as bacterial infections in the tissue-PMMA interface and device extrusion. Here, we physically immobilized nano-hydroxyapatite (nHAp) on a PMMA cylinder via a dip-coating technique, to create a bioactive surface that improved biointegration in vivo. We established that the nHAp coating was safe and stable in the rabbit cornea over five weeks. More importantly, we found that apoptotic, wound healing and inflammatory responses to nHAp-coated PMMA were substantially milder than to non-coated PMMA. More mature collagen, similar to the non-operated cornea, was maintained in the corneal stroma adjacent to the nHAp-coated implant edge. However, around the non-coated cylinder, an abundant new and loose connective tissue formed, similar to bone tissue response to bioinert scaffolds. As a result of superior biointegration, tissue adhesion with nHAp-coated PMMA cylinders was also significantly enhanced compared to non-coated cylinders. This study set a precedent for the future application of the nHAp coating on clinical KPros. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Currently, all clinical corneal prostheses utilize as-manufactured, non-surface modified PMMA optic cylinder. The bioinert cylinder, however, has poor biointegration and adhesion with the surrounding biological tissue, which can give rise to postoperative complications, such as microbial invasion in the tissue-PMMA loose interface and PMMA optic cylinder extrusion. In the current study, we showed that surface modification of the PMMA cylinder with bioactive nano-hydroxyapatite (nHAp) significantly enhanced its biointegration with corneal stromal tissue in vivo. The superior biointegration of the nHAp-coated PMMA was signified by a more attenuated corneal wound healing, inflammatory and fibrotic response, and better tissue apposition, as well as a significantly improved corneal stromal tissue adhesion when compared to the non-coated PMMA.
Bakshi SK, Graney J, Paschalis EI, Agarwal S, Basu S, Iyer G, Liu C, Srinivasan B, Chodosh J. Design and Outcomes of a Novel Keratoprosthesis: Addressing Unmet Needs in End-Stage Cicatricial Corneal Blindness. Cornea 2020;39(4):484-490.Abstract
PURPOSE: The most commonly applied prosthetic devices for corneal blindness in the setting of severe cicatricial keratoconjunctivitis are the Boston keratoprosthesis type II and the modified osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis, with these requiring either normal eyelid skin or a healthy cuspid tooth, respectively. For patients with neither attribute, we developed a new keratoprosthesis device combining positive aspects of both Boston keratoprosthesis type II and modified osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis, which we have named the "Lux." METHODS: Short-term postoperative outcomes for the Lux keratoprosthesis, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), device retention, and complications, were examined in a retrospective case series of 9 eyes of 9 patients implanted at 4 centers. RESULTS: Seven of 9 (77.8%) eyes had cicatricial corneal blindness due to autoimmune disease and 2 (22.2%) from severe burns. Preoperative BCVA was ≤hand motions in all patients. Three (33.3%) had previously received at least 1 keratoprosthesis in the affected eye, and 4 (44.4%) had previously undergone ≥1 therapeutic keratoplasty. One patient had 19 previous eye surgeries. The mean duration of postoperative follow-up was 18.7 months (range 7-28 months). BCVA of ≥20/200 was achieved in all 9 patients, with 2 (22.2%) reaching 20/20 at the last examination, and all 9 (100%) of the devices were retained. One recipient developed a retinal detachment 2 months after implantation. Two (22.2%) patients required placement of a glaucoma drainage device. CONCLUSIONS: The Lux keratoprosthesis was developed for patients with severe cicatricial keratoconjunctivitis who were otherwise not candidates for existing keratoprosthesis designs. Short-term outcomes after implantation of the Lux keratoprosthesis were encouraging.
Lally DR, Kasetty MA. CLOSURE OF SMALL MACULAR HOLES USING VITRECTOMY SURGERY WITH INTERNAL LIMITING MEMBRANE PEELING WITHOUT THE USE OF INTRAOCULAR GAS TAMPONADE: BROADENING THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE MACULAR HOLE PATHOPHYSIOLOGY. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2020;14(2):104-109.Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine whether small macular hole closure can be achieved with 25-G vitrectomy surgery with internal limiting membrane peeling without the use of intraocular gas tamponade or facedown positioning. METHODS: 25-G vitrectomy surgery with internal limiting membrane peeling without the use of intraocular gas tamponade or positioning was performed on 20 eyes with a small (<400-µm diameter), full-thickness macular hole. RESULTS: In 17 of 20 eyes (85%), the hole had closed. Three holes had closed by Postoperative Day 1, 13 holes by Postoperative Week 1, 16 holes by Postoperative Week 2, and 17 holes by Postoperative Week 6. At Postoperative Month 1, vision improved in 16 of 17 eyes in which the macular hole had closed. One hole that had not closed at the first postoperative week and two holes that had not closed at the third postoperative week required follow-up surgery with intraocular gas tamponade and facedown positioning, after which the hole closed. The mean preoperative visual acuity was 0.626 logMAR (20/85), and the mean postoperative visual acuity after 1 month was 0.392 logMAR (20/50) (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Vitrectomy surgery with internal limiting membrane peeling without the use of gas tamponade or positioning can achieve closure of small macular holes.
Sakurada Y, Fragiotta S, Leong BCS, Parikh R, Hussnain AS, Freund BK. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHOROIDAL VASCULAR HYPERPERMEABILITY, CHORIOCAPILLARIS FLOW DENSITY, AND CHOROIDAL THICKNESS IN EYES WITH PACHYCHOROID PIGMENT EPITHELIOPATHY. Retina 2020;40(4):657-662.Abstract
PURPOSE: To use swept-source optical coherence tomography and swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography to investigate potential relationships between choroidal vascular hyperpermeability (CVH) seen with indocyanine green angiography (ICGA), choriocapillaris flow density, and choroidal thickness in eyes with pachychoroid pigment epitheliopathy. METHODS: Patients with pachychoroid pigment epitheliopathy were prospectively imaged with 12-mm × 12-mm swept-source optical coherence tomography, 12-mm × 12-mm swept-source optical coherence tomography angiographyA, and ICGA. Binarized choriocapillaris OCTA images were superimposed with ICGA images in which CVH area had been isolated. Choriocapillaris flow density within or outside the quadrants of CVH was calculated and the ratio of these two values was determined. The presence of CVH and choroidal thickness was evaluated at 9 locations within a central 3-mm × 3-mm area to explore the relationship between these 2 factors. RESULTS: Ten eyes from 10 patients were enrolled in the present study. Choriocapillaris flow density within quadrants of CVH area was significantly lower compared with quadrants without CVH (P < 0.001). The mean choriocapillaris flow density ratio was 0.86 ± 0.10 (range: 0.65-0.99). From among the 90 locations in 10 study eyes, 48 were within areas of CVH. Choroidal thickness was greater in quadrants of CVH compared with areas without CVH (P < 0.001, 455 ± 122 µm vs. 297 ± 93 µm). CONCLUSION: Reduced choriocapillaris flow density, increased choroidal thickness, and CVH appear to co-localize in eyes with pachychoroid pigment epitheliopathy.
Thomas MG, Maconachie GDE, Constantinescu CS, Chan W-M, Barry B, Hisaund M, Sheth V, Kuht HJ, Dineen RA, Harieaswar S, Engle EC, Gottlob I. Congenital monocular elevation deficiency associated with a novel gene variant. Br J Ophthalmol 2020;104(4):547-550.Abstract
BACKGROUND: The genetic basis of monocular elevation deficiency (MED) is unclear. It has previously been considered to arise due to a supranuclear abnormality. METHODS: Two brothers with MED were referred to Leicester Royal Infirmary, UK from the local opticians. Their father had bilateral ptosis and was unable to elevate both eyes, consistent with the diagnosis of congenital fibrosis of extraocular muscles (CFEOM). Candidate sequencing was performed in all family members. RESULTS: Both affected siblings (aged 7 and 12 years) were unable to elevate the right eye. Their father had bilateral ptosis, left esotropia and bilateral limitation of elevation. Chin up head posture was present in the older sibling and the father. Bell's phenomenon and vertical rotational vestibulo-ocular reflex were absent in the right eye for both children. Mild bilateral facial nerve palsy was present in the older sibling and the father. Both siblings had slight difficulty with tandem gait. MRI revealed hypoplastic oculomotor nerve. Left anterior insular focal cortical dysplasia was seen in the older sibling. Sequencing of revealed a novel heterozygous variant (c.1263G>C, p.E421D) segregating with the phenotype. This residue is in the C-terminal H12 α-helix of β-tubulin and is one of three putative kinesin binding sites. CONCLUSION: We show that familial MED can arise from a variant and could be considered a limited form of CFEOM. Neurological features such as mild facial palsy and cortical malformations can be present in patients with MED. Thus, in individuals with congenital MED, consideration may be made for mutation screening.
Silpa-Archa S, Preble JM, Foster SC. VITREOUS TREPONEMAL ANTIBODY AS A SUPPLEMENTARY TEST TO SEROLOGY FOR THE CONFIRMATION OF SYPHILITIC CHORIORETINITIS. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2020;14(2):166-169.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report the novel application of nontreponemal and treponemal antibody to confirm diagnosis of ocular syphilis from vitreous samples. METHODS: Two distinct case reports emphasizing the importance of confirmatory vitreous treponemal antibody. Multimodal imaging of patients was also applied. RESULTS: We report two distinct cases with positive serum treponemal antibody but opposing vitreous treponemal antibody results. One case with a positive vitreous test responded well to antisyphilitic treatment. By contrast, a case with a negative vitreous result was changed to serpiginous choroiditis, eventually cured by immunomodulatory treatment. CONCLUSION: Intraocular fluid analysis of nontreponemal and treponemal antibody may play an important role in ruling out suspected ocular syphilis in settings without a polymerase chain reaction facility, especially immunocompromised patients who are at risk of multiple infections. Further studies are needed to establish the sensitivity and specificity of nontreponemal and treponemal antibody test on vitreous samples.

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