April 2021

Shuldiner SR, Boland MV, Ramulu PY, De Moraes GC, Elze T, Myers J, Pasquale L, Wellik S, Yohannan J. Predicting eyes at risk for rapid glaucoma progression based on an initial visual field test using machine learning. PLoS One 2021;16(4):e0249856.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To assess whether machine learning algorithms (MLA) can predict eyes that will undergo rapid glaucoma progression based on an initial visual field (VF) test. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of longitudinal data. SUBJECTS: 175,786 VFs (22,925 initial VFs) from 14,217 patients who completed ≥5 reliable VFs at academic glaucoma centers were included. METHODS: Summary measures and reliability metrics from the initial VF and age were used to train MLA designed to predict the likelihood of rapid progression. Additionally, the neural network model was trained with point-wise threshold data in addition to summary measures, reliability metrics and age. 80% of eyes were used for a training set and 20% were used as a test set. MLA test set performance was assessed using the area under the receiver operating curve (AUC). Performance of models trained on initial VF data alone was compared to performance of models trained on data from the first two VFs. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Accuracy in predicting future rapid progression defined as MD worsening more than 1 dB/year. RESULTS: 1,968 eyes (8.6%) underwent rapid progression. The support vector machine model (AUC 0.72 [95% CI 0.70-0.75]) most accurately predicted rapid progression when trained on initial VF data. Artificial neural network, random forest, logistic regression and naïve Bayes classifiers produced AUC of 0.72, 0.70, 0.69, 0.68 respectively. Models trained on data from the first two VFs performed no better than top models trained on the initial VF alone. Based on the odds ratio (OR) from logistic regression and variable importance plots from the random forest model, older age (OR: 1.41 per 10 year increment [95% CI: 1.34 to 1.08]) and higher pattern standard deviation (OR: 1.31 per 5-dB increment [95% CI: 1.18 to 1.46]) were the variables in the initial VF most strongly associated with rapid progression. CONCLUSIONS: MLA can be used to predict eyes at risk for rapid progression with modest accuracy based on an initial VF test. Incorporating additional clinical data to the current model may offer opportunities to predict patients most likely to rapidly progress with even greater accuracy.
Xue Y, Wang SK, Rana P, West ER, Hong CM, Feng H, Wu DM, Cepko CL. AAV-Txnip prolongs cone survival and vision in mouse models of retinitis pigmentosa. Elife 2021;10Abstract
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is an inherited retinal disease affecting >20 million people worldwide. Loss of daylight vision typically occurs due to the dysfunction/loss of cone photoreceptors, the cell type that initiates our color and high-acuity vision. Currently, there is no effective treatment for RP, other than gene therapy for a limited number of specific disease genes. To develop a disease gene-agnostic therapy, we screened 20 genes for their ability to prolong cone photoreceptor survival in vivo. Here, we report an adeno-associated virus vector expressing Txnip, which prolongs the survival of cone photoreceptors and improves visual acuity in RP mouse models. A allele, C247S, which blocks the association of Txnip with thioredoxin, provides an even greater benefit. Additionally, the rescue effect of Txnip depends on lactate dehydrogenase b (Ldhb) and correlates with the presence of healthier mitochondria, suggesting that Txnip saves RP cones by enhancing their lactate catabolism.
Haque M, Lei F, Xiong X, Ren Y, Peng H-Y, Wang L, Kumar A, Das JK, Song J. Stem Cell-Derived Viral Antigen-Specific T Cells Suppress HIV Replication and PD-1 Expression on CD4+ T Cells. Viruses 2021;13(5)Abstract
The viral antigen (Ag)-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) derived from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), i.e., PSC-CTLs, have the ability to suppress the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. After adoptive transfer, PSC-CTLs can infiltrate into the local tissues to suppress HIV replication. Nevertheless, the mechanisms by which the viral Ag-specific PSC-CTLs elicit the antiviral response remain to be fully elucidated. In this study, we generated the functional HIV-1 Gag epitope SL9-specific CTLs from the induced PSC (iPSCs), i.e., iPSC-CTLs, and investigated the suppression of SL9-specific iPSC-CTLs on viral replication and the protection of CD4+ T cells. A chimeric HIV-1, i.e., EcoHIV, was used to produce HIV replication in mice. We show that adoptive transfer of SL9-specific iPSC-CTLs greatly suppressed EcoHIV replication in the peritoneal macrophages and spleen in the animal model. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the adoptive transfer significantly reduced expression of PD-1 on CD4+ T cells in the spleen and generated persistent anti-HIV memory T cells. These results indicate that stem cell-derived viral Ag-specific CTLs can robustly accumulate in the local tissues to suppress HIV replication and prevent CD4+ T cell exhaustion through reduction of PD-1 expression.
Webb BD, Manoli I, Engle EC, Jabs EW. A framework for the evaluation of patients with congenital facial weakness. Orphanet J Rare Dis 2021;16(1):158.Abstract
There is a broad differential for patients presenting with congenital facial weakness, and initial misdiagnosis unfortunately is common for this phenotypic presentation. Here we present a framework to guide evaluation of patients with congenital facial weakness disorders to enable accurate diagnosis. The core categories of causes of congenital facial weakness include: neurogenic, neuromuscular junction, myopathic, and other. This diagnostic algorithm is presented, and physical exam considerations, additional follow-up studies and/or consultations, and appropriate genetic testing are discussed in detail. This framework should enable clinical geneticists, neurologists, and other rare disease specialists to feel prepared when encountering this patient population and guide diagnosis, genetic counseling, and clinical care.
Halawa O, Mitchell W, Zebardast N. Fall-related eye injury among older adults in the United States. Am J Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: To identify common causes of emergency department-treated eye injury among older adults in the United States (US), and to characterize of fall-related ocular trauma in this population. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study METHODS: Data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, a nationally representative database of US emergency department-treated injuries, was used to assemble a cohort of adults 65 years and older with eye injuries between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2019. Demographic information, diagnosis, disposition, injury location and consumer product associated with injury were collected. Narrative descriptions of all injuries were reviewed to identify eye injuries secondary to falls. RESULTS: 4,953 eye injuries among older adults were reported from 2000 to 2019, a stratified probability sample representing approximately 238,162 injuries, with an average annual frequency of 12,000 injuries. Falls accounted for 11.5% of these injuries. Fall-related eye injuries commonly presented from home (66.5%) and were more likely to occur in the winter than eye injuries from other causes (28.1% vs. 18.4%, p<0.01). Risk factors for fall-related eye injury included older age (Odds ratio [OR] 1.11, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 1.10-1.13 per year), female sex (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.6-3.1 vs. male), Black race (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.3-4.5 vs. White) and presentation from a nursing home (OR 12.7, 95% CI 4.9-32.8 vs. other locations). Older adults with fall-related injury were more likely to be hospitalized (OR 22.8, 95% CI 15.3-33.9) and to suffer from a ruptured globe (OR 14.1, 95% CI 6.5-30.6) than those with fall-unrelated injury. CONCLUSIONS: Falls are an important mechanism of ocular trauma in older adults and are associated with worse outcomes compared to eye injuries from other causes.
Kitko CL, Pidala J, Schoemans HM, Lawitschka A, Flowers ME, Cowen EW, Tkaczyk E, Farhadfar N, Jain S, Steven P, Luo ZK, Ogawa Y, Stern M, Yanik GA, Cuvelier GDE, Cheng G-S, Holtan SG, Schultz KR, Martin PJ, Lee SJ, Pavletic SZ, Wolff D, Paczesny S, Blazar BR, Sarantopoulos S, Socie G, Greinix H, Cutler C. National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Project on Criteria for Clinical Trials in Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease: IIa. The 2020 Clinical Implementation and Early Diagnosis Working Group Report. Transplant Cell Ther 2021;27(7):545-557.Abstract
Recognition of the earliest signs and symptoms of chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) that lead to severe manifestations remains a challenge. The standardization provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2005 and 2014 consensus projects has helped improve diagnostic accuracy and severity scoring for clinical trials, but utilization of these tools in routine clinical practice is variable. Additionally, when patients meet the NIH diagnostic criteria, many already have significant morbidity and possibly irreversible organ damage. The goals of this early diagnosis project are 2-fold. First, we provide consensus recommendations regarding implementation of the current NIH diagnostic guidelines into routine transplant care, outside of clinical trials, aiming to enhance early clinical recognition of chronic GVHD. Second, we propose directions for future research efforts to enable discovery of new, early laboratory as well as clinical indicators of chronic GVHD, both globally and for highly morbid organ-specific manifestations. Identification of early features of chronic GVHD that have high positive predictive value for progression to more severe manifestations of the disease could potentially allow for future pre-emptive clinical trials.
Chang EK, Gupta S, Chachanidze M, Hall N, Chang TC, Solá-Del Valle D. Safety and efficacy of microinvasive glaucoma surgery with cataract extraction in patients with normal-tension glaucoma. Sci Rep 2021;11(1):8910.Abstract
This study assesses the safety and efficacy of microinvasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) with cataract extraction in patients with normal-tension glaucoma (NTG). In our sample of 45 NTG patients, mean intraocular pressure (IOP) decreased from 13.7 to 12.3 mmHg at 2.5 years, and mean medication burden decreased from 2.0 to 1.1 at 1.5 years. For success defined as IOP reduction ≥ 30% from baseline IOP with medication burden reduction from preoperative levels, success probability was 5.4% at 1.5 years. For success defined as medication burden reduction with an IOP reaching goal IOP as determined by the glaucoma specialist, success probabilities were 67.2% at 1.5 years and 29.4% at 2.5 years. At the last follow-up visit, eyes with two MIGS procedures with different mechanisms of action achieved successful medication reduction 68.8% of the time versus 35.7% achieved by a single MIGS procedure (p = 0.052). At their last visit, visual acuity was unchanged or improved in all eyes (100%). MIGS with cataract surgery results in modest reductions in IOP and medication burden in NTG patients, which may lead to lower costs and better therapeutic compliance. A combination of two MIGS procedures with different mechanisms of action may potentially be more effective in reducing medication burden than a single MIGS procedure in NTG patients. Further research is necessary to ascertain whether MIGS for NTG patients may help decrease medication burden while helping achieve goal IOP.
Douglas VP, Douglas KA, Reinshagen KL, Chwalisz BK. Case 292. Radiology 2021;299(1):234-236.Abstract
History A 24-year-old right-handed woman presented to a neuro-ophthalmology clinic in Massachusetts in the summer with acute binocular diplopia when looking down and to the left, which started about 1 month earlier. Her medical history was notable for Raynaud syndrome, recurrent streptococcal pharyngitis, and an allergy to amoxicillin. Three days prior to developing diplopia, she presented to an outside emergency department due to fever, chills, and back pain. She received ciprofloxacin for presumed urinary tract infection based on urinalysis, which demonstrated few bacteria and was negative for leukocyte esterase, nitrites, and white blood cells. She then presented again to an outside emergency department for diplopia evaluation. Initial MRI and MR angiography of the brain at that time did not demonstrate any relevant findings, and the patient was referred to our department for neuro-ophthalmic evaluation, where she was seen 4 weeks later. Neuro-ophthalmic examination revealed 20/20 visual acuity in both eyes, and a right hypertropia in left gaze, downgaze and right head tilt, with right eye excyclotorsion. There were no ocular signs of myasthenia gravis or thyroid eye disease, nor did the patient report ocular or systemic symptoms. She denied recent travel. High-spatial-resolution MRI of the brain and orbit were performed (Figs 1, 2).
Pundlik S, Nigalye A, Laíns I, Mendez KM, Katz R, Kim J, Kim IK, Miller JB, Vavvas D, Miller JW, Luo G, Husain D. Area under the dark adaptation curve as a reliable alternate measure of dark adaptation response. Br J Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: Quantification of dark adaptation (DA) response using the conventional rod intercept time (RIT) requires very long testing time and may not be measurable in the presence of impairments due to diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The goal of this study was to investigate the advantages of using area under the DA curve (AUDAC) as an alternative to the conventional parameters to quantify DA response. METHODS: Data on 136 eyes (AMD: 98, normal controls: 38) from an ongoing longitudinal study on AMD were used. DA was measured using the AdaptDx 20 min protocol. AUDAC was computed from the raw DA characteristic curve at different time points, including 6.5 min and 20 min (default). The presence of AMD in the given eye was predicted using a logistic regression model within the leave-one-out cross-validation framework, with DA response as the predictor while adjusting for age and gender. The DA response variable was either the AUDAC values computed at 6.5 min (AUDAC6.5) or at 20 min (AUDAC20) cut-off, or the conventional RIT. RESULTS: AUDAC6.5 was strongly correlated with AUDAC20 (β=86, p<0.001, R=0.87). The accuracy of predicting the presence of AMD using AUDAC20 was 76%, compared with 79% when using RIT, the current gold standard. In addition, when limiting AUDAC calculation to 6.5 min cut-off, the predictive accuracy of AUDAC6.5 was 80%. CONCLUSIONS: AUDAC can be a valuable measure to quantify the overall DA response and can potentially facilitate shorter testing duration while maintaining diagnostic accuracy.
Brouwer NJ, Konstantinou EK, Gragoudas ES, Marinkovic M, Luyten GPM, Kim IK, Jager MJ, Vavvas DG. Targeting the YAP/TAZ Pathway in Uveal and Conjunctival Melanoma With Verteporfin. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2021;62(4):3.Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether YAP/TAZ activation in uveal melanoma (UM) and the susceptibility of melanoma cell lines to YAP/TAZ inhibition by verteporfin (VP) is related to the tumor's genetic background. Methods: Characteristics of 144 patients with enucleated UM were analyzed together with mRNA expression levels of YAP/TAZ-related genes (80 patients from the The Cancer Genome Atlas [TCGA] project and 64 patients from Leiden, The Netherlands). VP was administered to cell lines 92.1, OMM1, Mel270, XMP46, and MM28 (UM), CRMM1 and CRMM2 (conjunctival melanoma), and OCM3 (cutaneous melanoma). Viability, growth speed, and expression of YAP1-related proteins were assessed. Results: In TCGA data, high expression of YAP1 and WWTR1 correlated with the presence of monosomy 3 (P = 0.009 and P < 0.001, respectively) and BAP1-loss (P = 0.003 and P = 0.001, respectively) in the primary UM; metastasis development correlated with higher expression of YAP1 (P = 0.05) and WWTR1 (P = 0.003). In Leiden data, downstream transcription factor TEAD4 was increased in cases with M3/BAP1-loss (P = 0.002 and P = 0.006) and related to metastasis (P = 0.004). UM cell lines 92.1, OMM1, and Mel270 (GNAQ/11-mutation, BAP1-positive) and the fast-growing cell line OCM3 (BRAF-mutation) showed decreased proliferation after exposure to VP. Two slow-growing UM cell lines XMP46 and MM28 (GNAQ/11-mutation, BAP1-negative) were not sensitive to VP, and neither were the two conjunctival melanoma cell lines (BRAF/NRAS-mutation). Conclusions: High risk UM showed an increased expression of YAP/TAZ-related genes. Although most UM cell lines responded in vitro to VP, BAP1-negative and conjunctival melanoma cell lines did not. Not only the mutational background, but also cell growth rate is an important predictor of response to YAP/TAZ inhibition by VP.
Breazzano MP, Nair AA, Arevalo FJ, Barakat MR, Berrocal AM, Chang JS, Chen A, Eliott D, Garg SJ, Ghadiali Q, Gong D, Grewal DS, Handa JT, Henderson M, Leiderman YI, Leng T, Mannina A, Mendel TA, Mustafi D, de Koo LOC, Patel SN, Patel TP, Prenner J, Richards P, Singh RP, Wykoff CC, Yannuzzi NA, Yu H, Modi YS, Chang S. Frequency of Urgent or Emergent Vitreoretinal Surgical Procedures in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Ophthalmol 2021;139(4):456-463.Abstract
Importance: The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) indicated that urgent or emergent vitreoretinal surgical procedures should continue during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Although decreases in the frequency of critical procedures have been reported outside the field of ophthalmology, analyses are limited by volume, geography, and time. Objective: To evaluate whether the frequency of ophthalmic surgical procedures deemed urgent or emergent by the AAO changed across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: Vitreoretinal practices from 17 institutions throughout the US participated in this multicenter cross-sectional study. The frequency of 11 billed vitreoretinal Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes across respective weeks was obtained from each practice between January 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020. Data were clustered into intravitreal injections (code 67028), lasers and cryotherapy (codes 67141, 67145, and 67228), retinal detachment (RD) repairs (codes 67107, 67108, 67110, and 67113), and other vitrectomies (codes 67036, 67039, and 67040). Institutions were categorized by region (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West Coast), practice setting (academic [tax-exempt] or private [non-tax-exempt]), and date of respective statewide stay-at-home orders. Main Outcomes and Measures: Nationwide changes in the frequency of billing for urgent or emergent vitreoretinal surgical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: A total of 526 536 CPT codes were ascertained: 483 313 injections, 19 257 lasers or cryotherapy, 14 949 RD repairs, and 9017 other vitrectomies. Relative to 2019, a weekly institutional decrease in injections was observed from March 30 to May 2, 2020, with a maximal 38.6% decrease (from a mean [SD] of 437.8 [436.3] to 273.8 [269.0] injections) from April 6 to 12, 2020 (95% CI, -259 to -69 injections; P = .002). A weekly decrease was also identified that spanned a longer interval, at least until study conclusion (March 16 to May 31, 2020), for lasers and cryotherapy, with a maximal 79.6% decrease (from a mean [SD] of 6.6 [7.7] to 1.5 [2.0] procedures) from April 6 to 12, 2020 (95% CI, -6.8 to -3.3 procedures; P < .001), for RD repairs, with a maximal 59.4% decrease (from a mean [SD] of 3.5 [4.0] to 1.6 [2.2] repairs) from April 13 to 19, 2020 (95% CI, -2.7 to -1.4 repairs; P < .001), and for other vitrectomies, with a maximal 84.3% decrease (from a mean [SD] of 3.0 [3.1] to 0.4 [0.8] other vitrectomies) from April 6 to 12, 2020 (95% CI, -3.3 to -1.8 other vitrectomies; P < .001). No differences were identified by region, setting, or state-level stay-at-home order adjustment. Conclusions and Relevance: Although the AAO endorsed the continued performance of urgent or emergent vitreoretinal surgical procedures, the frequency of such procedures throughout the country experienced a substantial decrease that may persist after the COVID-19 pandemic's initial exponential growth phase. This decrease appears independent of region, setting, and state-level stay-at-home orders. It is unknown to what extent vitreoretinal intervention would have decreased without AAO recommendations, and how the decrease is associated with outcomes. Although safety is paramount during the COVID-19 pandemic, practices should consider prioritizing availability for managing high-acuity conditions until underlying reasons for the reduction are fully appreciated.
Jacobs DS, Carrasquillo KG, Cottrell PD, Fernández-Velázquez FJ, Gil-Cazorla R, Jalbert I, Pucker AD, Riccobono K, Robertson DM, Szczotka-Flynn L, Speedwell L, Stapleton F. CLEAR - Medical use of contact lenses. Cont Lens Anterior Eye 2021;44(2):289-329.Abstract
The medical use of contact lenses is a solution for many complex ocular conditions, including high refractive error, irregular astigmatism, primary and secondary corneal ectasia, disfiguring disease, and ocular surface disease. The development of highly oxygen permeable soft and rigid materials has extended the suitability of contact lenses for such applications. There is consistent evidence that bandage soft contact lenses, particularly silicone hydrogel lenses, improve epithelial healing and reduce pain in persistent epithelial defects, after trauma or surgery, and in corneal dystrophies. Drug delivery applications of contact lens hold promise for improving topical therapy. Modern scleral lens practice has achieved great success for both visual rehabilitation and therapeutic applications, including those requiring retention of a tear reservoir or protection from an adverse environment. This report offers a practical and relevant summary of the current evidence for the medical use of contact lenses for all eye care professionals including optometrists, ophthalmologists, opticians, and orthoptists. Topics covered include indications for use in both acute and chronic conditions, lens selection, patient selection, wear and care regimens, and recommended aftercare schedules. Prevention, presentation, and management of complications of medical use are reviewed.
Jones L, Hui A, Phan C-M, Read ML, Azar D, Buch J, Ciolino JB, Naroo SA, Pall B, Romond K, Sankaridurg P, Schnider CM, Terry L, Willcox M. CLEAR - Contact lens technologies of the future. Cont Lens Anterior Eye 2021;44(2):398-430.Abstract
Contact lenses in the future will likely have functions other than correction of refractive error. Lenses designed to control the development of myopia are already commercially available. Contact lenses as drug delivery devices and powered through advancements in nanotechnology will open up further opportunities for unique uses of contact lenses. This review examines the use, or potential use, of contact lenses aside from their role to correct refractive error. Contact lenses can be used to detect systemic and ocular surface diseases, treat and manage various ocular conditions and as devices that can correct presbyopia, control the development of myopia or be used for augmented vision. There is also discussion of new developments in contact lens packaging and storage cases. The use of contact lenses as devices to detect systemic disease has mostly focussed on detecting changes to glucose levels in tears for monitoring diabetic control. Glucose can be detected using changes in colour, fluorescence or generation of electric signals by embedded sensors such as boronic acid, concanavalin A or glucose oxidase. Contact lenses that have gained regulatory approval can measure changes in intraocular pressure to monitor glaucoma by measuring small changes in corneal shape. Challenges include integrating sensors into contact lenses and detecting the signals generated. Various techniques are used to optimise uptake and release of the drugs to the ocular surface to treat diseases such as dry eye, glaucoma, infection and allergy. Contact lenses that either mechanically or electronically change their shape are being investigated for the management of presbyopia. Contact lenses that slow the development of myopia are based upon incorporating concentric rings of plus power, peripheral optical zone(s) with add power or non-monotonic variations in power. Various forms of these lenses have shown a reduction in myopia in clinical trials and are available in various markets.

Pages