April 2022

Fjaervoll K, Fjaervoll H, Magno M, Nøland ST, Dartt DA, Vehof J, Utheim TP. Review on the possible pathophysiological mechanisms underlying visual display terminal-associated dry eye disease. Acta Ophthalmol 2022;Abstract
BACKGROUND: Visual display terminal (VDT) use is a key risk factor for dry eye disease (DED). Visual display terminal (VDT) use reduces the blink rate and increases the number of incomplete blinks. However, the exact mechanisms causing DED development from VDT use have yet to be clearly described. PURPOSE: The purpose of the study was to conduct a review on pathophysiological mechanisms promoting VDT-associated DED. METHODS: A PubMed search of the literature investigating the relationship between dry eye and VDT was performed, and relevance to pathophysiology of DED was evaluated. FINDINGS: Fifty-five articles met the inclusion criteria. Several pathophysiological mechanisms were examined, and multiple hypotheses were extracted from the articles. Visual display terminal (VDT) use causes DED mainly through impaired blinking patterns. Changes in parasympathetic signalling and increased exposure to blue light, which could disrupt ocular homeostasis, were proposed in some studies but lack sufficient scientific support. Together, these changes may lead to a reduced function of the tear film, lacrimal gland, goblet cells and meibomian glands, all contributing to DED development. CONCLUSION: Visual display terminal (VDT) use appears to induce DED through both direct and indirect routes. Decreased blink rates and increased incomplete blinks increase the exposed ocular evaporative area and inhibit lipid distribution from meibomian glands. Although not adequately investigated, changes in parasympathetic signalling may impair lacrimal gland and goblet cell function, promoting tear film instability. More studies are needed to better target and improve the treatment and prevention of VDT-associated DED.
for the Group WCPEDI, Hartnett EM, Wallace DK, Dean TW, Li Z, Boente CS, Dosunmu EO, Freedman SF, Golden RP, Kong L, Prakalapakorn GS, Repka MX, Smith LE, Wang H, Kraker RT, Cotter SA, Holmes JM. Plasma Levels of Bevacizumab and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor After Low-Dose Bevacizumab Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity in Infants. JAMA Ophthalmol 2022;140(4):337-344.Abstract
Importance: Intravitreal bevacizumab effectively treats severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), but it enters the bloodstream and may reduce serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), potentially causing detrimental effects on developing organs in the premature infant. Objective: To evaluate the association of intravitreal bevacizumab with plasma bevacizumab and VEGF concentrations at 2 and 4 weeks after predefined, de-escalating doses of intravitreal bevacizumab were administered to infants with severe ROP. Design, Setting, and Participants: This phase 1 dose de-escalation case series study was conducted at 10 US hospitals of ophthalmology institutions from May 21, 2015, to May 7, 2019. Blood samples were collected 2 and 4 weeks after intravitreal bevacizumab injection. Participants included 83 premature infants with type 1 ROP in 1 or both eyes and no previous ROP treatment. Data were analyzed from April 2017 to August 2021. Interventions: Study eyes received a single bevacizumab injection of 0.250 mg, 0.125 mg, 0.063 mg, 0.031 mg, 0.016 mg, 0.008 mg, 0.004 mg, or 0.002 mg. When the fellow eye required treatment, one dose higher was administered. Total dose administered at baseline was defined as the sum of doses given to each eye within 3 days of initial study-eye injection. Main Outcomes and Measures: Plasma bevacizumab concentration at 2 and 4 weeks after injection and the percentage change in plasma VEGF concentrations from pretreatment levels. Results: A total of 83 infants (mean [SD] age, 25 [2] weeks; 48 boys [58%]) were included in this study. Higher doses of bevacizumab administered at baseline were associated with higher plasma bevacizumab concentrations at 2 weeks (ρ, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.31-0.70) and 4 weeks (ρ, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.18-0.64). Plasma VEGF concentrations decreased by 50% or more from pretreatment levels in 40 of 66 infants (61%) at 2 weeks and 31 of 61 infants (51%) at 4 weeks, but no association was observed between the total dose of bevacizumab administered at baseline and percentage change in plasma VEGF concentrations 2 weeks (ρ, -0.04; 95% CI, -0.28 to 0.20) or 4 weeks (ρ, -0.17; 95% CI, -0.41 to 0.08) after injection. Conclusions and Relevance: Results of this phase 1 dose de-escalation case series study revealed that bevacizumab doses as low as 0.002 mg were associated with reduced plasma VEGF levels for most infants at 2 and 4 weeks after intravitreal administration; however, no association was observed between total bevacizumab dose administered and reductions in plasma VEGF levels from preinjection to 2 weeks or 4 weeks. Additional studies are needed to evaluate the long-term effects of low-dose bevacizumab on neurodevelopment and retinal structure.
Ou J, Lan W, Wu X, Zhao T, Duan B, Yang P, Ren Y, Quan L, Zhao W, Seto D, Chodosh J, Luo Z, Wu J, Zhang Q. Tracking SARS-CoV-2 Omicron diverse spike gene mutations identifies multiple inter-variant recombination events. Signal Transduct Target Ther 2022;7(1):138.Abstract
The current pandemic of COVID-19 is fueled by more infectious emergent Omicron variants. Ongoing concerns of emergent variants include possible recombinants, as genome recombination is an important evolutionary mechanism for the emergence and re-emergence of human viral pathogens. In this study, we identified diverse recombination events between two Omicron major subvariants (BA.1 and BA.2) and other variants of concern (VOCs) and variants of interest (VOIs), suggesting that co-infection and subsequent genome recombination play important roles in the ongoing evolution of SARS-CoV-2. Through scanning high-quality completed Omicron spike gene sequences, 18 core mutations of BA.1 (frequency >99%) and 27 core mutations of BA.2 (nine more than BA.1) were identified, of which 15 are specific to Omicron. BA.1 subvariants share nine common amino acid mutations (three more than BA.2) in the spike protein with most VOCs, suggesting a possible recombination origin of Omicron from these VOCs. There are three more Alpha-related mutations in BA.1 than BA.2, and BA.1 is phylogenetically closer to Alpha than other variants. Revertant mutations are found in some dominant mutations (frequency >95%) in the BA.1. Most notably, multiple characteristic amino acid mutations in the Delta spike protein have been also identified in the "Deltacron"-like Omicron Variants isolated since November 11, 2021 in South Africa, which implies the recombination events occurring between the Omicron and Delta variants. Monitoring the evolving SARS-CoV-2 genomes especially for recombination is critically important for recognition of abrupt changes to viral attributes including its epitopes which may call for vaccine modifications.
Kwan J, Ahmed H, Ponsetto MK, Succar T, Chodosh J, Saeed HN. Relationship between Atopic Disease and Acute Ocular and Systemic Outcomes in Patients with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome/Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2022;:1-5.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To describe the relationship between history of atopic disease on systemic and ocular manifestations of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome/Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (SJS/TEN). METHODS: Retrospective chart review of patients with SJS/TEN patients. Those with and without prior atopic diagnosis were compared. RESULTS: In total, 200 patients with SJS/TEN were identified. A total of 23 patients also had an atopic diagnosis. Four, 10, and 18 had atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, and asthma respectively. Acute ocular severity was significantly worse in the atopic cohort. No significant differences in overall systemic severity of SJS or mortality were found between the atopic and non-atopic cohorts. Compared to our hospital system's general population, prevalence of an atopic diagnosis was significantly higher in those with SJS/TEN. CONCLUSION: Patients with a history of an atopic diagnosis appear to have more significant acute ocular involvement during their SJS/TEN hospitalization. Atopic conditions appear to occur more frequently in the SJS/TEN population compared to the general population.
Douglas VP, Douglas KA, Vavvas DG, Miller JW, Miller JB. Short- and Long-Term Visual Outcomes in Patients Receiving Intravitreal Injections: The Impact of the Coronavirus 2019 Disease (COVID-19)-Related Lockdown. J Clin Med 2022;11(8)Abstract
Purpose: To investigate the short- and long-term impact of COVID-19-related lockdown on the vision of patients requiring intravitreal injections (IVI) for neovascular Age-related Macular degeneration (nvAMD), diabetic retinopathy (DR), central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO), or branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO). Methods: This is a retrospective study from the Retina department of three Mass Eye and Ear centers. Charts of patients age of ≥ 18 years with any of the abovementioned diagnoses who had a scheduled appointment anytime between 17 March 2020 until 18 May 2020 (lockdown period in Boston, Massachusetts) were reviewed at baseline (up to 12 weeks before the lockdown), at first available follow-up (=actual f/u) during or after the lockdown period, at 3 months, 6 months, and at last available completed appointment of 2020. Results: A total of 1001 patients met the inclusion criteria. Of those patients, 479 (47.9%) completed their intended f/u appointment, while 522 missed it (canceled and "no show"). The delay in care of those who missed it was 59.15 days [standard deviation (SD) ± 49.6]. In these patients, significant loss of vision was noted at actual f/u [Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) in LogMAR (Logarithm of the Minimum Angle of Resolution)-mean (±SD)-completed: 0.45 (±0.46), missed: 0.53 (±0.55); p = 0.01], which was more prominent in the DR group [Visual acuity (VA) change in LogMAR-mean (±SD); completed: 0.04 (±0.28), missed: 0.18 (±0.44); p = 0.02] and CRVO [completed: -0.06 (±0.27), missed: 0.11 (±0.35); p = <0.001] groups followed by nvAMD [completed: 0.006 (±0.16), missed: 0.06 (±0.27); p = 0.004] and BRVO [completed: -0.02 (±0.1), missed: 0.03 (±0.14); p = 0.02] ones. Overall, a higher percent of people who missed their intended f/u experienced vision loss of more than 15 letters at last f/u compared to those who completed it [missed vs. completed; 13.4% vs. 7.4% in nvAMD (p = 0.72), 7.8% vs. 6.3% in DR (0.84), 15.5% vs. 9.9% in CRVO (p < 0.001) and 9.6% vs. 2% in BRVO (p = 0.48)]. Conclusions: Delay in care of about 8.45 weeks can lead to loss of vision in patients who receive IVI with DR and CRVO patients being more vulnerable in the short-term, whereas in the long-term, CRVO patients followed by the nvAMD patients demonstrating the least vision recovery. BRVO patients were less likely to be affected by the delay in care. Adherence to treatment is key for maintaining and improving visual outcomes in patients who require IVI.
Tam EK, Elhusseiny AM, Shah AS, Mantagos IS, VanderVeen DK. Etiology and outcomes of childhood glaucoma at a tertiary referral center. J AAPOS 2022;Abstract
PURPOSE: To describe the etiology, clinical features, and outcomes for a large contemporary cohort of children presenting with glaucoma at a tertiary referral center. METHODS: The medical records of patients presenting to Boston Children's Hospital from January 2014 to July 2019 with a diagnosis of childhood glaucoma were retrospectively reviewed. Data regarding etiology, treatment, and visual and anatomic outcomes were collected; visual acuity outcomes were analyzed by laterality and diagnosis categories, using the Childhood Glaucoma Research Network (CGRN) classifications. RESULTS: A total of 373 eyes of 246 patients (51% males) diagnosed with glaucoma before 18 years of age were identified. Mean follow-up was 7.04 ± 5.61 years; 137 cases were bilateral. The mean age at diagnosis was 4.55 ± 5.20 years. The most common diagnoses were glaucoma following cataract surgery (GFCS, 36.5%) and primary congenital glaucoma (PCG, 29.0%). Overall, 164 eyes (44.0%) underwent at least one glaucoma surgery. Intraocular pressure (IOP) was ≤21 mm Hg with or without glaucoma medications in 300 eyes (80.4%) at the last follow-up visit. Poor final best-corrected visual acuity (≤20/200) was found in 110 eyes; patients with poor final visual acuity tended to have poor visual acuity at presentation. The most common reason for poor vision was amblyopia. Uncontrolled IOP was an uncommon cause for vision loss. CONCLUSIONS: Childhood glaucoma can be challenging to manage, but poor vision usually results from amblyopia or presence of other ocular abnormalities or syndromes rather than glaucomatous optic neuropathy.
Gotti G, Stevenson K, Kay-Green S, Blonquist TM, Mantagos JS, Silverman LB, Place AE. Ocular abnormalities at diagnosis and after the completion of treatment in children and adolescents with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2022;69(4):e29542.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Ocular abnormalities (OA) in pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are common findings both at diagnosis and later in follow-up. The frequency, predictors, and prognostic impact of OA in the context of recent ALL protocols are not well characterized. PROCEDURE: Single-center retrospective analysis of the medical records of 224 patients with ALL enrolled on Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) ALL Consortium Protocol 05-001. RESULTS: Overall, 217 (98%) patients had at least one ophthalmic exam. Retinal hemorrhages were the most frequent abnormalities at diagnosis (11%) and cataracts at later time points (13%). OA at diagnosis were associated with age ≥10 years and with the severity of anemia and thrombocytopenia; they were also univariately associated with lower 5-year event-free survival (EFS) (high risk [HR] = 3.09 [95% CI: 1.38-6.94]; p = .006), but not in a disease-free survival (DFS) model adjusted for end-induction minimal residual disease (p = .82). The cumulative incidence of cataract was 13.1% ± 2.8% at 43 months from diagnosis; its development was associated with high presenting white blood cell count (≥50,000/μl) (p = .010), male sex (p = .036), higher risk group (p = .025), and cranial radiation (p = .004). Cataract was associated with decreased visual acuity. CONCLUSIONS: OA at diagnosis, present in 12% of patients, were associated with older age, anemia, and thrombocytopenia and did not carry a significant prognostic impact. Cataracts were detected in over 10% of patients and were associated with decreased visual acuity, thus supporting routine screening after completion of therapy, especially for those treated with high-risk protocols.
Douglas VP, Garg I, Douglas KA, Miller JB. Subthreshold Exudative Choroidal Neovascularization (CNV): Presentation of This Uncommon Subtype and Other CNVs in Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). J Clin Med 2022;11(8)Abstract
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible vision loss in people over the age of 50 worldwide. Exudative or neovascular AMD is a more severe subset of AMD which is characterized by the presence of choroidal neovascularization (CNV). Recent advancements in multimodal ophthalmic imaging, including optical coherence tomography (OCT) and OCT-angiography (OCT-A), have facilitated the detection and characterization of previously undetectable neovascular lesions and have enabled a more refined classification of CNV in exudative as well as nonexudative AMD patients. Subthreshold exudative CNV is a novel subtype of exudative AMD that typically presents asymptomatically with good visual acuity and is characterized by stable persistent or intermittent subretinal fluid (SRF). This review aims to provide an overview of the clinical as well as multimodal imaging characteristics of CNV in AMD, including this new clinical phenotype, and propose effective approaches for management.
Huang JJ, Geduldig JE, Jacobs EB, Tai TYT, Ahmad S, Chadha N, Buxton DF, Vinod K, Wirostko BM, Kang JH, Wiggs JL, Ritch R, Pasquale LR. Head and Neck Region Dermatological Ultraviolet-Related Cancers are Associated with Exfoliation Syndrome in a Clinic-Based Population. Ophthalmol Glaucoma 2022;5(6):663-671.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: We assessed the relationship between ultraviolet (UV)-associated dermatological carcinomas (basal cell carcinoma [BCC] and squamous cell carcinoma [SCC]) and exfoliation syndrome (XFS) or exfoliation glaucoma (XFG). DESIGN: Case-control study. PARTICIPANTS: Between 2019 and 2021, 321 participants and control subjects (XFS or XFG = 98; primary open-angle glaucoma [POAG] = 117; controls = 106; ages 50-90 years) were recruited. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey assessing medical history, maximum known intraocular pressure, cup-to-disc ratio, Humphrey visual field 24-2, the propensity to tan or burn in early life, history of BCC or SCC, and XFS or XFG diagnosis. The multivariable models adjusted for age, sex, medical history, eye color, hair color, and likeliness of tanning versus burning at a young age. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: History of diagnosed XFS or XFG. RESULTS: Any history of BCC or SCC in the head and neck region was associated with a 2-fold higher risk of having XFS or XFG versus having POAG or being a control subject (odds ratio [OR], 2.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-3.89) in a multivariable-adjusted analysis. We observed a dose-response association in which the chance of having XFS or XFG increased by 67% per head and neck BCC or SCC occurrence (OR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.09-2.56). When we excluded POAG participants, head and neck BCC or SCC was associated with a 2.8-fold higher risk of XFS or XFG (OR, 2.80; 95% CI, 1.12-7.02), and each additional occurrence had a 2-fold higher risk of XFS or XFG (OR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.09-3.58). The association between head and neck region BCC or SCC and POAG compared with the control subjects was null (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 0.58-3.48). With BCC or SCC located anywhere on the body, there was a nonsignificantly higher risk of having XFS or XFG compared with having POAG or being a control subject (OR, 1.65; 95% CI, 0.88-3.09). CONCLUSIONS: Head and neck region BCCs or SCCs are associated with a higher risk of having XFS or XFG. These findings support prior evidence that head and neck UV exposure may be a risk factor for XFS.
Salamzade R, Manson AL, Walker BJ, Brennan-Krohn T, Worby CJ, Ma P, He LL, Shea TP, Qu J, Chapman SB, Howe W, Young SK, Wurster JI, Delaney ML, Kanjilal S, Onderdonk AB, Bittencourt CE, Gussin GM, Kim D, Peterson EM, Ferraro MJ, Hooper DC, Shenoy ES, Cuomo CA, Cosimi LA, Huang SS, Kirby JE, Pierce VM, Bhattacharyya RP, Earl AM. Inter-species geographic signatures for tracing horizontal gene transfer and long-term persistence of carbapenem resistance. Genome Med 2022;14(1):37.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE) are an urgent global health threat. Inferring the dynamics of local CRE dissemination is currently limited by our inability to confidently trace the spread of resistance determinants to unrelated bacterial hosts. Whole-genome sequence comparison is useful for identifying CRE clonal transmission and outbreaks, but high-frequency horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of carbapenem resistance genes and subsequent genome rearrangement complicate tracing the local persistence and mobilization of these genes across organisms. METHODS: To overcome this limitation, we developed a new approach to identify recent HGT of large, near-identical plasmid segments across species boundaries, which also allowed us to overcome technical challenges with genome assembly. We applied this to complete and near-complete genome assemblies to examine the local spread of CRE in a systematic, prospective collection of all CRE, as well as time- and species-matched carbapenem-susceptible Enterobacterales, isolated from patients from four US hospitals over nearly 5 years. RESULTS: Our CRE collection comprised a diverse range of species, lineages, and carbapenem resistance mechanisms, many of which were encoded on a variety of promiscuous plasmid types. We found and quantified rearrangement, persistence, and repeated transfer of plasmid segments, including those harboring carbapenemases, between organisms over multiple years. Some plasmid segments were found to be strongly associated with specific locales, thus representing geographic signatures that make it possible to trace recent and localized HGT events. Functional analysis of these signatures revealed genes commonly found in plasmids of nosocomial pathogens, such as functions required for plasmid retention and spread, as well survival against a variety of antibiotic and antiseptics common to the hospital environment. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, the framework we developed provides a clearer, high-resolution picture of the epidemiology of antibiotic resistance importation, spread, and persistence in patients and healthcare networks.
Ofuji Y, Katada Y, Tomita Y, Nagai N, Sonobe H, Watanabe K, Shinoda H, Ozawa Y, Negishi K, Tsubota K, Kurihara T. Non-Perfusion Area Index for Prognostic Prediction in Diabetic Retinopathy. Life (Basel) 2022;12(4)Abstract
Fundus fluorescent angiography is a standard examination in Japan that can directly visualize the circulatory failure in diabetic retinopathy but is not used in Western countries. In this study, we examine the relationship between the non-perfusion area in fundus fluorescent angiography and the progression of diabetic retinopathy. We evaluated 22 eyes between 22 patients who had their first fundus fluorescent angiography during a clinical episode at Keio University Hospital from January 2012 to May 2015, were diagnosed as having preproliferative diabetic retinopathy, and could be followed for at least three years. The non-perfusion area index (%) in nine segmented fundi in the initial fundus fluorescent angiography was calculated, and the progression to proliferative diabetic retinopathy over three years was evaluated. Three out of the 22 eyes (13.6%) developed proliferative diabetic retinopathy over three years. The non-perfusion area index for the initial fundus fluorescent angiography was significantly associated with progression to proliferative diabetic retinopathy. The non-perfusion area index in the posterior pole was most strongly correlated with the progression to proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Thus, the non-perfusion area index in the posterior pole among those with preproliferative diabetic retinopathy may predict the progression to proliferative diabetic retinopathy in the subsequent three years.
Xie L, Cen L-P, Li Y, Gilbert H-Y, Strelko O, Berlinicke C, Stavarache MA, Ma M, Wang Y, Cui Q, Kaplitt MG, Zack DJ, Benowitz LI, Yin Y. Monocyte-derived SDF1 supports optic nerve regeneration and alters retinal ganglion cells' response to Pten deletion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2022;119(15):e2113751119.Abstract
SignificanceThe optic nerve conveys information from retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) to visual processing areas of the brain. Although this pathway normally cannot regenerate when injured nor in degenerative diseases such as glaucoma, this failure can be partially reversed by eliciting a controlled immune reaction in the eye. We show here that the chemokine SDF1 (stromal cell-derived factor 1) is an important contributor to this phenomenon. SDF1 is produced by infiltrative monocytes and acts through its cognate receptor to enhance RGC survival, promote optic nerve regeneration, and sensitize subtypes of RGCs that normally fail to respond to a complementary treatment to exhibit robust, long-distance regeneration. These findings establish SDF1 as an important therapeutic candidate for repairing the injured optic nerve.