July 2020

Liou VD, Yoon MK. Advances in steroid sparing medical management of active thyroid eye disease. Semin Ophthalmol 2020;:1-8.Abstract
Thyroid eye disease (TED) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease of the orbit and the most common extrathyroidal manifestation of Graves disease. The release of pro-inflammatory cytokines is associated with inflammation of the ocular surface and lacrimal gland along with periorbital skin erythema and edema. Resultant tissue remodeling, fibrosis, and fat deposition can impart permanent physical changes to the ocular adnexa with effects on function and cosmesis. These changes occur in the active phase of disease, and it is during this time that steroids are often relied on to help alleviate symptoms. Due to the common and predictable side effects of long-term and high-dose steroid use, there has been a continuous effort to find alternative steroid-sparing medical management options for TED. This review highlights the various research studies that support the use of these medications.
Mitchell W, Bhatia R, Zebardast N. Retrospective cross-sectional analysis of the changes in marijuana use in the USA, 2005-2018. BMJ Open 2020;10(7):e037905.Abstract
OBJECTIVES: Understanding trends of marijuana use in the USA throughout a period of particularly high adoption of marijuana-legalisation, and understanding demographics most at risk of use, is important in evolving healthcare policy and intervention. This study analyses the demographic-specific changes in the prevalence of marijuana use in the USA between 2005 and 2018. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A 14-year retrospective cross-sectional analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey database, a publicly available biennially collected national survey, weighted to represent the entire US population. A total of 35 212 adults between 18 and 69 years old participated in the seven-cycles of surveys analysed (2005-2018). PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURED: Lifetime use, first use before 18 years old, and past-year use of marijuana. RESULTS: The majority of adults reported ever using marijuana. While the overall prevalence of lifetime marijuana use remained stable (p=0.53), past-year use increased significantly between 2005 and 2018 (p<0.001) with highest rate of past-year use among younger age groups (p<0.001), males (p<0.001) and those with income below poverty level (p<0.001). Past-year use was the most common among non-Hispanic blacks, and less common among Hispanic/Mexican populations (p<0.002). Trends in past-year use increased among all age categories, males/females, all ethnicities, those with high school education/above, and those at all income levels (p<0.01 for all). CONCLUSIONS: While lifetime marijuana use remained stable, past-year use significantly increased between 2005 and 2018. While past-year use remained the most common in younger age groups, males, non-Hispanic blacks and those with lower income; increasing trends in past-year use were significant for all age, sex, race and income categories, and for those with high school education/above. With high adoption of marijuana-legalisation laws during this period, our results suggest an associated increase in past-year marijuana use.An accurate understanding of those most at risk can help to inform decisions of healthcare policy-makers and professionals, and facilitate a safe transition of changing marijuana legalisation and use in the USA.
Moein H-R, Akhlaq A, Dieckmann G, Abbouda A, Pondelis N, Salem Z, Müller RT, Cruzat A, Cavalcanti BM, Jamali A, Hamrah P. Visualization of micro-neuromas by using in vivo confocal microscopy: An objective biomarker for the diagnosis of neuropathic corneal pain?. Ocul Surf 2020;Abstract
PURPOSE: The diagnosis of neuropathic corneal pain (NCP) is challenging, as it is often difficult to differentiate from conventional dry eye disease (DED). In addition to eye pain, NCP can present with similar signs and symptoms of DED. The purpose of this study is to find an objective diagnostic sign to identify patients with NCP, using in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). METHODS: This was a comparative, retrospective, case-control study. Patients with clinical diagnosis of NCP (n = 25), DED (n = 30), and age and sex-matched healthy controls (n = 16), who underwent corneal imaging with IVCM (HRT3/RCM) were included. Central corneal IVCM scans were analyzed by 2 masked observers for nerve density and number, presence of micro-neuromas (terminal enlargements of subbasal corneal nerve) and/or nerve beading (bead-like formation along the nerves), and dendritiform cell (DC) density. RESULTS: There was a decrease in total nerve density in both NCP (14.14 ± 1.03 mm/mm) and DED patients (12.86 ± 1.04 mm/mm), as compared to normal controls (23.90 ± 0.92 mm/mm; p < 0.001). However, total nerve density was not statistically different between NCP and DED patients (p = 0.63). Presence of nerve beading was not significantly different between patients and normal controls (p = 0.15). Interestingly, micro-neuromas were observed in all patients with NCP, while they were not present in any of the patients with DED (sensitivity and specificity of 100%). DC density was increased significantly in both NCP (71.89 ± 16.91 cells/mm) and DED patients (111.5 ± 23.86 cells/mm), as compared to normal controls (24.81 ± 4.48 cells/mm (Colloca et al., 2017) [2]; p < 0.05). However, there was no significant difference in DC density between DED and NCP patients (p = 0.31). CONCLUSION: IVCM may be used as an adjunct diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of NCP in the presence of neuropathic symptoms. Micro-neuromas may serve as a sensitive and specific biomarker for the diagnosis of NCP.
Hernandez-Llamas S, Paz-Ramos AK, Marcos-Gonzalez P, Amparo F, Garza-Leon M. Symptoms of ocular surface disease in construction workers: comparative study with office workers. BMC Ophthalmol 2020;20(1):272.Abstract
BACKGROUND: To investigate and contrast the prevalence of dry eye symptoms in construction workers and office workers using the OSDI questionnaire. METHODS: A cross-sectional, observational study was conducted using the OSDI questionnaire to evaluate dry eye symptoms and associated risk factors. Sampled size calculation with a power of 80% and a 95% degree of confidence suggested the inclusion of 298 participants. RESULTS: We studied 304 subjects (149 construction workers and 155 office workers). More than half (55%) of the participants presented dry eye symptoms (OSDI > 12). The average OSDI score was 21.30 ± 22.20 points, being lower in the group of construction workers (12.45 ± 17.50) than in-office workers (28.51 ± 22.99) (p <  0.001). Considering participants who had moderate and severe symptoms (23 to 100 points in OSDI), office workers presented dry eye symptoms 4.15 times more frequently than construction workers (OR 4.15, 95% CI 2.52, 6.85). Women presented statistical evidence of higher OSDI scores than men (32.47 ± 23.72 vs. 14.87 ± 18.48, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: construction workers have four times less risk of presenting dry eye symptoms than people working in the average office space. This highlights the pernicious effects on the ocular surface of the office environment, which poses a significant risk for the development or worsening of dry eye symptoms.
BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: To report a unique case of a pulmonary carcinoid tumor unilaterally metastatic to the iris and ciliary body and bilaterally to the choroid that was conservatively followed. METHODS: A 46-year-old woman presented with bilateral choroidal lesions and a left iris tumor. Ultrasound biomicroscopy disclosed a ciliary body component. A diagnosis of metastatic carcinoid tumor was made based on the clinical features. Rather than an excision, photodynamic therapy, or radiation treatment, as has been reported in all previous cases of carcinoid tumor metastatic to the iris, the patient was observed. RESULTS: Excellent vision was maintained for 8 years. The iris tumor gradually enlarged, but the choroidal lesions remained unchanged. The iris with the carcinoid tumor gradually acquired a brown pigmentation; this is the first reported case of acquired iris heterochromia in the setting of carcinoid tumor. CONCLUSION: We conclude, in cases of metastatic carcinoid in which visual acuity is excellent and the patient is asymptomatic, that observation of the ocular lesions is an acceptable course of action. The iris heterochromia is believed to have been caused by secretory factors produced by the tumor.
Chan CSY, Lonfat N, Zhao R, Davis AE, Li L, Wu M-R, Lin C-H, Ji Z, Cepko CL, Wang S. Cell type- and stage-specific expression of Otx2 is regulated by multiple transcription factors and -regulatory modules in the retina. Development 2020;147(14)Abstract
Transcription factors (TFs) are often used repeatedly during development and homeostasis to control distinct processes in the same and/or different cellular contexts. Considering the limited number of TFs in the genome and the tremendous number of events that need to be regulated, re-use of TFs is necessary. We analyzed how the expression of the homeobox TF, orthodenticle homeobox 2 (Otx2), is regulated in a cell type- and stage-specific manner during development in the mouse retina. We identified seven -regulatory modules (CRMs), among which the O5, O7 and O9 CRMs mark three distinct cellular contexts of Otx2 expression. We discovered that Otx2, Crx and Sox2, which are well-known TFs regulating retinal development, bind to and activate the O5, O7 or O9 CRMs, respectively. The chromatin status of these three CRMs was found to be distinct in different retinal cell types and at different stages. We conclude that retinal cells use a cohort of TFs with different expression patterns and multiple CRMs with different chromatin configurations to regulate the expression of Otx2 precisely.
Mac Grory B, Nackenoff A, Poli S, Spitzer MS, Nedelmann M, Guillon B, Preterre C, Chen CS, Lee AW, Yaghi S, Stretz C, Azher I, Paddock J, Bakaeva T, Greer DM, Shulman JG, Kowalski RG, Lavin P, Mistry E, Espaillat K, Furie K, Kirshner H, Schrag M. Intravenous Fibrinolysis for Central Retinal Artery Occlusion: A Cohort Study and Updated Patient-Level Meta-Analysis. Stroke 2020;51(7):2018-2025.Abstract
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Central retinal artery occlusion results in sudden, painless, usually permanent loss of vision in the affected eye. There is no proven, effective treatment to salvage visual acuity and a clear, unmet need for an effective therapy. In this work, we evaluated the efficacy of intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator (IV alteplase) in a prospective cohort study and an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. METHODS: We enrolled consecutive patients with acute central retinal artery occlusion within 48 hours of symptoms onset and with a visual acuity of <20/200 from January 2009 until May 2019. The primary outcomes were safety and functional visual acuity recovery. We compared rates of visual recovery between those treated with alteplase within 4.5 hours of symptom onset to those who did not receive alteplase (including an analysis restricted to untreated patients presenting within the window for treatment). We incorporated these results into an updated systematic review and patient-level meta-analysis. RESULTS: We enrolled 112 patients, of whom 25 (22.3% of the cohort) were treated with IV alteplase. One patient had an asymptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage after IV alteplase treatment. Forty-four percent of alteplase-treated patients had recovery of visual acuity when treated within 4.5 hours versus 13.1% of those not treated with alteplase (=0.003) and 11.6% of those presenting within 4 hours who did not receive alteplase (=0.03). Our updated patient-level meta-analysis of 238 patients included 67 patients treated with alteplase within 4.5 hours since time last known well with a recovery rate of 37.3%. This favorably compares with a 17.7% recovery rate in those without treatment. In linear regression, earlier treatment correlated with a higher rate of visual recovery (=0.01). CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that the administration of intravenous alteplase within 4.5 hours of symptom onset is associated with a higher likelihood of a favorable visual outcome for acute central retinal artery occlusion. Our results strongly support proceeding to a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
Chen JJ, Flanagan EP, Bhatti TM, Jitprapaikulsan J, Dubey D, Lopez Chiriboga ASS, Fryer JP, Weinshenker BG, McKeon A, Tillema J-M, Lennon VA, Lucchinetti CF, Kunchok A, McClelland CM, Lee MS, Bennett JL, Pelak VS, Van Stavern G, Adesina O-OO, Eggenberger ER, Acierno MD, Wingerchuk DM, Lam BL, Moss H, Beres S, Gilbert AL, Shah V, Armstrong G, Heidary G, Cestari DM, Stiebel-Kalish H, Pittock SJ. Steroid-sparing maintenance immunotherapy for MOG-IgG associated disorder. Neurology 2020;95(2):e111-e120.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-immunoglobulin G (MOG-IgG) associated disorder (MOGAD) often manifests with recurrent CNS demyelinating attacks. The optimal treatment for reducing relapses is unknown. To help determine the efficacy of long-term immunotherapy in preventing relapse in patients with MOGAD, we conducted a multicenter retrospective study to determine the rate of relapses on various treatments. METHODS: We determined the frequency of relapses in patients receiving various forms of long-term immunotherapy for MOGAD. Inclusion criteria were history of ≥1 CNS demyelinating attacks, MOG-IgG seropositivity, and immunotherapy for ≥6 months. Patients were reviewed for CNS demyelinating attacks before and during long-term immunotherapy. RESULTS: Seventy patients were included. The median age at initial CNS demyelinating attack was 29 years (range 3-61 years; 33% <18 years), and 59% were female. The median annualized relapse rate (ARR) before treatment was 1.6. On maintenance immunotherapy, the proportion of patients with relapse was as follows: mycophenolate mofetil 74% (14 of 19; ARR 0.67), rituximab 61% (22 of 36; ARR 0.59), azathioprine 59% (13 of 22; ARR 0.2), and IV immunoglobulin (IVIG) 20% (2 of 10; ARR 0). The overall median ARR on these 4 treatments was 0.3. All 9 patients treated with multiple sclerosis (MS) disease-modifying agents had a breakthrough relapse on treatment (ARR 1.5). CONCLUSION: This large retrospective multicenter study of patients with MOGAD suggests that maintenance immunotherapy reduces recurrent CNS demyelinating attacks, with the lowest ARR being associated with maintenance IVIG therapy. Traditional MS disease-modifying agents appear to be ineffective. Prospective randomized controlled studies are required to validate these conclusions.
Junk AK, Chang TC, Vanner E, Chen T. Current Trends in Tonometry and Tonometer Tip Disinfection. J Glaucoma 2020;29(7):507-512.Abstract
PRECIS: A survey among members of the American Glaucoma Society (AGS) and the American Optometry Association (AOA) on tonometer preference and tonometer disinfection indicates a shift to disposable tonometer tips compared with 1987. PURPOSE: This survey's purpose was to determine how eye care providers responded to the 2008 Centers of Disease Control (CDC) tonometer disinfection guidelines, which recommend 10% hypochlorite (dilute bleach) for reusable tonometers. Tonometers measure the eye pressure when they touch the cornea, an essential part of the eye examination. METHODS: AGS and AOA members were surveyed on tonometer preference, tonometer use, disinfection process, disinfectants, disinfection timing, and tonometer damage. RESULTS: Survey responses from 79 AOA members and 197 AGS members are included. The Goldmann tonometer is considered most accurate (70, 89% AOA and 161, 82% AGS). It is preferred by 54 (70%) AOA and 193 (98%) AGS members. Many providers (165) use reusable Goldmann tonometer tips (77, 79% AOA, 88, 45% AGS), and most clean with 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes 59 (77%) AOA and 54 (61%) AGS. In summary, 126 of 276 participants (8, 10% AOA and 118, 60% AGS) follow CDC guidelines by using disposable tips (2 AOA and 109 AGS) or disinfecting reusable tips with 10% hypochlorite (6 AOA and 9 AGS). CONCLUSIONS: The majority of AGS providers follow current CDC tonometer disinfection guidelines by shifting to disposable Goldmann tonometer tips. Only a minority of providers who use reusable tonometer tips disinfect with dilute bleach. Continued education on proper tonometer disinfection is critical to prevent eye-care related infection due to improper disinfection.
Ing EB, Xu QA, Salimi A, Torun N. Physician deaths from corona virus (COVID-19) disease. Occup Med (Lond) 2020;70(5):370-374.Abstract
BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused much morbidity and mortality to patients but also health care providers. AIMS: We tabulated the cases of physician deaths from COVID-19 associated with front-line work in hopes of mitigating future events. METHODS: On 15 April 2020, a Google internet search was performed using the keywords 'doctor', 'physician', 'death', 'COVID' and 'coronavirus' in English and Farsi, and Chinese using the Baidu search engine. The age, sex and medical speciality of physicians who died from COVID-19 in the line of duty were recorded. Individuals greater than 90 years of age were excluded. RESULTS: We found 278 physicians who died with COVID-19 infection, but complete details were missing for 108 individuals. The average age of the physicians was 63.7 years with a median age of 66 years, and 90% were male (235/261). General practitioners and emergency room doctors (108/254), respirologists (5/254), internal medicine specialists (13/254) and anaesthesiologists (6/254) comprised 52% of those dying. Two per cent of the deceased were epidemiologists (5/254), 2% were infectious disease specialists (4/254), 6% were dentists (16/254), 4% were ENT (9/254) and 3% were ophthalmologists (8/254). The countries with the most reported physician deaths were Italy (121/278; 44%), Iran (43/278; 15%), Philippines (21/278; 8%), Indonesia (17/278; 6%), China (16/278; 6%), Spain (12/278; 4%), USA (12/278; 4%) and UK (11/278;4%). CONCLUSIONS: Physicians from all specialities may die from COVID. Lack of personal protective equipment was cited as a common cause of death. Consideration should be made to exclude older physicians from front-line work.
Singh RB, Blanco T, Mittal SK, Taketani Y, Chauhan SK, Chen Y, Dana R. Pigment Epithelium-derived Factor secreted by corneal epithelial cells regulates dendritic cell maturation in dry eye disease. Ocul Surf 2020;18(3):460-469.Abstract
PURPOSE: In this study, we quantify Pigment Epithelium-derived Factor (PEDF) secreted by corneal epithelial cells and evaluate its immunomodulatory functions in a murine model of dry eye disease (DED). METHODS: We induced DED in female C57BL/6 mice using a controlled environment chamber for 14 days. We quantified mRNA expression of Serpinf1 gene and PEDF protein synthesis by corneal epithelial cells (CEpCs) using RT-PCR and ELISA. CEpCs from normal or DED mice were cultured with IFNγ-stimulated-dendritic cells (DCs) for 24 h, and expression of MHC-II and CD86 by DCs was determined using flow cytometry. Next, we either added recombinant PEDF (rPEDF) or anti-PEDF antibody to co-culture, and DC expression of the above maturation markers was quantified. Lastly, we treated DED mice with either topical rPEDF, anti-PEDF Ab or murine serum albumin (MSA), and DC maturation, expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and DED severity were investigated. RESULTS: Serpinf1 mRNA expression and PEDF protein production levels by CEpCs were upregulated in DED. CEpCs from DED mice exhibited an enhanced suppressive effect on the expression of MHC-II and CD86 by DCs, compared to normal mice. This effect was abolished by blocking endogenous PEDF with anti-PEDF Ab or enhanced by supplementing with rPEDF. Treatment with anti-PEDF antibody blocked the effect of endogenous-PEDF and increased DC maturation, expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in conjunctivae, and exacerbated disease severity in DED mice. Conversely, topical rPEDF enhanced the suppressive effect of endogenous PEDF on DC maturation, decreased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in conjunctivae, and reduced disease severity. CONCLUSIONS: The results from our study elucidate the role of PEDF in impeding DC maturation, and suppression of ocular surface inflammation, explicating a promising therapeutic potential of PEDF in limiting the corneal epitheliopathy as a consequence of DED.
Wang J, Liu Y, Kam WR, Li Y, Sullivan DA. Toxicity of the cosmetic preservatives parabens, phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin on human meibomian gland epithelial cells. Exp Eye Res 2020;196:108057.Abstract
Recently, we discovered that the cosmetic preservatives, benzalkonium chloride and formaldehyde, are especially toxic to human meibomian gland epithelial cells (HMGECs). Exposure to these agents, at concentrations approved for human use, leads within hours to cellular atrophy and death. We hypothesize that these effects are not unique, and that other cosmetic preservatives also exert adverse effects on HMGECs. Such compounds include parabens, phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin, which have been reported to be toxic to corneal and conjunctival epithelial cells, the liver and kidney, as well as to irritate the eye. To test our hypothesis, we examined the influence of parabens, phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin on the morphology, signaling, survival, proliferation and lipid expression of immortalized (I) HMGECs. These cells were cultured under proliferating or differentiating conditions with varying concentrations of methylparaben, ethylparaben, phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin for up to 5 days. We monitored the signaling ability, appearance, number and neutral lipid content of the IHMGECs, as well as their lysosome accumulation. Our findings show that a 30-min exposure of IHMGECs to these preservatives results in a significant reduction in the activity of the Akt pathway. This effect is dose-dependent and occurs at concentrations equal to (chlorphenesin) and less than (all others) those dosages approved for human use. Further, a 24-h treatment of the IHMGECs with concentrations of methylparaben, ethylparaben, phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin close to, or at, the approved human dose induces cellular atrophy and death. At all concentrations tested, no preservative stimulated IHMGEC proliferation. Of particular interest, it was not possible to evaluate the influence of these preservatives, at close to human approved dosages, on IHMGEC differentiation, because the cells did not survive the treatment. In summary, our results support our hypothesis and show that methylparaben, ethylparaben, phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin are toxic to IHMGECs.
Hui P-C, Shtyrkova K, Zhou C, Chen X, Chodosh J, Dohlman CH, Paschalis EI. Implantable self-aligning fiber-optic optomechanical devices for in vivo intraocular pressure-sensing in artificial cornea. J Biophotonics 2020;13(7):e202000031.Abstract
Artificial cornea is an effective treatment of corneal blindness. Yet, intraocular pressure (IOP) measurements for glaucoma monitoring remain an urgent unmet need. Here, we present the integration of a fiber-optic Fabry-Perot pressure sensor with an FDA-approved keratoprosthesis for real-time IOP measurements using a novel strategy based on optical-path self-alignment with micromagnets. Additionally, an alternative noncontact sensor-interrogation approach is demonstrated using a bench-top optical coherence tomography system. We show stable pressure readings with low baseline drift (<2.8 mm Hg) for >4.5 years in vitro and efficacy in IOP interrogation in vivo using fiber-optic self-alignment, with good initial agreement with the actual IOP. Subsequently, IOP drift in vivo was due to retroprosthetic membrane (RPM) formation on the sensor secondary to surgical inflammation (more severe in the current pro-fibrotic rabbit model). This study paves the way for clinical adaptation of optical pressure sensors with ocular implants, highlighting the importance of controlling RPM in clinical adaptation.
Liu WW, Werner A, Chen TC. Repair of Tube Erosion by Modifying the Tube Extender. J Glaucoma 2020;29(7):604-606.Abstract
We describe here a case report of a novel technique for tube erosion repair, which modifies and utilizes the commercially available tube extender (Model TE). The modification of the tube extender makes the commercially available tube extender more compact and is useful in cases where conjunctival mobility and space are limited. This debulking of the tube extender may reduce the risk of future tube exposure and dellen formation.
Furutani E, Shah AS, Zhao Y, Andorsky D, Dedeoglu F, Geddis A, Zhou Y, Libermann TA, Myers KC, Shimamura A. Inflammatory manifestations in patients with Shwachman-Diamond syndrome: A novel phenotype. Am J Med Genet A 2020;182(7):1754-1760.Abstract
Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS) is an autosomal recessive multisystem disorder characterized by exocrine pancreatic dysfunction, bone marrow failure, and leukemia predisposition. Approximately 90% of cases are due to biallelic mutations in the Shwachman-Bodian-Diamond (SBDS) gene. Additional phenotypic features variably associated with SDS include skeletal, neurologic, hepatic, cardiac, endocrine, and dental abnormalities. We report five subjects with SDS who developed a range of inflammatory manifestations. Three patients developed inflammatory eye conditions. Single cases of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis, and scleroderma were also noted. Clinical presentation and treatment responses are described. Proteomic analysis revealed increased inflammatory signatures in SDS subjects as compared to controls. Treatment of inflammatory manifestations in patients with SDS may be complicated by potential myelosuppressive toxicities of anti-rheumatic medications. Further research is needed to better understand the potential link between inflammatory disorders and SDS to inform effective treatment strategies.