September 2021

Böhm M, Müller M, Paul J, Hemkeppler E, Kohnen T. Intraoperative OCT versus Scheimpflug and Swept-Source OCT measurements for anterior eye parameters. J Cataract Refract Surg 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare agreement of anterior segment parameter measurements using an intraoperative optical coherence tomography (iOCT) of a femtosecond laser (LenSx) during interface docking to the eye to preoperative Scheimpflug-tomography (Pentacam AXL) and swept-source optical coherence tomography (IOL Master 700). SETTING: Department of Ophthalmology, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany. DESIGN: Retrospective study. METHODS: Ninty-five eyes of 66 patients who had planned OCT-guided femtosecond laser-assisted lens surgery were included. Anterior segment measurements were performed in mydriasis prior to surgery using Scheimpflug-tomography and swept-source optical coherence tomography. After surgery iOCT images were analysed using a modification of the FIJI image processing program. Outcome measures included external anterior chamber depth (ACD), central corneal thickness (CCT) and central lens thickness (LT). RESULTS: The ACD measured with the iOCT was -0.011±0.126mm smaller (p=0.389) than with theswept-source OCT and -0.059±0.185mm than with the Scheimpflug-tomography (p=0.003). The swept-source OCT measures a -0.047±0.146mm smaller ACD than the Scheimpflug-tomography (p=0.002). The measurements of CCT using the iOCT and the Scheimpflug-tomography (-0.705±20.837μm, p=0.742) and the LT measurements of swept-source OCT and iOCT (-0.050±0.089mm, p<0.001) show no clinically relevant difference. Just the ACD between the iOCT and the Scheimpflug-tomography shows a clinically relevant difference. CONCLUSION: The comparison of the anterior segment parameters of intraoperative optical coherence tomography with swept-source optical coherence tomography showed no clinically relevant differences regarding the ACD and the lens thickness. However, Scheimpflug-tomography versus intraoperative optical coherence tomography measures a small clinically relevant difference for ACD.
Wishart TFL, Flokis M, Shu DY, Das SJ, Lovicu FJ. Hallmarks of lens aging and cataractogenesis. Exp Eye Res 2021;210:108709.Abstract
Lens homeostasis and transparency are dependent on the function and intercellular communication of its epithelia. While the lens epithelium is uniquely equipped with functional repair systems to withstand reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated oxidative insult, ROS are not necessarily detrimental to lens cells. Lens aging, and the onset of pathogenesis leading to cataract share an underlying theme; a progressive breakdown of oxidative stress repair systems driving a pro-oxidant shift in the intracellular environment, with cumulative ROS-induced damage to lens cell biomolecules leading to cellular dysfunction and pathology. Here we provide an overview of our current understanding of the sources and essential functions of lens ROS, antioxidative defenses, and changes in the major regulatory systems that serve to maintain the finely tuned balance of oxidative signaling vs. oxidative stress in lens cells. Age-related breakdown of these redox homeostasis systems in the lens leads to the onset of cataractogenesis. We propose eight candidate hallmarks that represent common denominators of aging and cataractogenesis in the mammalian lens: oxidative stress, altered cell signaling, loss of proteostasis, mitochondrial dysfunction, dysregulated ion homeostasis, cell senescence, genomic instability and intrinsic apoptotic cell death.
Ahangari N, Munoz DG, Coulombe J, Gray DA, Engle EC, Cheng L, Woulfe J. Nuclear IMPDH Filaments in Human Gliomas. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 2021;Abstract
The analysis of nuclear morphology plays an important role in glioma diagnosis and grading. We previously described intranuclear rods (rods) labeled with the SDL.3D10 monoclonal antibody against class III beta-tubulin (TUBB3) in human ependymomas. In a cohort of adult diffuse gliomas, we identified nuclear rods in 71.1% of IDH mutant lower-grade gliomas and 13.7% of IDH wild-type glioblastomas (GBMs). The presence of nuclear rods was associated with significantly longer postoperative survival in younger (≤65) GBM patients. Consistent with this, nuclear rods were mutually exclusive with Ki67 staining and their prevalence in cell nuclei inversely correlated with the Ki67 proliferation index. In addition, rod-containing nuclei showed a relative depletion of lamin B1, suggesting a possible association with senescence. To gain insight into their functional significance, we addressed their antigenic properties. Using a TUBB3-null mouse model, we demonstrate that the SDL.3D10 antibody does not bind TUBB3 in rods but recognizes an unknown antigen. In the present study, we show that rods show immunoreactivity for the nucleotide synthesizing enzymes inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) and cytidine triphosphate synthetase. By analogy with the IMPDH filaments that have been described previously, we postulate that rods regulate the activity of nucleotide-synthesizing enzymes in the nucleus by sequestration, with important implications for glioma behavior.
Zabaleta N, Dai W, Bhatt U, Hérate C, Maisonnasse P, Chichester JA, Sanmiguel J, Estelien R, Michalson KT, Diop C, Maciorowski D, Dereuddre-Bosquet N, Cavarelli M, Gallouët A-S, Naninck T, Kahlaoui N, Lemaitre J, Qi W, Hudspeth E, Cucalon A, Dyer CD, Pampena BM, Knox JJ, LaRocque RC, Charles RC, Li D, Kim M, Sheridan A, Storm N, Johnson RI, Feldman J, Hauser BM, Contreras V, Marlin R, Tsong Fang RH, Chapon C, van der Werf S, Zinn E, Ryan A, Kobayashi DT, Chauhan R, McGlynn M, Ryan ET, Schmidt AG, Price B, Honko A, Griffiths A, Yaghmour S, Hodge R, Betts MR, Freeman MW, Wilson JM, Le Grand R, Vandenberghe LH. An AAV-based, room-temperature-stable, single-dose COVID-19 vaccine provides durable immunogenicity and protection in non-human primates. Cell Host Microbe 2021;29(9):1437-1453.e8.Abstract
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has affected more than 185 million people worldwide resulting in over 4 million deaths. To contain the pandemic, there is a continued need for safe vaccines that provide durable protection at low and scalable doses and can be deployed easily. Here, AAVCOVID-1, an adeno-associated viral (AAV), spike-gene-based vaccine candidate demonstrates potent immunogenicity in mouse and non-human primates following a single injection and confers complete protection from SARS-CoV-2 challenge in macaques. Peak neutralizing antibody titers are sustained at 1 year and complemented by functional memory T cell responses. The AAVCOVID vector has no relevant pre-existing immunity in humans and does not elicit cross-reactivity to common AAVs used in gene therapy. Vector genome persistence and expression wanes following injection. The single low-dose requirement, high-yield manufacturability, and 1-month stability for storage at room temperature may make this technology well suited to support effective immunization campaigns for emerging pathogens on a global scale.
Pamir Z, Bauer CM, Bennett CR, Kran BS, Merabet LB. Visual perception supported by verbal mediation in an individual with cerebral visual impairment (CVI). Neuropsychologia 2021;160:107982.Abstract
Cerebral visual impairment (CVI) often presents with deficits associated with higher order visual processing. We report a case of an individual with CVI who uses a verbal mediation strategy to perceive and interact with his visual surroundings. Visual perceptual performance was assessed using a virtual reality based visual search task combined with eye tracking. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was employed to identify the neural correlates associated with this strategy. We found that when using verbal mediation, the individual could readily detect and track the target within the visual scene which was associated with robust activation within a network of occipito-parieto-temporal visual cortical areas. In contrast, when not using verbal mediation, the individual was completely unable to perform the task, and this was associated with dramatically reduced visual cortical activation. This unique compensatory strategy may be related to the individual's use of verbal working memory for the purposes of understanding complex visual information.
Soeken TA, Ross AE, Kohane DS, Kuang L, Legault GL, Caldwell MC, Brundridge WL, Merkley MB, Ciolino JB, Townley RJ. Dexamethasone-Eluting Contact Lens for the Prevention of Postphotorefractive Keratectomy Scar in a New Zealand White Rabbit Model. Cornea 2021;40(9):1175-1180.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of an experimental dexamethasone-eluting contact lens (DCL) for the prevention of postphotorefractive keratectomy (PRK) corneal haze in a New Zealand White (NZW) rabbit model. METHODS: Both eyes of 29 NZW rabbits underwent PRK. The rabbits were randomized to one of the 5 study arms for 4 weeks: tarsorrhaphy only, tarsorrhaphy and bandage contact lens (BCL) replaced weekly, tarsorrhaphy and BCL for 1 week plus topical 0.1% dexamethasone ophthalmic solution (drops) for 4 weeks, tarsorrhaphy and BCL replaced weekly plus topical dexamethasone for 4 weeks, and tarsorrhaphy and DCL changed weekly for 4 weeks. Each week for 4 consecutive weeks postoperatively, the tarsorrhaphies were opened, the eyes underwent evaluation and imaging, and the tarsorrhaphies were replaced. Contact lenses were cultured on removal. Central corneal haze was assessed weekly with corneal densitometry. After 4 weeks, the animals were killed, and the eyes were enucleated for histopathologic analysis. RESULTS: The tarsorrhaphy only group displayed more haze with a greater change in optical densitometry from pre-op compared with the other treatment groups. There was no difference between the DCL group and the groups receiving a BCL and dexamethasone drops in densitometry or histopathology. No NZW rabbits developed clinical signs of infection, and cultures from DCLs and BCLs grew similar organisms. CONCLUSIONS: In the post-PRK rabbit model, DCLs worn weekly for 4 weeks were safe and as effective at preventing corneal haze as 0.1% dexamethasone drops applied 4 times a day for 4 weeks.
Pundlik S, Baliutaviciute V, Moharrer M, Bowers AR, Luo G. Home-Use Evaluation of a Wearable Collision Warning Device for Individuals With Severe Vision Impairments: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Ophthalmol 2021;139(9):998-1005.Abstract
Importance: There is scant rigorous evidence about the real-world mobility benefit of electronic mobility aids. Objective: To evaluate the effect of a collision warning device on the number of contacts experienced by blind and visually impaired people in their daily mobility. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this double-masked randomized clinical trial, participants used a collision warning device during their daily mobility over a period of 4 weeks. A volunteer sample of 31 independently mobile individuals with severe visual impairments, including total blindness and peripheral visual field restrictions, who used a long cane or guide dog as their habitual mobility aid completed the study. The study was conducted from January 2018 to December 2019. Interventions: The device automatically detected collision hazards using a chest-mounted video camera. It randomly switched between 2 modes: active mode (intervention condition), where it provided alerts for detected collision threats via 2 vibrotactile wristbands, and silent mode (control condition), where the device still detected collisions but did not provide any warnings to the user. Scene videos along with the collision warning information were recorded by the device. Potential collisions detected by the device were reviewed and scored, including contacts with the hazards, by 2 independent reviewers. Participants and reviewers were masked to the device operation mode. Main Outcomes and Measures: Rate of contacts per 100 hazards per hour, compared between the 2 device modes within each participant. Modified intention-to-treat analysis was used. Results: Of the 31 included participants, 18 (58%) were male, and the median (range) age was 61 (25-73) years. A total of 19 participants (61%) had a visual acuity (VA) of light perception or worse, and 28 (90%) reported a long cane as their habitual mobility aid. The median (interquartile range) number of contacts was lower in the active mode compared with silent mode (9.3 [6.6-14.9] vs 13.8 [6.9-24.3]; difference, 4.5; 95% CI, 1.5-10.7; P < .001). Controlling for demographic characteristics, presence of VA better than light perception, and fall history, the rate of contacts significantly reduced in the active mode compared with the silent mode (β = 0.63; 95% CI, 0.54-0.73; P < .001). Conclusions and Relevance: In this study involving 31 visually impaired participants, the collision warnings were associated with a reduced rate of contacts with obstacles in daily mobility, indicating the potential of the device to augment habitual mobility aids. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03057496.
Whitman MC. Axonal Growth Abnormalities Underlying Ocular Cranial Nerve Disorders. Annu Rev Vis Sci 2021;7:827-850.Abstract
Abnormalities in cranial motor nerve development cause paralytic strabismus syndromes, collectively referred to as congenital cranial dysinnervation disorders, in which patients cannot fully move their eyes. These disorders can arise through one of two mechanisms: (a) defective motor neuron specification, usually by loss of a transcription factor necessary for brainstem patterning, or (b) axon growth and guidance abnormalities of the oculomotor, trochlear, and abducens nerves. This review focuses on our current understanding of axon guidance mechanisms in the cranial motor nerves and how disease-causing mutations disrupt axon targeting. Abnormalities of axon growth and guidance are often limited to a single nerve or subdivision, even when the causative gene is ubiquitously expressed. Additionally, when one nerve is absent, its normal target muscles attract other motor neurons. Study of these disorders highlights the complexities of axon guidance and how each population of neurons uses a unique but overlapping set of axon guidance pathways.
Sobrin L, Yu Y, Han S, Susarla G, Kempen JH, Hubbard RA, VanderBeek BL. Decreased risk of non-infectious anterior uveitis with statin therapy in a large healthcare claims database. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2021;259(9):2783-2793.Abstract
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to determine if statin therapy decreases the incidence of non-infectious uveitis (NIU) using a retrospective cohort study. METHODS: Patients enrolled in a national insurance plan who initiated statin (n = 711,734, statin cohort) or other lipid-lowering therapy (n = 148,044, non-statin cohort) were observed for NIU development. Incident NIU in the primary analysis was defined as a new diagnosis code for NIU followed by a second instance of a NIU code within 120 days. For the secondary outcome definition, a corticosteroid prescription or code for an ocular corticosteroid injection within 120 days of the NIU diagnosis code was used instead of the second NIU diagnosis code. Estimation of NIU incidence used multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression. The proportional hazards assumption was satisfied by creating two time periods of analysis, ≤ 150 and > 150 days. Subanalyses were performed by anatomic subtype. RESULTS: Overall, the primary outcome occurred 541 times over 690,465 person-years in the statin cohort and 103 times over 104,301 person-years in the non-statin cohort. No associations were seen in the ≤ 150-day analyses (p > 0.20 for all comparisons). However, after 150 days, the statin cohort was less likely to develop any uveitis [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.70, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.51-0.97, P = 0.03] in the primary outcome analysis, but did not meet significance for the secondary outcome (HR = 0.85, 95% CI: 0.63-1.15, P = 0.30). Similarly, in the anatomic subtype analysis, after 150 days, the statin cohort was less likely to develop anterior uveitis (HR = 0.67, 95% CI: 0.47-0.97, P = 0.03) in the primary analysis, but the association did not reach significance for the secondary outcome (HR = 0.82, 95% CI: 0.56-1.20, P = 0.31). CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that statin therapy for > 150 days decreases the incidence of NIU.
Seto B, Singh MK, Lemire CA, Arroyo JG. Anterior versus posterior endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation: comparison of indications, populations, and outcomes. Int Ophthalmol 2021;41(9):3021-3028.Abstract
PURPOSE: To examine how indications, patient characteristics, and outcomes differ between anterior and posterior approaches of endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation (ECP) in the treatment of glaucoma. METHODS: This is a retrospective chart review of 9 anterior and 20 posterior ECP cases (n = 29). RESULTS: Posterior ECP cases were typically associated with a dramatic increase in intraocular pressure (IOP), whereas the anterior ECP was associated with chronically elevated pressures. The initial IOPs in mm Hg of posterior ECP cases (26.8 non-NVG; 35.2 NVG) were much greater than anterior ECP cases (17.8), and a greater overall reduction in IOP was observed in the posterior versus anterior ECP cases (10.3 posterior non-NVG; 21.3 posterior NVG; 3.6 anterior, P < .001). With procedural success defined as 6-month post-operative IOP falling within normal ranges and a decrease in either IOP or number of prescribed glaucoma medications, the success rate of ECP was 92% for posterior NVG, 89% for anterior and 75% for posterior non-NVG cases (P = .34), similar to the previous literature. Of the four unsuccessful cases, two resulted in a normal IOP but lacked a drop in pressure or reduction in medication burden, one resulted in a 6-point drop in IOP but remained at 23 mm Hg, and one resulted in phthisis bulbi (3%) from an initial pressure above 40 mm Hg. CONCLUSION: Endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation is an effective and safe procedure for severe glaucoma cases from both an anterior and posterior approach. Ophthalmologists should consider this procedure as part of their glaucoma treatment arsenal.
Zebardast N, Sekimitsu S, Wang J, Elze T, Gharahkhani P, Cole BS, Lin MM, Segrè AV, Wiggs JL, Wiggs JL. Characteristics of p.Gln368Ter Myocilin Variant and Influence of Polygenic Risk on Glaucoma Penetrance in the UK Biobank. Ophthalmology 2021;128(9):1300-1311.Abstract
PURPOSE: MYOC (myocilin) mutations account for 3% to 5% of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) cases. We aimed to understand the true population-wide penetrance and characteristics of glaucoma among individuals with the most common MYOC variant (p.Gln368Ter) and the impact of a POAG polygenic risk score (PRS) in this population. DESIGN: Cross-sectional population-based study. PARTICIPANTS: Individuals with the p.Gln368Ter variant among 77 959 UK Biobank participants with fundus photographs (FPs). METHODS: A genome-wide POAG PRS was computed, and 2 masked graders reviewed FPs for disc-defined glaucoma (DDG). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Penetrance of glaucoma. RESULTS: Two hundred individuals carried the p.Gln368Ter heterozygous genotype, and 177 had gradable FPs. One hundred thirty-two showed no evidence of glaucoma, 45 (25.4%) had probable/definite glaucoma in at least 1 eye, and 19 (10.7%) had bilateral glaucoma. No differences were found in age, race/ethnicity, or gender among groups (P > 0.05). Of those with DDG, 31% self-reported or had International Classification of Diseases codes for glaucoma, whereas 69% were undiagnosed. Those with DDG had higher medication-adjusted cornea-corrected intraocular pressure (IOPcc) (P < 0.001) vs. those without glaucoma. This difference in IOPcc was larger in those with DDG with a prior glaucoma diagnosis versus those not diagnosed (P < 0.001). Most p.Gln368Ter carriers showed IOP in the normal range (≤21 mmHg), although this proportion was lower in those with DDG (P < 0.02) and those with prior glaucoma diagnosis (P < 0.03). Prevalence of DDG increased with each decile of POAG PRS. Individuals with DDG demonstrated significantly higher PRS compared with those without glaucoma (0.37 ± 0.97 vs. 0.01 ± 0.90; P = 0.03). Of those with DDG, individuals with a prior diagnosis of glaucoma had higher PRS compared with undiagnosed individuals (1.31 ± 0.64 vs. 0.00 ± 0.81; P < 0.001) and 27.5 times (95% confidence interval, 2.5-306.6) adjusted odds of being in the top decile of PRS for POAG. CONCLUSIONS: One in 4 individuals with the MYOC p.Gln368Ter mutation demonstrated evidence of glaucoma, a substantially higher penetrance than previously estimated, with 69% of cases undetected. A large portion of p.Gln368Ter carriers, including those with DDG, have IOP in the normal range, despite similar age. Polygenic risk score increases disease penetrance and severity, supporting the usefulness of PRS in risk stratification among MYOC p.Gln368Ter carriers.
Nguyen QD, Anesi SD, Chexal S, Chu DS, Dayani PN, Leng T, Meleth AD, Sallam AA, Sheppard JD, Silverstein SM, Toyos M, Wang RC, Foster CS. Management of repository corticotropin injection therapy for non-infectious uveitis: a Delphi study. Acta Ophthalmol 2021;99(6):669-678.Abstract
PURPOSE: Diagnosis and management of non-infectious uveitis (NIU), a major cause of blindness worldwide, are challenging. Corticosteroids, the cornerstone of therapy, are not appropriate for long-term use, and while non-biologic and biologic immunomodulators may be used for some patients, data on their efficacy and safety in this population are limited. Repository corticotropin injection (RCI), believed to affect uveitis by multiple mechanisms, has received regulatory approval for treatment of ophthalmic diseases including posterior uveitis, but is not widely used or discussed in guidelines for the management of uveitis and ocular inflammatory diseases. METHODS: The index study employed a modified Delphi process with a panel of 14 US-based ophthalmologists. Consensus recommendations were developed through a series of three questionnaires. Panellists rated statements on a Likert scale from -5 (strongly disagree) to +5 (strongly agree). RESULTS: The Delphi panel provided consensus recommendations on examinations and testing needed for diagnosis, treatment goals, and the use of corticosteroids, as well as the use of non-biologic and biologic immunomodulators. The panel reached consensus that RCI may be considered for posterior and pan-uveitis, and dosing should be individualized for each patient. Dose reduction/discontinuation should be considered for excessive RCI-related toxicity, hyperglycaemia and/or diabetic complications, excessive costs, or remission ≥ 2 years. Patients should be weaned from RCI if uveitis is stable and well controlled. Adverse events during RCI therapy can be managed by appropriate interventions, with dose reduction/discontinuation considered if events are severe or recurrent. CONCLUSIONS: Expert consensus suggests RCI may be an appropriate treatment option for some patients with uveitis when other therapies are ineffective or intolerable.
Foulsham W, Chen XN, Vavvas DG. ALTITUDE-ASSOCIATED INTRAOCULAR PRESSURE CHANGES IN A GAS-FILLED EYE. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2021;15(5):564-567.Abstract
PURPOSE: Intraocular gases are commonly used in vitreoretinal surgery. Patients are routinely advised against air travel before the complete absorption of intraocular gas. Consequently, reports on air travel in patients with large intraocular gas bubbles are highly unusual. Here, we report the intraocular pressure changes of a patient ascending to an altitude of 2,600 feet in a helicopter with a 50% fill perfluoropropane (C3F8) gas bubble in his left eye. METHODS: Case report and literature review. RESULTS: A 61-year-old male patient underwent pars plana vitrectomy for a rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, with fluid-gas exchange using 16% C3F8. With a 50% fill bubble in the left eye, the patient took a short helicopter trip ascending to a maximum altitude of 2,600 feet. Before take-off, intraocular pressure in the operated eye was 14 mmHg. The average increase in intraocular pressure was 10.8 mmHg per 1,000 feet of ascent, with a maximum recorded intraocular pressure of 42 mmHg. The patient denied both ocular pain and loss of vision but did report changes in the appearance of the gas bubble meniscus at 2,100 feet. CONCLUSION: Short-term low-altitude air travel may be tolerated by some patients with intraocular gas in situ. Further studies are required to define the conditions by which patients with gas bubbles may fly safely.

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