PURPOSE: To investigate the feasibility of remote assessment and follow-up of dry eye symptoms using electronic versions of two validated questionnaires. METHODS: We conducted a prospective study of consecutive patients with dry eye disease (DED). Patients were enrolled during a clinical visit and were explained how to respond electronic versions of the Ocular surface Disease Index (OSDI) and the Symptom Assessment in Dry Eye (SANDE) questionnaires using a computer in the presence of investigators. A secure link to both questionnaires was sent to each patient every 2 weeks in order to respond and submit their symptoms over a 3-month period. We analyzed the number of patients who responded to both questionnaires, the recurrence, and the symptoms scores reported. RESULTS: A total of 1121 questionnaires were collected; 103 patients (85%) reported their symptoms at least once during the 3-month study duration. The majority of participants who completed the study (71.6%) responded remotely at least once per month during the 3-month duration of the study. The mean OSDI and SANDE scores from the total of remote evaluations were 34.9 ± 21.9 (range 0-97.5) and 50.3 ± 24.9 (range 0-100), respectively. There was a statistically significant correlation between the total scores collected with the two questionnaires (R = 0.67, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Patients are motivated to report DED symptoms while away from the clinic. Distance-based evaluation of DED symptoms is both feasible and convenient, and can be implemented to follow symptoms in large populations with chronic dry eye.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: An altered haemodynamic profile for various ocular posterior segment capillary beds has been documented in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). POAG may also involve abnormal non-ocular blood flow, and the nailfold capillaries, which are not affected by elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), are readily assessable. METHODS: We measured resting nailfold capillary blood flow in 67 POAG and 63 control subjects using video capillaroscopy. Masked readers tracked blood column voids between consecutive, registered image sequence frames, measured vessel diameter and calculated blood flow. We used multiple logistic regression to investigate the relation between nailfold capillary blood flow and POAG. In secondary analyses, we stratified cases by maximum IOP and concurrent topical beta-blocker use. RESULTS: Mean (±SD) blood flow in picolitres per second was 26.8±17.6 for POAG cases and 50.1±24.2 for controls (p<0.0001). After adjustment for demographic and clinical factors including blood pressure and pulse, every picolitre per second increase in resting nailfold blood flow was associated with a 6% (95% CI 0.92 to 0.96) reduced odds of POAG (p<0.0001). Similar relations between nailfold capillary blood flow and POAG were found for cases stratified by maximum known IOP and for cases stratified by concurrent topical beta-blocker use. CONCLUSION: Reduced resting nailfold capillary blood flow is present in POAG independent of covariates such as blood pressure, pulse and IOP.
PURPOSE: Alternative splice isoforms of TCF4, a gene implicated in Fuchs corneal dystrophy, have been identified in multiple human tissues outside of the eye. The aim of this study was to identify the transcriptional profile of TCF4 in the corneal endothelium. METHODS: We extracted RNA from the donor corneal endothelium and performed rapid amplification of cDNA ends. We tested the expression pattern of 1 newly identified isoform (7b) in a panel of cDNA derived from multiple human tissues and included cDNA from corneal endothelial (CE) and retinal pigment epithelial cell lines. To further delineate differential expression of TCF4 splice variants that span CTG18.1, we analyzed expression of 6 alternative splice isoforms that are transcribed from either exon 2 or 3 in RNA extracted from the corneal endothelium of 3 normal donors and a CE cell line. RESULTS: We identified 11 different isoforms in control CE tissue, including 1 isoform (7b) not reported previously. This isoform is enriched specifically in the corneal endothelium and placenta compared with other tissues in a panel of human cDNA. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate the complex expression profile of TCF4 in the human corneal endothelium and reveal expression of alternative splice variants of TCF4.
The ocular surface is a unique mucosal immune compartment in which anatomical, physiological, and immunological features act in concert to foster a particularly tolerant microenvironment. These mechanisms are vital to the functional competence of the eye, a fact underscored by the devastating toll of excessive inflammation at the cornea - blindness. Recent data have elucidated the contributions of specific anatomical components, immune cells, and soluble immunoregulatory factors in promoting homeostasis at the ocular surface. We highlight research trends at this distinctive mucosal barrier and identify crucial gaps in our current knowledge.
PURPOSE: To make the Boston keratoprosthesis (B-KPro), together with its carrier corneal graft, more easily procured, transported and stored, as well as less expensive, easier for the surgeon to implant and safer for the patient, it is proposed that the B-KPro-graft combination be pre-assembled by an expert technician, followed by sterilization with gamma ray irradiation (GI) allowing long-term storage at room temperature. For this to be possible, it must be shown that the B-KPro itself (not only the graft) remains unharmed by the irradiation. METHODS: Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) discs and B-KPros were submitted to either ethylene oxide sterilization or different doses of GI. Cell biocompatibility, mechanical strength and optical quality were evaluated. The feasibility of assembling the B-KPro to a corneal graft, and gamma-radiate afterwards, was also assessed. RESULTS: There were no differences in cell biocompatibility between the samples. The optical evaluation showed high levels of transparency for all the groups. The absorbance of ultraviolet was higher for the groups treated with GI. The mechanical evaluation by nanoindentation showed no alterations of the PMMA discs after GI. The flexure test revealed a similar mechanical behavior. Technically, pre-assembly and GI of the B-KPro revealed no problems. CONCLUSIONS: Sterilization of B-KPro using GI has no detrimental influence on the device. The pre-assembly of B-KPro to a donor cornea, followed by gamma sterilization, emerges as an efficient and safe procedure.
BACKGROUND HSP60-related immunological activities are found in normal-pressure glaucoma (NPG) patients, in whom an elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) found in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is not observed. HSP60 was found in POAG and NPG patients, while anti-HSP60 level was mainly found to be higher in NPG patients. The purpose of this study was to compare the percentages of Th cells and levels of related cytokines, attempting to provide evidence to explain this discrepancy. MATERIAL AND METHODS Blood samples from POAG, NPG, and normal control (NC) groups were collected and peripheral blood monocytes were isolated and cultured with or without the stimulation of HSP60. Flow cytometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were used to assess the percentages of Th1, Th2, Th17, and Treg cells, as well as HSP60 antibody levels and related cytokine levels, before and after culture. RESULTS Significantly higher titers of anti-HSP60 were observed only in NPG patients. Comparable Th1 and Th2 cell frequencies, IL-4 level, and IFN-γ level were found in POAG and NPG patients, while higher Treg cell frequency was only found in POAG patients. After culturing with HSP60, increased Th2 frequencies and decreased Th1 frequencies were observed in the POAG, NPG, and NC groups, while increased Treg frequency was only identified in the POAG and NC groups. CONCLUSIONS Different Th cell patterns were observed among POAG, NPG, and NC groups. Lack of induction of Treg cells and imbalance of the pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory response patterns of Th cells exist in some NPG patients.
A challenge in the treatment of Staphylococcus aureus infections is the high prevalence of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains and the formation of non-growing, dormant 'persister' subpopulations that exhibit high levels of tolerance to antibiotics and have a role in chronic or recurrent infections. As conventional antibiotics are not effective in the treatment of infections caused by such bacteria, novel antibacterial therapeutics are urgently required. Here we used a Caenorhabditis elegans-MRSA infection screen to identify two synthetic retinoids, CD437 and CD1530, which kill both growing and persister MRSA cells by disrupting lipid bilayers. CD437 and CD1530 exhibit high killing rates, synergism with gentamicin, and a low probability of resistance selection. All-atom molecular dynamics simulations demonstrated that the ability of retinoids to penetrate and embed in lipid bilayers correlates with their bactericidal ability. An analogue of CD437 was found to retain anti-persister activity and show an improved cytotoxicity profile. Both CD437 and this analogue, alone or in combination with gentamicin, exhibit considerable efficacy in a mouse model of chronic MRSA infection. With further development and optimization, synthetic retinoids have the potential to become a new class of antimicrobials for the treatment of Gram-positive bacterial infections that are currently difficult to cure.
PURPOSE: To study the association between peripheral changes in Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and dark adaptation (DA). DESIGN: Prospective, cross-sectional study. METHODS: We recruited patients with AMD and a control group (> 50 years) without any vitreoretinal disease. Ultra-widefield (UWF) pseudocolor and fundus autofluorescence (FAF) (Optos Inc, MA) were obtained, and were assessed by two graders for the presence of several peripheral changes in perimacular, mid- and far-peripheral zones. All participants were also imaged with 7 field color fundus photographs used for AMD staging (AREDS system). Both eyes of study participants were tested with the AdaptDx® (MacuLogix, PA) DA extended protocol (20 minutes). Multilevel, mixed-effect models (accounting for correlated outcomes between 2 eyes) were used for analyses. RESULTS: We included 128 eyes (n= 72 patients), 75% with AMD and the remainder controls. The presence of reticular pigmentary changes in the mid- (ß= 4.3, p=0.012) and far- peripheral zones (ß= 8.4, p<0.001) was associated with delayed rod-intercept times (RITs), even after adjusting for confounding factors. The presence, number and extent of peripheral classic drusen did not show a similar association (p ≥ 0.148). The presence of a mottled decreased FAF pattern in the mid-peripheral zone was also associated with prolonged RITs (β= 4.4, p= 0.031). CONCLUSION: Our results suggest an association between DA and the presence of peripheral reticular pigmentary changes, as well as the presence of a peripheral mottled decreased FAF pattern. This provides new insights on the clinical significance of peripheral changes in AMD, and their contribution to impairments on DA.
PURPOSE: To review the published literature to assess the visual outcomes and adverse events associated with the 2 most commonly used contact lenses for treating aphakia in children: silicone elastomer (SE) and rigid gas permeable (RGP). METHODS: Literature searches were last conducted in January 2018 in the PubMed, Cochrane Library, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases with no date or language restrictions. These combined searches yielded 167 citations, 27 of which were reviewed in full text. Of these, 10 articles were deemed appropriate for inclusion in this assessment and subsequently assigned a level of evidence rating by the panel methodologist. RESULTS: The literature search identified 4 level II studies and 6 level III studies. There were insufficient data to compare visual outcomes for eyes treated using SE lenses versus RGP lenses. Silicone elastomer lenses have the advantage that they can be worn on an extended-wear basis, but they were associated with more adverse events than RGP lenses. These adverse events included microbial keratitis, corneal infiltrates, corneal edema, corneal scars, lenses adhering to the cornea, superficial punctate keratopathy, lid swelling, and conjunctival hyperemia. The lens replacement rate was approximately 50% higher for RGP lenses in the only study that directly compared SE and RGP lenses. CONCLUSIONS: Limited evidence was found in the literature on this topic. Silicone elastomer and RGP contact lenses were found to be effective for treating aphakia in children. Silicone elastomer lenses are easier to fit and may be worn on an extended-wear basis. Rigid gas permeable lenses must be removed every night and require a more customized fit, but they are associated with fewer adverse events. The choice of which lens a practitioner prescribes should be based on the particular needs of each patient.
Glycoconjugate mucin secretion from conjunctival goblet cells is tightly regulated by nerves and specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) to maintain ocular surface health. Here we investigated the actions of the SPM resolvin E1 (RvE1) on cultured rat conjunctival goblet cell glycoconjugate secretion and intracellular [Ca] ([Ca]) and the signaling pathways used by RvE1. Goblet cells were cultured from rat conjunctiva in RPMI medium. The amount of RvE1-stimulated glycoconjugate mucin secretion was determined using an enzyme-linked lectin assay with Ulex Europaeus Agglutinin 1 lectin. Cultured goblet cells were also incubated with the Ca indicator dye fura 2/AM and [Ca] was measured. Cultured goblet cells were incubated with inhibitors to phospholipase (PL-) C, D, and A2 signaling pathways. RvE1 stimulated glycoconjugate secretion in a concentration dependent manner and was inhibited with the Ca chelator BAPTA. The Ca response was also increased in a concentration manner when stimulated by RvE1. Inhibition of PLC, PLD, and PLA2, but not Ca/calmodulin-dependent kinase blocked RvE1-stimulated increase in [Ca] and glycoconjugate secretion. We conclude that under normal, physiological conditions RvE1 stimulates multiple pathways to increase glycoconjugate secretion and [Ca]. RvE1 could be an important regulator of goblet cell glycoconjugate mucin secretion to maintain ocular surface health.
Purpose: We characterize age-associated alterations in the expression of inflammatory mediators and tissue remodeling factors in human tears. Methods: A total of 75 consecutive volunteers (32 male/44 female; 19-93 years) underwent clinical assessment of ocular surface status, ocular surface disease index (OSDI) grading and tear sampling. The volunteers were categorized into three groups: young (18-40 years), middle-aged (41-60 years), and old (>60 years). Total protein profiles and chip-based protein array evaluations were conducted to investigate the expression of 60 potential candidates, including pro-/anti-inflammatory mediators and tissue remodeling factors. Appropriate validations were performed using conventional assays. Multiple comparisons for regression between potential candidates and age were performed, as well as statistical analyses among the three age groups. Nonpooled samples were used for quantifications. Results: Pearson analysis of chip-arrays identified 9 of 60 potential candidates. Specifically, IL-8, IL-6, and regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES; P < 0.0083) protein as well as matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, IL-3, and TNF-α (P < 0.05) correlated positively with aging. MIP-3β showed an opposite tendency. Western blot and ELISA analysis corroborated the array data. OSDI grading did not correlate with aging. Conclusions: Dynamic changes to tear protein profiles occur with aging. Our study identifies the expression of IL-8, IL-6, RANTES, MMP-1, and MIP-3β as increasing with age. These select inflammatory and matrix remodeling factors may be relevant to the development of novel diagnostic tools and therapeutics in the context of age-related ocular surface disease.
BACKGROUND: Infants born prematurely are at risk of a deficiency in ω-6 and ω-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) arachidonic acid (AA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). We investigated how fatty acids from breast milk and parenteral lipid emulsions shape serum LC-PUFA profiles in extremely preterm infants during early perinatal life. METHODS: Ninety infants born < 28 weeks gestational age were randomized to receive parenteral lipids with or without the ω-3 LC-PUFAs eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA (SMOFlipid: Fresenius Kabi, Uppsala, Sweden, or Clinoleic: Baxter Medical AB, Kista, Sweden, respectively). The fatty acid composition of infant serum phospholipids was determined from birth to postmenstrual age 40 weeks, and in mother's milk total lipids on postnatal day 7. Enteral and parenteral intake of LC-PUFAs was correlated with levels in infant serum. RESULTS: Infants administered parenteral ω-3 LC-PUFAs received 4.4 and 19.3 times more DHA and EPA, respectively, over the first 2 weeks of life. Parenteral EPA but not DHA correlated with levels in infant serum. We found linear relationships between dietary EPA and DHA and infant serum levels in the Clinoleic (Baxter Medical AB) group. The volume of administered SMOFlipid (Fresenius Kabi) was inversely correlated with serum AA, whereas Clinoleic (Baxter Medical AB) inversely correlated with serum EPA and DHA. CONCLUSIONS: There appears to be no or low correlation between the amount of DHA administered parenterally and levels measured in serum. Whether this observation reflects serum phospholipid fraction only or truly represents the amount of accreted DHA needs to be investigated. None of the parenteral lipid emulsions satisfactorily maintained high levels of both ω-6 and ω-3 LC-PUFAs in infant serum.
Currently available treatment options for non-infectious scleritis, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, systemic corticosteroids and immunosuppressive therapies, have both efficacy and side effect limitations. Iontophoretic delivery of corticosteroids has been demonstrated to be effective for anterior uveitis and represents a potential new approach to scleritis therapy. We hypothesised that iontophoretic delivery would provide effective and precise medication delivery to the sclera, while limiting systemic exposure and side effects. This first-in-human randomised, double-masked, dose-escalating study of iontophoretic administration of dexamethasone phosphate for scleritis suggests the treatment to be well tolerated and safe (within the limitations of the 18 patients sample size). There was a suggestion of efficacy in the lowest (1.2 mA/min at 0.4 mA) dose group (corresponding to the superficial location of scleritis compared with anterior uveitis), with 5/7 eyes meeting the primary efficacy outcome within 28 days. Our results suggest iontophoretic delivery of corticosteroids is a promising potential treatment for scleritis, with favourable safety and preliminary efficacy results in this phase 1 trial. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT01059955.
We present the first reported case of Graves' orbitopathy induced by pembrolizumab, a new FDA-approved drug used for the treatment of multiple refractory solid tumors and classic Hodgkin lymphoma. Pembrolizumab elicits T-lymphocyte proliferation; we suspect that thyroid eye disease may result in some cases.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution of mast cells to early neutrophil recruitment during ocular inflammation. Methods: In a murine model of corneal injury, the epithelium and anterior stroma were removed using a handheld motor brush. Cromolyn sodium (2% in PBS) eye drops were administered topically for mast cell inhibition. In vitro, bone marrow-derived mast cells were cultured alone or with corneal tissue. The frequencies of CD45+ inflammatory cells, CD11b+Ly6G+ neutrophils, and ckit+FcεR1+ mast cells in the cornea were assessed by flow cytometry. mRNA expression of CXCL2 was evaluated by real-time PCR and protein expression by ELISA. β-Hexosaminidase assays were performed to gauge mast cell activation. Results: Neutrophil infiltration of the cornea was observed within 1 hour of injury, with neutrophil frequencies increasing over subsequent hours. Concurrent expansion of mast cell frequencies at the cornea were observed, with mast cell activation (assessed by β-hexosaminidase levels) peaking at 6 hours after injury. Evaluation of CXCL2 mRNA and protein expression levels demonstrated augmented expression by injured corneal tissue relative to naïve corneal tissue. Mast cells were observed to constitutively express CXCL2, with significantly higher expression of CXCL2 protein compared with naïve corneal tissue. Culture with harvested injured corneas further amplified CXCL2 expression by mast cells. In vivo, mast cell inhibition was observed to decrease CXCL2 expression, limit early neutrophil infiltration, and reduce inflammatory cytokine expression by the cornea. Conclusions: Our data suggest that mast cell activation after corneal injury amplifies their secretion of CXCL2 and promotes the initiation of early neutrophil recruitment.
OBJECTIVES: Technology-enabled non-invasive diagnostic screening (TES) using smartphones and other point-of-care medical devices was evaluated in conjunction with conventional routine health screenings for the primary care screening of patients. DESIGN: Dental conditions, cardiac ECG arrhythmias, tympanic membrane disorders, blood oxygenation levels, optic nerve disorders and neurological fitness were evaluated using FDA-approved advanced smartphone powered technologies. Routine health screenings were also conducted. A novel remote web platform was developed to allow expert physicians to examine TES data and compare efficacy with routine health screenings. SETTING: The study was conducted at a primary care centre during the 2015 Kumbh Mela in Maharashtra, India. PARTICIPANTS: 494 consenting 18-90 years old adults attending the 2015 Kumbh Mela were tested. RESULTS: TES and routine health screenings identified unique clinical conditions in distinct patients. Intraoral fluorescent imaging classified 63.3% of the population with dental caries and periodontal diseases. An association between poor oral health and cardiovascular illnesses was also identified. Tympanic membrane imaging detected eardrum abnormalities in 13.0% of the population, several with a medical history of hearing difficulties. Gait and coordination issues were discovered in eight subjects and one subject had arrhythmia. Cross-correlations were observed between low oxygen saturation and low body mass index (BMI) with smokers (p=0.0087 and p=0.0122, respectively), and high BMI was associated with elevated blood pressure in middle-aged subjects. CONCLUSIONS: TES synergistically identified clinically significant abnormalities in several subjects who otherwise presented as normal in routine health screenings. Physicians validated TES findings and used routine health screening data and medical history responses for comprehensive diagnoses for at-risk patients. TES identified high prevalence of oral diseases, hypertension, obesity and ophthalmic conditions among the middle-aged and elderly Indian population, calling for public health interventions.
This paper proposes a bio-inspired visual motion estimation algorithm based on motion energy, along with its compact very-large-scale integration (VLSI) architecture using low-cost embedded systems. The algorithm mimics motion perception functions of retina, V1, and MT neurons in a primate visual system. It involves operations of ternary edge extraction, spatiotemporal filtering, motion energy extraction, and velocity integration. Moreover, we propose the concept of confidence map to indicate the reliability of estimation results on each probing location. Our algorithm involves only additions and multiplications during runtime, which is suitable for low-cost hardware implementation. The proposed VLSI architecture employs multiple (frame, pixel, and operation) levels of pipeline and massively parallel processing arrays to boost the system performance. The array unit circuits are optimized to minimize hardware resource consumption. We have prototyped the proposed architecture on a low-cost field-programmable gate array platform (Zynq 7020) running at 53-MHz clock frequency. It achieved 30-frame/s real-time performance for velocity estimation on 160 × 120 probing locations. A comprehensive evaluation experiment showed that the estimated velocity by our prototype has relatively small errors (average endpoint error < 0.5 pixel and angular error < 10°) for most motion cases.
Purpose: To report a surgical approach combining scleral patch graft and tenonplasty for successful management of refractory Pseudomonas scleritis following pterygium removal with mitomycin C application. Case Report: A 75-year-old diabetic woman with a history of prior pterygium excision and mitomycin C application developed infectious necrotizing scleritis caused by . Owing to progression of scleritis despite medical management, the patient underwent surgery. Intraoperatively, extensive scleral ischemia was noted. Therefore, debridement of the necrotic tissue, scleral graft, tenonplasty to bring blood vessels to the ischemic sclera, and amniotic membrane transplantation were performed. Postoperatively, no signs of ischemia or recurrence of infection were observed. During 6 months of follow-up, the patient achieved complete restoration of the globe integrity with a non-inflamed ocular surface. Conclusion: Through restoration of blood supply to the ischemic sclera, tenonplasty is an effective adjunctive procedure in addition to conventional scleral patch graft for the treatment of refractory Pseudomonas scleritis associated with ischemia.