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.
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.
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) were obtained, and were assessed by 2 graders for the presence of several peripheral changes in perimacular, midperipheral, and far-peripheral zones. All participants were also imaged with 7-field color fundus photographs used for AMD staging (Age-Related Eye Disease Study classification system). Both eyes of study participants were tested with a dark adaptation (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 midperipheral (ß = 4.3, P = .012) and far-peripheral zones (ß = 8.4, P < .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 ≥ .148). The presence of a mottled decreased FAF pattern in the midperipheral zone was also associated with prolonged RITs (β = 4.4, P = .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: 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.
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.
Importance: Understanding the role of vitamin D-which regulates inflammatory responses-in noninfectious uveitis (an inflammatory disease) may provide insight into treatment and prevention of this disease.
Objective: To investigate whether there is an association between hypovitaminosis D and incident noninfectious uveitis.
Design, Setting, and Participants: In a retrospective case-control study, data from a health care claims database containing deidentified medical claims from a large private insurer were used to identify 558 adults enrolled from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2016, who received a diagnosis of noninfectious uveitis from an eye care clinician (with receipt of a confirmatory diagnosis within 120 days of the initial diagnosis) and who had a vitamin D level measured within 1 year before the first diagnosis. Exclusion criteria included having systemic disease or receiving medication known to lower vitamin D levels, having undergone intraocular surgery, and having infectious uveitis. Each case patient was matched with 5 controls on the basis of age, sex, race/ethnicity, and index date (2790 controls). The controls had vitamin D level determined either within 1 year before or within 6 months after receiving an eye examination with normal findings. Multiple logistic regression models were used to examine the association between hypovitaminosis D and noninfectious uveitis.
Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary, prespecified analysis assessed the association of noninfectious uveitis with hypovitaminosis D (vitamin D level ≤20 ng/mL).
Results: The 558 cases and 2790 controls were matched on age, and each group had a mean (SD) age of 58.9 (14.7) years. Among the cohort of 3348 patients, 2526 (75.4%) were female, and the racial/ethnic distribution in the matched samples was 2022 (60.4%) white, 552 (16.5%) black, 402 (12.0%) Hispanic, 162 (4.8%) Asian, and 210 (6.3%) unknown. Patients with normal vitamin D levels had 21% lower odds of having noninfectious uveitis than patients with low vitamin D levels (odds ratio [OR], 0.79; 95% CI, 0.62-0.99; P = .04). In a race-stratified analysis, an association between vitamin D and uveitis was found in black patients (OR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.30-0.80; P = .004) and was qualitatively similar but nonsignificant in white patients (OR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.62-1.21; P = .40) and Hispanic patients (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.33-1.10; P = .10).
Conclusions and Relevance: This and other reports have found an association between hypovitaminosis D and noninfectious uveitis. However, these studies cannot establish a causal relationship. Prospective studies are warranted to evaluate whether hypovitaminosis D causes increased risk of uveitis and the role of vitamin D supplementation in prevention and treatment of uveitis.
BACKGROUND: Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a major complication of preterm birth and has been associated with later visual and nonvisual impairments. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate relationships between any stage of ROP, brain volumes, and developmental outcomes. METHODS: This study included 52 very preterm infants (gestational age [mean ± SD]: 26.4 ± 1.9 weeks). Total brain, gray matter, unmyelinated white matter (UWMV), and cerebellar volumes were estimated in 51 out of 52 infants by magnetic resonance imaging at term-equivalent age. Bayley Scales of Infant Development were used to assess developmental outcomes in 49 out of 52 infants at a mean corrected age of 24.6 months. RESULTS: Nineteen out of 52 infants developed any stage of ROP. Infants with ROP had a lower median (IQR) UWMV (173 [156-181] vs. 204 [186-216] mL, p < 0.001) and cerebellar volume (18.3 [16.5-20] vs. 22.3 [20.3-24.7] mL, p < 0.001) than infants without ROP. They also had a lower median (IQR) mental developmental index (72 [56-83] vs. 100 [88-104], p < 0.001) and a lower psychomotor developmental index (80 [60-85] vs. 92 [81-103], p = 0.002). Brain volumes and developmental outcomes did not differ among infants with different stages of ROP. CONCLUSION: Any stage of ROP in preterm infants was associated with a reduced brain volume and an impaired developmental outcome. These results suggest that common pathways may lead to impaired neural and neurovascular development in the brain and retina and that all stages of ROP may be considered in future studies on ROP and development.
Familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) is a heritable vitreoretinopathy characterized by anomalous retinal vascular development. The principal feature of the disease is an avascular peripheral retina. This in turn can cause further pathological changes including neovascularization, exudation, hemorrhage, and retinal detachment. The biological basis of the disease is thought to be from defects in the Wnt signaling pathway. Many gene mutations have been implicated, and these can be inherited in an autosomal dominant (most common), autosomal recessive, and X-linked recessive fashion. Examination with wide-field fluorescein angiography is essential and can identify the disease in its earlier stages, enabling timely treatment, in addition to helping identify asymptomatic family members. The current treatment paradigm involves laser photocoagulation of the avascular peripheral retina for neovascular sequelae and vitreoretinal surgery for progressive retinal detachment. Further studies are underway to better characterize this complex vitreoretinopathy.
Vavvas DG, Dryja TP, Wilson EM, Olsen TW, Shah A, Jurkunas U, Pineda R, Poulaki V, Palioura S, Veldman P, Moreno-Montañés J, Pinazo-Duran MD, Pastor JC, Tsilimbaris M, Rhee D, Colby K, Hunter DG, Thanos S, Sakamoto T, Pasquale LR, Miller JW, Vanderveen D, Lambert SR. Lens regeneration in children. Nature 2018;556(7699):E2-E3.
This study aimed to evaluate the outcomes and described the recovery process of cryopreserved limbal lamellar keratoplasty (CLLK) for peripheral corneal and limbal diseases. Thirteen eyes of 12 patients with a mean age of 41±23.9y were included. The average follow-up was 12.1±5.6mo. Stable ocular surface was achieved in all eyes at last follow-up. Epithelialization originated from both recipient and graft in 9 eyes. We conclude that CLLK compensates for the shortage of donor corneas and cryopreserved limbal grafts provide epithelialization sources in ocular surface reconstruction.
Dietary ω-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) and lutein each protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We here examined the effects of ω-3 LCPUFAs and lutein supplementation in a mouse model of AMD. Mice were assigned to four groups: (1) a control group fed an ω-3 LCPUFA-free diet, (2) a lutein group fed an ω-3 LCPUFA-free diet with oral administration of lutein, (3) an ω-3 group fed an ω-3 LCPUFA-supplemented diet, and (4) an ω-3 + lutein group fed an ω-3 LCPUFA-supplemented diet with oral administration of lutein. Mice were fed the defined diets beginning 2 weeks before, and received lutein with an oral gavage needle beginning 1 week before, induction of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) by laser photocoagulation. The area of CNV measured in choroidal flat-mount preparations was significantly reduced in mice fed ω-3 LCPUFAs or lutein compared with those in the control group, and it was reduced in an additive manner in those receiving both ω-3 LCPUFAs and lutein. The concentrations of various inflammatory mediators in the retina or choroid were reduced in mice fed ω-3 LCPUFAs or lutein, but no additive effect was apparent. The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in chorioretinal lesions revealed by dihydroethidium staining as well as the expression of NADPH oxidase 4 (Nox4) in the retina revealed by immunohistofluorescence and immunoblot analyses were attenuated by ω-3 LCPUFAs and lutein in a synergistic manner. Our results thus show that dietary intake of ω-3 LCPUFAs and lutein attenuated CNV in an additive manner and in association with suppression of inflammatory mediator production, ROS generation, and Nox4 expression. Dietary supplementation with both ω-3 LCPUFAs and lutein warrants further study as a means to protect against AMD.