Enhancing medical student education in ophthalmology can lead to improved eye health care delivery and patient outcomes across all primary care and specialty disciplines., There has been a resurgence in interest in delivering high quality ophthalmic medical student education. This educational revival is both timely and topical. A general consensus has emerged that ,rather than focusing solely on increasing teaching time, strategies are needed to focus on how to optimize the limited time allotted to ophthalmology. All physicians should be prepared to provide competent and confident ophthalmic care based upon exciting innovations in ophthalmic curricula content, teaching methodologies, instructional design, learning objectives and assessment methods. We provide an update on new and innovative ophthalmic teaching and learning practices. We critically appraise and summarize novel educational strategies from around the world that can be universally applicable in enhancing ophthalmology teaching in medical school curricula. It is our hope that, while there is marginalization of ophthalmology training, these strategies can be used to further improve teaching and learning in the limited time available in medical curricula and provide an impetus for further research and innovations in teaching ophthalmology to medical students.
Characterizing the pathogenicity of DNA sequence variants of unknown significance (VUS) is a major bottleneck in human genetics, and is increasingly important in determining which patients with inherited retinal diseases could benefit from gene therapy. A library of 210 rhodopsin (RHO) variants from literature and in-house genetic diagnostic testing were created to efficiently detect pathogenic RHO variants that fail to express on the cell surface. This study, while focused on RHO, demonstrates a streamlined, generalizable method for detecting pathogenic VUS. A relatively simple next-generation sequencing-based readout was developed so that a flow cytometry-based assay could be performed simultaneously on all variants in a pooled format, without the need for barcodes or viral transduction. The resulting dataset characterized the surface expression of every RHO library variant with a high degree of reproducibility (r = 0.92-0.95), recategorizing 37 variants. For example, three retinitis pigmentosa pedigrees were solved by identifying VUS which showed low expression levels (p.G18D, p.G101V, and p.P180T). Results were validated across multiple assays and correlated with clinical disease severity. This study presents a parallelized, higher-throughput cell-based assay for the functional characterization of VUS in RHO, and can be applied more broadly to other inherited retinal disease genes and other disorders.
Corneal neurotization is an innovative surgical approach for restoring corneal sensation, whereby the sensory functions of a normal donor nerve are rerouted to an anesthetic cornea. Many variations upon this basic surgical principal have been introduced and have proven successful in ameliorating corneal sensation in patients. It is unclear whether one surgical approach is superior to another, as each has advantages and disadvantages. Surgical approaches differ in the donor nerve selected and in whether a nerve graft is required. Surgical techniques have varied in the location, number and extent of incisions, methods of nerve coaptation, the number of surgeons required, the equipment and materials utilized and the duration of the procedure. The current review provides an overview of developments in this nascent field. A review of all peer-reviewed publications on corneal neurotization was performed. The various approaches to corneal neurotization are compared and discussed. The least morbid, simplest, most expedient and successful surgical approaches will ultimately become the most utilized.
: This is the first review article examining literature specific to the use of corneal cross-linking (CXL) to treat pellucid marginal degeneration (PMD). : CXL appears to be an effective treatment that may halt the progression of PMD to stabilize vision. This could postpone or eliminate the need for corneal transplantation in the management of these patients. Furthermore, combining CXL with keratorefractive surgery in a single procedure has been shown to be safe and successful in improving vision in PMD patients. : The data reported in literature is limited at this time, consisting mostly of retrospective studies with short term follow up. Further research is needed to evaluate refractive effects of combined CXL and excimer laser procedures.
PURPOSE: To assess the potential of ready-made (spherical) spectacles (RMS) in meeting the need for refractive correction in visually impaired children in China. METHODS: Eligible children aged 5-17 years were identified from the three study sites in China. Distance visual acuity was measured with a retroilluminated logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution chart with tumbling E optotypes. Cycloplegic autorefraction was performed on all children using a handheld autorefractor. If uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA) was ≤20/40 in either eye, best corrected visual acuity was measured with subjective refractive error. RESULTS : A total of 13 702 children were enumerated from the three studies, with 12 334 (90.0%) having both reliable visual acuity measurements and successful cycloplegia. Among the 12 334 study children, the prevalence of UCVA ≤20/40 in the better seeing eye was 16.4% (95% CI 15.0% to 17.8%), with 91.1% (1843) of these improving by ≥3 lines of visual acuity with refractive correction. Prevalence was 12.7% (95% CI 11.5% to 13.9%) for UCVA 20/50 with 97.4% (1521) improving by ≥3 lines, and 9.38% (95% CI 8.39% to 19.4%) for UCVA ≤20/63 with 98.4% (1138) improving by ≥3 lines. Depending on the severity of visual impairment, 62.8%-64.0% of children could be accommodated with RMS if not correcting for astigmatism of ≤0.75 dioptres and anisometropia of ≤0.50 spherical equivalent dioptres. Approximately 87% of children could be accommodated with RMS if astigmatism and anisometropia limits were increased to ≤1.25 and ≤1.50 dioptres, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: RMS could substantially alleviate visual morbidity in two-thirds or more of visually impaired schoolchildren in China. This cost-effective approach to refractive correction might also be useful in low/middle-income countries with poor access to optometric services.