Use of ophthalmic telemedicine for patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has shown remarkable advances over recent years. The recent COVID pandemic accelerated this transition since in-person evaluation of elderly patients at high risk for advanced AMD and severe vision loss were also at higher risk for complications from COVID infection. To date, ophthalmic telemedicine has been successfully used in remote retinal consultation by general ophthalmologists for AMD management, hybrid testing visits with both in-office testing and remote evaluation, as well as early successes in home-based remote monitoring of patients with high-risk AMD. We therefore review the current literature and evidence base related to ophthalmic telemedicine for AMD.
PURPOSE: To examine the efficacy of laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) in patients who received a diagnosis of primary angle-closure suspect (PACS). DESIGN: Prospective, randomized controlled trial. PARTICIPANTS: This multicenter, randomized controlled trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT00347178) enrolled 480 patients older than 50 years from glaucoma clinics in Singapore with bilateral asymptomatic PACS (defined as having ≥2 quadrants of appositional angle closure on gonioscopy). METHODS: Each participant underwent prophylactic LPI in 1 randomly selected eye, whereas the fellow eye served as a control. Patients were followed up yearly for 5 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome measure was development of primary angle closure (PAC; defined as presence of peripheral anterior synechiae, intraocular pressure [IOP] of >21 mmHg, or both or acute angle closure [AAC]) or primary angle-closure glaucoma (PACG) over 5 years. RESULTS: Of the 480 randomized participants, most were Chinese (92.7%) and were women (75.8%) with mean age of 62.8 ± 6.9 years. Eyes treated with LPI reached the end point less frequently after 5 years (n = 24 [5.0%]; incidence rate [IR], 11.65 per 1000 eye-years) compared with control eyes (n = 45 [9.4%]; IR, 21.84 per 1000 eye-years; P = 0.001). The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for progression to PAC was 0.55 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.37-0.83; P = 0.004) in LPI-treated eyes compared with control eyes. Older participants (per year; HR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.03-1.10; P < 0.001) and eyes with higher baseline IOP (per millimeter of mercury; HR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.22-1.50; P < 0.0001) were more likely to reach an end point. The number needed to treat to prevent an end point was 22 (95% CI, 12.8-57.5). CONCLUSIONS: In patients with bilateral asymptomatic PACS, eyes that underwent prophylactic LPI reached significantly fewer end points compared with control eyes over 5 years. However, the overall incidence of PAC or PACG was low.
Dry eye disease affects millions of people worldwide, causing pain, vision disturbance, and reduced productivity. Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), a major cause of dry eye, is characterized by chronic glandular inflammation, thickening of the meibum, obstruction of terminal ducts, and glandular atrophy. Treatment of MGD can utilize heat and pressure applied to the meibomian glands, increasing meibum expression. With self-treatments, however, not all patients achieve lasting improvement, and compliance is often low. In-office thermal systems offer a second line of treatment and could be a much-needed addition for patients who do not respond to conventional treatment. We critically evaluated the efficacy and safety of LipiFlow, iLux and TearCare based on existing literature. While the studies found a single in-office thermal treatment to be safe and effective in improving short-term signs and symptoms in patients with dry eye, long-term efficacy needs to be further studied. Thus, well-controlled, long-term efficacy studies are warranted to draw clear conclusions. The treatment seemed to provide rapid relief of symptoms that may last up to one year, but at a considerably higher cost than the at-home treatments. The choice of treatment depends on cost, compliance with at-home treatment, and personal preference.
Chen SP, Azad AD, Pershing S. Reply. Ophthalmology 2022;129(2):e33-e35.
PURPOSE: Fatty infiltration of the extraocular muscles has been described radiographically in patients with thyroid eye disease (TED), yet it has not been studied on a large scale nor quantified. Our purpose was to define and characterize this entity in patients with TED. METHODS: An IRB-approved cross-sectional retrospective review of medical records identified patients with a clinical diagnosis of TED and at least one CT of the orbits. A 2:1 age and sex-matched control population consisted of patients without a history nor radiographic evidence of orbital disease or systemic thyroid abnormality. The presence of fatty infiltration in each extraocular rectus muscle was defined using Hounsfield units (HU). Laterality, muscles involved, and pattern of fatty infiltration were also evaluated. Student's t-tests, Chi-square, and Fisher's exact tests were used to compare TED and control groups. RESULTS: The study population consisted of 252 patients with TED and 504 age and sex-matched controls. Fatty infiltration was significantly more prevalent in TED patients (36/252, 14.3%) compared to controls (11/504, 2.2%) (p < .001). The mean density of fat infiltration was significantly lower in TED patients (-40.4 HU) than controls (-34.8 HU) (p = .048). In TED patients, the frequency of muscle involvement was inferior rectus (61.8%), lateral rectus (19.7%), superior rectus (11.8%) and medial rectus (6.6%), which was not significantly different than controls (p > .05). Most muscles (88.2%) in the TED group exhibited a heterogeneous pattern of infiltration, which did not differ from controls (p = .34). CONCLUSIONS: This study characterizes fatty infiltration of the extraocular muscles in patients with TED.
Juvenile open-angle glaucoma (JOAG) is a severe type of glaucoma with onset before age 40 and dominant inheritance. Using exome sequencing we identified 3 independent families from the Philippines with novel EFEMP1 variants (c.238A>T, p.Asn80Tyr; c.1480T>C, p.Ter494Glnext*29; and c.1429C>T, p.Arg477Cys) co-segregating with disease. Affected variant carriers (N = 34) exhibited severe disease with average age of onset of 16 years and with 76% developing blindness. To investigate functional effects, we transfected COS7 cells with vectors expressing the three novel EFEMP1 variants and showed that all three variants found in JOAG patients caused significant intracellular protein aggregation and retention compared to wild type and also compared to EFEMP1 variants associated with other ocular phenotypes including an early-onset form of macular degeneration, Malattia Leventinese/Doyne's Honeycomb retinal dystrophy. These results suggest that rare EFEMP1 coding variants can cause JOAG through a mechanism involving protein aggregation and retention, and that the extent of intracellular retention correlates with disease phenotype. This is the first report of EFEMP1 variants causing JOAG, expanding the EFEMP1 disease spectrum. Our results suggest that EFEMP1 mutations appear to be a relatively common cause of JOAG in Filipino families, an ethnically diverse population.
OBJECTIVE: We describe the Baltimore Reading and Eye Disease Study, report baseline ocular findings, and explore the feasibility of eye examinations in the school setting. DESIGN: Prospective, school-based cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Students in second and third grades. METHODS: Baseline eye examinations, including near and distance presenting visual acuity (VA), stereopsis, ocular alignment, dilated retinal examination, and cycloplegic refraction, were performed in 12 Baltimore public schools during the 2014-15 school year. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Presenting VA, prevalence of refractive error, and other ocular findings. RESULTS: Among the 1054 eligible students, 321 participated. There were 271 (84.4%) African American and 186 (57.9%) female students; mean age was 7.9 ± 0.8 years. Cycloplegia was achieved in 308. The mean presenting distance and near VA was 0.1 ± 0.2 logMAR (range -0.1 to 1.5) and 0.1 ± 0.2 logMAR (range 0.0-1.6) in the better-seeing eye, respectively. The most common ocular findings were +1.00 diopter (D) or greater hyperopia (34.7%), -0.50 D or greater myopia (29.5%), 1.00 D or greater astigmatism (23.4%), and convergence insufficiency (7.2%). Thirty-seven (11.5%) children needed referral to an eye care provider; 10% of students required glasses full-time. CONCLUSIONS: Whereas the majority of second and third grade students in this study have good VA and minimal refractive error, 1 in 9 have an ocular finding necessitating further evaluation. It was feasible to conduct cycloplegic eye examinations in the school setting.
Purpose: The feasibility of implementing a computerized adaptive test (CAT) system in routine clinical care in ophthalmology has not been assessed. We evaluated the implementation of a glaucoma-specific CAT (GlauCAT) in outpatients at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Institute. Methods: In this implementation study (July 2020-April 2021), 216 adults (mean ± SD age 64.8 ± 15.3 years; 56.0% women) completed six adaptive GlauCAT quality of life (QOL) tests on an internet-enabled tablet at the clinic. A real-time printable report summarizing domain scores was shared with physicians prior to consultation. The implementation was evaluated using Proctor's outcomes: acceptability (patient satisfaction); appropriateness (independent complete rate [%]); feasibility (acceptance rate [%]; completion time); and fidelity (percentage of patients discussing GlauCAT results with their physician). Physician barriers/facilitators were explored using open-ended questions. Results: Patients' mean ± SD satisfaction score was 3.5 ± 0.5 of 4, with >95% of patients willing to recommend it to others. Of the 216 (89.2%) patients accepting to participate, 173 (80%) completed GlauCAT independently. Patients took 8 minutes and 5 seconds (median) to complete all 6 GlauCAT tests. Almost two-thirds (n = 136/216) of the patients reported discussing their GlauCAT results with their doctor. Physicians described the GlauCAT summary report as helpful and user-friendly, although lack of time and uncertainty about how to action information were reported. Conclusions: Pilot implementation of six GlauCAT QOL tests in glaucoma outpatient clinics was feasible and acceptable. Integration of GlauCAT with electronic medical records (EMRs) and evaluation of long-term implementation outcomes are needed. Translational Relevance: GlauCAT's multiple outcomes and low test-taking burden makes it attractive for measuring glaucoma-specific QOL in routine clinical care.
PURPOSE: OCT scans contain large amounts of information, but clinicians often rely on reported layer thicknesses when assessing the rate of glaucomatous progression. We sought to determine which of these quantifications most closely relate to the subjective assessment of glaucoma experts who had all the diagnostic information available. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Eleven glaucoma specialists independently scored the rate of structural progression from series of 5 biannual clinical OCT printouts. METHODS: 100 glaucoma or glaucoma suspect eyes of 51 participants were included; 20 were scored twice to assess repeatability. Scores ranged from 1 (improvement) to 7 (very rapid progression). Generalized estimating equation linear models were used to predict the mean clinician score from the rates of change of Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness (RNFLT) or Minimum Rim Width (MRW), either globally or in the most rapidly thinning of six sectors. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The correlation between objective rates of change and the average of the 11 clinicians' scores. RESULTS: Average RNFLT within series of study eyes was 79.3μm (range: 41.4 to 126.6). 95% of individual clinician scores varied by ≤1 point when repeated. The mean clinician score was more strongly correlated with the rate of change of RNFLT in the most rapidly changing sector in %/y (pseudo-R2=0.657) than the rate of global RNFLT (0.372). The rate of MRW in the most rapidly changing sector had pseudo-R2=0.149. CONCLUSIONS: The rate of change of RNFLT in the most rapidly changing sector predicted experts' assessment of the rate of structural progression better than global rates or MRW. Sectoral rates may be a useful addition to current clinical printouts.
Amacrine cells (ACs) are the most diverse neuronal cell type in the vertebrate retina. Yet little is known about the contribution of ACs to visual processing and retinal disease. A major challenge in evaluating AC function is genetic accessibility. A classic tool of mouse genetics, Cre-mediated recombination, can provide such access. We have screened existing genetically-modified mouse strains and identified multiple candidates that express Cre-recombinase in subsets of retinal ACs. The Cre-expressing mice were crossed to fluorescent-reporter mice to assay Cre expression. In addition, a Cre-dependent fluorescent reporter plasmid was electroporated into the subretinal space of Cre strains. Herein, we report three mouse lines (Tac1::IRES-cre, Camk2a-cre, and Scx-cre) that express Cre recombinase in sub-populations of ACs. In two of these lines, recombination occurred in multiple AC types and a small number of other retinal cell types, while recombination in the Camk2a-cre line appears specific to a morphologically distinct AC. We anticipate that these characterized mouse lines will be valuable tools to the community of researchers who study retinal biology and disease.
ABSTRACT: Endoscopic suturectomy is a minimally invasive surgical treatment for single-suture craniosynostosis in children between 1 and 4 months of age. This study sought to characterize the role played by diagnostic imaging in facilitating early surgical management with endoscopic suturectomy. The authors also characterized the overall diagnostic utility of imaging in patients assessed for abnormal head shape at their institution, regardless of surgical status. A retrospective cohort of children diagnosed with single-suture synostosis undergoing either primary endoscopic suturectomy or open calvarial reconstruction at the authors' institution from 1998 to 2018 was first reviewed. Of 132 surgical patients, 53 underwent endoscopic suturectomy and 79 underwent open repair. There was no difference in the proportion of endoscopic and open surgery patients imaged preoperatively before (24.5% versus 35.4%; P = 0.24) or after (28.3% versus 25.3%; P = 0.84) craniofacial assessment. Stratifying by historical epoch (1998-2010 versus 2011-2018), there was also no difference found between preoperative imaging rates (63.6% versus 56.4%; P = 0.35). In another cohort of 175 patients assessed for abnormal head shape, 26.9% were imaged to rule out craniosynostosis. Positive diagnostic imaging rates were recorded for suspected unicoronal (100%), metopic (87.5%), lambdoidal (75.0%), sagittal (63.5%), multi-suture (50%), and bicoronal (0%) synostosis. The authors conclude that the use of diagnostic imaging at their institution has not increased despite higher utilization of endoscopic suturectomy and need for expedient identification of surgical candidates. However, their results suggest that imaging may play a greater diagnostic role for suspected bicoronal, sagittal, and multi-sutural synostosis among sutural subtypes of synostosis.
PURPOSE: Sympathetic ophthalmia (SO) is a rare, bilateral panuveitis that occurs following open globe injury (OGI), with a variable incidence reported in the literature. Our objective was to determine the incidence proportion and incidence rate of SO following OGI to help guide shared physician-patient decision making. DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis. METHODS: A systematic literature search was performed using the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases from inception to November 2020 for population-based studies on OGI and SO in adults and children. Two reviewers independently screened search results. Random-effects meta-analyses were performed to calculate the incidence proportion and incidence rate. The Risk Of Bias In Non-Randomized Studies - of Interventions (ROBINS-I) tool was used to assess the risk of bias. The study was registered on PROSPERO CRD42020198920. RESULTS: A total of 24 studies were utilized in the meta-analyses. After OGI, the estimated overall incidence proportion of SO was 0.19% (95% CI 0.14%-0.24%) and the incidence rate of SO was 33 per 100,000 person-years, (95% CI 19.61-56.64) with I2 of 13% and 72%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: SO after OGI is rare. The estimated incidence proportion and incidence rate are useful when counselling patients regarding management options after OGI. Further studies are needed to examine the influence of age, the extent and location of trauma, timing of repair, and prophylactic eye removal on the incidence of SO.
Background: Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is characterized by leukoencephalopathy leading to cognitive impairment. Subtle cognitive deficits can be observed early in the course of the disease, before the occurrence of the first stroke. Therefore, markers that can predict disease progression at this early stage, when interventions are likely to alter disease course, are needed. We aimed to examine the biological cascade of microstructural and macrostructural white matter (WM) abnormalities underlying cognitive deficits in CADASIL. Methods: We examined 20 nondemented CADASIL mutation carriers and 23 noncarriers who underwent neuropsychological evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging. Using probabilistic tractography of key WM tracts, we examined group differences in diffusivity measures and WM hyperintensity volume. Successive mediation models examined whether tract-specific WM abnormalities mediated subtle cognitive differences between CADASIL mutation carriers and noncarriers. Results: The largest effect size differentiating the two groups was observed for left superior longitudinal fasciculus-temporal (SLFt) diffusivity (Cohen's f = 0.49). No group differences were observed with a global diffusion measure. These specific microstructural differences in the SLFt were associated with higher WM hyperintensities burden, and subtle executive deficits in CADASIL mutation carriers. Discussion: Worse diffusivity in the left SLFt is related to greater severity of small vessel disease and worse executive functioning in the asymptomatic stage of the disease. Worse diffusivity of the left SLFt may potentially hold promise as an indicator of disease progression. Impact statement Diffusion tensor imaging outperforms conventional imaging of subcortical small vessel disease as a potential marker of future disease progression. Here we identified the left superior longitudinal temporal fasciculus as a critical white matter fiber bundle, of which worse diffusivity can link presence of cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy mutations to greater severity of small vessel disease and worse executive functioning in asymptomatic stages of the disease. This tract may hold promise and deserves further examination as an early indicator of disease progression.
ABSTRACT: Following identification of limbal stem cells, efforts have been devoted to restore and/or replace these essential progenitors of the corneal epithelium. Limbal stem cell deficiency, commonly a consequence of ocular chemical injury, results in clinically compromised vision consequent to corneal conjunctivalization. The insight of Kim and Tseng provided experimental proof of the concept that even in the presence of total limbal stem cell deficiency, amnion membrane overlay grafts can promote limbal recovery as a means of ocular surface reconstruction.
We and others have shown that patients with different severity stages of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have distinct plasma metabolomic profiles compared to controls. Urine is a biofluid that can be obtained non-invasively and, in other fields, urine metabolomics has been proposed as a feasible alternative to plasma biomarkers. However, no studies have applied urinary mass spectrometry (MS) metabolomics to AMD. This study aimed to assess urinary metabolomic profiles of patients with different stages of AMD and a control group. We included two prospectively designed, multicenter, cross-sectional study cohorts: Boston, US (n = 185) and Coimbra, Portugal (n = 299). We collected fasting urine samples, which were used for metabolomic profiling (Ultrahigh Performance Liquid chromatography-Mass Spectrometry). Multivariable logistic and ordinal logistic regression models were used for analysis, accounting for gender, age, body mass index and use of AREDS supplementation. Results from both cohorts were then meta-analyzed. No significant differences in urine metabolites were seen when comparing patients with AMD and controls. When disease severity was considered as an outcome, six urinary metabolites differed significantly (p < 0.01). In particular, two of the metabolites identified have been previously shown by our group to also differ in the plasma of patients of AMD compared to controls and across severity stages. While there are fewer urinary metabolites associated with AMD than plasma metabolites, this study identified some differences across stages of disease that support previous work performed with plasma, thus highlighting the potential of these metabolites as future biomarkers for AMD.
Diabetic retinal disease (DRD), the most common complication of diabetes and a leading cause of blindness in working age individuals, is now understood to be a form of sensory neuropathy or neurovascular degeneration. Current treatments are focused on advanced vision-threatening disease and a single molecular target, vascular endothelial growth factor, has an approved therapy. We trace the evolution of understanding of DRD pathogenesis, identify new approaches to clinical assessment, trials infrastructure and design, and target identification to accelerate selection and evaluation of new therapeutics that will speed development of potentially curative interventions. Critically, the "Restoring Vision Moonshot" framework will address gaps in knowledge to be filled to achieve the goal of restoring sight and preventing vision loss in persons with diabetes.
PURPOSE: Retinal vascular occlusion is a leading cause of profound irreversible visual loss, but the understanding of the disease is insufficient. We systematically investigated the age, gender, and laterality at the onset of retinal artery occlusion (RAO) and retinal vein occlusion (RVO) in the Intelligent Research in Sight (IRIS®) Registry. DESIGN: Retrospective registry cohort. PARTICIPANTS: Patients with retinal vascular occlusion participating in the IRIS® Registry. METHODS: Patients who received a diagnosis of retinal vascular occlusion between 2013 and 2017 were included. Those with unspecified gender or laterality were excluded when conducting the relevant analyses. Patients were categorized into RAO, with subtypes transient retinal artery occlusion (TRAO), partial retinal artery occlusion (PRAO), branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO), and central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO), and into RVO, with subtypes venous engorgement (VE), branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO), and central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO). Age was evaluated as a categorical variable (5-year increments). We investigated the association of age, gender, and laterality with the onset frequency of retinal vascular occlusion subtypes. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The frequency of onset of RAO and RVO subtypes by age, gender and laterality. RESULTS: A total of 1 251 476 patients with retinal vascular occlusion were included, 23.8% of whom had RAO, whereas 76.2% had RVO. Of these, 1 248 656 and 798 089 patients were selected for analyses relevant to gender and laterality, respectively. The onset frequency of all subtypes increased with age. PRAO, BRAO, CRAO, and CRVO presented more frequently in men (53.5%, 51.3%, 52.6%, and 50.4%, respectively), whereas TRAO, VE, and BRVO presented more frequently in women (54.9%, 56.0%, and 54.5% respectively). All RAO subtypes and BRVO showed a right-eye onset preference (TRAO, 51.7%; PRAO, 54.4%; BRAO, 53.5%; CRAO, 53.4%; and BRVO, 51.0%), whereas VE and CRVO exhibited a left-eye onset preference (53.3% and 50.9%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Although retinal vascular occlusion incidence increases with age regardless of subtypes, we found various subtype-specific disease-onset differences related to gender and, in particular, ocular laterality. These findings may improve understanding of the specific cause of retinal vascular occlusions of different subtypes and their relationships with structural and anatomic asymmetries of the vascular system.
Lipid-rich drusen are the sine qua non of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in older adults in the developed world. Efforts directed at uncovering effective therapeutic strategies have led to the hypothesis that altered lipid metabolism may play a pathogenic role in AMD. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that: (1) drusen, the hallmark histopathologic feature of AMD, are composed of lipids, (2) polymorphisms of genes involved in lipid homeostasis are associated with increased odds of AMD, (3) metabolomics studies show that patients with AMD have alterations in metabolites from lipid pathways, and (4) alterations in serum lipid profiles as a reflection of systemic dyslipidemia are associated with AMD. There is strong evidence that statins, which are well described for treating dyslipidemia and reducing risk associated with cardiovascular disease, may have a role for treating certain cohorts of AMD patients, but this has yet to be conclusively proven. Of interest, the specific changes in serum lipoprotein profiles associated with decreased cardiovascular risk (i.e., high HDL levels) have been shown in some studies to be associated with increased risk of AMD. In this review, we highlight the evidence that supports a role for altered lipid metabolism in AMD and provide our perspective regarding the remaining questions that need to be addressed before lipid-based therapies can emerge for specific cohorts of AMD patients.
Corneal transplantation is the most common form of tissue transplantation. The success of corneal transplantation mainly relies on the integrity of corneal endothelial cells (CEnCs), which maintain tissue transparency by pumping out excess water from the cornea. After transplantation, the rate of CEnC loss far exceeds that seen with normal aging, which can threaten sight. The underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) is a neuropeptide that is constitutively found in the aqueous humor with both cytoprotective and immunomodulatory effects. The curent study found high expression of melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), the receptor for α-MSH, on CEnCs. The effect of α-MSH/MC1R signaling on endothelial function and allograft survival in vitro and in vivo was investigated using MC1R signaling-deficient mice (Mc1re/e mice with a nonfunctional MC1R). Herein, the results indicate that in addition to its well-known immunomodulatory effect, α-MSH has cytoprotective effects on CEnCs after corneal transplantation, and the loss of MC1R signaling significantly decreases long-term graft survival in vivo. In conclusion, α-MSH/MC1R signaling is critical for CEnC function and graft survival after corneal transplantation.