Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) is a group of severe inherited retinal dystrophies that lead to early childhood blindness. In the last decade, interest in LCA has increased as advances in genetics have been applied to better identify, classify, and treat LCA. To date, 23 LCA genes have been identified. Gene replacement in the RPE65 form of LCA represents a major advance in treatment, although limitations have been recognized. In this article, we review the clinical and genetic features of LCA and evaluate the evidence available for gene therapy in RPE65 disease.
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that affects 415 million people worldwide. Despite treatment advances, diabetic eye disease remains a leading cause of vision loss worldwide. Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a common cause of vision loss in diabetic patients. The pathophysiology is complex and involves multiple pathways that ultimately lead to central retinal thickening and, if untreated, visual loss. First-line treatment of DME has evolved from focal/grid laser established by the Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) to intravitreous pharmacologic therapy. Landmark prospective clinical trials examining the effect of intravitreous injections of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors in the treatment of DME have demonstrated improved visual outcomes over focal grid laser. This review focuses on the scientific evidence treatment of DME, disease pathophysiology, clinical disease course, current treatment standards, and emerging novel therapeutic approaches.
The optic nerve has been widely used to investigate factors that regulate axon regeneration in the mammalian CNS. Although retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the projection neurons of the eye, show little capacity to regenerate their axons following optic nerve damage, studies spanning the 20(th) century showed that some RGCs can regenerate axons through a segment of peripheral nerve grafted to the optic nerve. More recently, some degree of regeneration has been achieved through the optic nerve itself by factors associated with intraocular inflammation (oncomodulin) or by altering levels of particular transcription factors (Klf-4, -9, c-myc), cell-intrinsic suppressors of axon growth (PTEN, SOCS3), receptors to cell-extrinsic inhibitors of axon growth (Nogo receptor, LAR, PTP-σ) or the intracellular signaling pathway activated by these receptors (RhoA). Other regulators of regeneration and cell survival continue to be identified in this system at a rapid pace. Combinatorial treatments that include two or more of these factors enable some retinal ganglion cells to regenerate axons from the eye through the entire length of the optic nerve and across the optic chiasm. In some cases, regenerating axons have been shown to innervate the appropriate central target areas and elicit postsynaptic responses. Many discoveries made in this system have been found to enhance axon regeneration after spinal cord injury. Thus, progress in optic nerve regeneration holds promise not only for visual restoration but also for improving outcome after injury to other parts of the mature CNS.
PURPOSE: Corneal neuropathy is a recently described disease process that is not well understood and is likely underdiagnosed as a result. This is the first reported case of an acquired corneal neuropathy associated with malposition of an Ex-PRESS shunt. METHODS: A single case report. RESULTS: We report the case of a 50-year-old man with a history of multiple procedures for glaucoma who subsequently developed photoallodynia and corneal neuropathy in association with malposition of an Ex-PRESS shunt in the peripheral cornea. Laser confocal microscopy (HRT3/RCM) of the cornea showed the presence of neuromas, decreased nerve density, and a significant increase of dendritiform immune cells consistent with our diagnosis. Initial treatment with steroid pulse therapy did not result in decreased inflammation or symptomatic improvement leading to surgical explantation of the shunt. One month after surgery, there was noticeable improvement in the patient's pain and photoallodynia (approximately 40%) as well as the abnormalities seen on confocal microscopy. CONCLUSIONS: We hypothesize that poor Ex-PRESS shunt positioning can act as a nidus for corneal inflammation, resulting in corneal neuropathy and lowering of the nociception threshold.
Interventions in the treatment of mild to moderate glaucoma have evolved to include a group of procedures collectively named "Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)." These procedures are less invasive than traditional filtering surgery and setons and offer the benefit of an improved side-effect profile. A review of current published literature has shown that these procedures offer lower intraocular pressure, decrease reliance on topical medications, have no negative effect on refractive outcomes, and can be safely done following failed tube surgery.
Fungal endophthalmitis is an important cause of vision loss worldwide with a large body of literature describing the treatment of the disease. The evidence supporting the use of pars plana vitrectomy in the management of fungal endophthalmitis is largely comprised of case reports and case series and demonstrates the important role of vitrectomy surgery. Vitrectomy can improve the likelihood of establishing the diagnosis, enhance the treatment of infection by removing fungal elements in the vitreous, aid in the removal of other inoculated intraocular structures, and is an important tool in the management of vision-threatening post-infectious sequelae like retinal detachment and epiretinal membrane.
In vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) is becoming an indispensable tool for studying corneal physiology and disease. Enabling the dissection of corneal architecture at a cellular level, this technique offers fast and noninvasive in vivo imaging of the cornea with images comparable to those of ex vivo histochemical techniques. Corneal nerves bear substantial relevance to clinicians and scientists alike, given their pivotal roles in regulation of corneal sensation, maintenance of epithelial integrity, as well as proliferation and promotion of wound healing. Thus, IVCM offers a unique method to study corneal nerve alterations in a myriad of conditions, such as ocular and systemic diseases and following corneal surgery, without altering the tissue microenvironment. Of particular interest has been the correlation of corneal subbasal nerves to their function, which has been studied in normal eyes, contact lens wearers, and patients with keratoconus, infectious keratitis, corneal dystrophies, and neurotrophic keratopathy. Longitudinal studies have applied IVCM to investigate the effects of corneal surgery on nerves, demonstrating their regenerative capacity. IVCM is increasingly important in the diagnosis and management of systemic conditions such as peripheral diabetic neuropathy and, more recently, in ocular diseases. In this review, we outline the principles and applications of IVCM in the study of corneal nerves in various ocular and systemic diseases.
The brain has a tightly regulated environment that protects neurons and limits inflammation, designated "immune privilege." However, there is not an absolute lack of an immune response. We tested the ability of the brain to initiate an innate immune response to a virus, which was directly injected into the brain parenchyma, and to determine whether this response could limit viral spread. We injected vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), a transsynaptic tracer, or naturally occurring VSV-derived defective interfering particles (DIPs), into the caudate-putamen (CP) and scored for an innate immune response and inhibition of virus spread. We found that the brain parenchyma has a functional type I interferon (IFN) response that can limit VSV spread at both the inoculation site and among synaptically connected neurons. Furthermore, we characterized the response of microglia to VSV infection and found that infected microglia produced type I IFN and uninfected microglia induced an innate immune response following virus injection.
Acute acquired comitant esotropia (AACE) is characterized by a sudden-onset eye misalignment with an equal angle of deviation in all fields of gaze. This form of esotropia is distinct from common forms of childhood esotropia, such as infantile esotropia and accommodative esotropia, in the rapid tempo and typically later timing of onset; further, AACE is distinct from restrictive or paretic strabismus, which usually results in an incomitant angle of deviation that varies with the direction of gaze. The underlying etiologies for AACE are broad but, in some cases, it may be associated with significant neurologic disease. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to examine and summarize the current literature on AACE to provide a framework for the evaluation and management of this form of acquired strabismus.
According to current projections, the number of Americans with diabetes mellitus will increase from 27.8 million in 2007 to 60.7 million in 2030. With the increasing gap between demand for eye care and supply of ophthalmologists and optometrists, and the non-uniform distribution of eye care providers in US counties, barriers to eye examinations will likely increase. Telemedicine assessment of diabetic retinal disease through remote retinal imaging and diagnosis has the potential to meet these growing demands. To establish evidence for a telemedicine program as an effective modality for diabetic retinopathy (DR) assessment, the interpretation of teleretinal images should compare favorably with Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study film or digital photographs. We review the current evidence on the critical features and characteristics of ocular telehealth programs for DR in the following categories: image gradability, mydriasis, sensitivity and specificity, cost-effectiveness, long-term effectiveness, patient comfort and satisfaction, and improvement of patient related outcomes.
BACKGROUND: Revesz syndrome is a telomere disorder in the dyskeratosis congenita (DKC) spectrum characterized by exudative retinopathy, bone marrow failure, neuroradiographic abnormalities, and integumentary findings. MATERIALS/METHODS: We report the ophthalmologic findings, documented by examinations under anesthesia with clinical photography and fluorescein angiography, as well as the systemic manifestations and genetic and molecular testing, in identical twins with Revesz syndrome, and compare and contrast these features to those of other pediatric retinal vasculopathies. RESULTS: Both twins exhibited widespread avascularity and anomalous vasculature of the retinal periphery, retinal telangiectasias, and exudation. One twin developed a combination exudative/tractional/rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, while the other exhibited a focal collection of buds of retinal neovascularization. Both twins developed bone marrow failure and were found to have cerebellar hypoplasia and widespread cerebral calcifications. Telomere testing in lymphocytes and granulocytes revealed telomere length less than the 1st percentile for age, and gene sequencing revealed a novel mutation in the TINF2 gene, resulting in the T284P TIN2 protein variant. CONCLUSIONS: We report ophthalmic findings in twins with Revesz syndrome due to a previously unreported mutation in TINF2 and propose that phenotypic and molecular overlaps between DKC spectrum disorders and pediatric retinal vasculopathies may reflect a shared pathophysiologic basis.
PURPOSE: To investigate morphological changes of the corneal epithelium and subbasal nerves in patients with corneal allodynia using in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). DESIGN: Case-control study of patients with corneal allodynia and healthy controls. METHODS: Ten eyes of six patients were diagnosed with corneal allodynia at a single center and compared to fifteen healthy eyes. IVCM of the central cornea was performed on all subjects and controls. Images were retrospectively analyzed numbers of total corneal subbasal nerves, main trunks and branches, total nerve length and density, nerve branching, and tortuosity, superficial and basal epithelial cell densities, and superficial epithelial cell size. RESULTS: Corneal allodynia was seen in patients with dry eye disease, recurrent corneal erosion syndrome, exposure to ultraviolet radiation, and Accutane use. Compared to controls, patients with corneal allodynia had a significant decrease in the total numbers of subbasal nerves (P=.014), nerve branches (P=.006), total nerve length (P=.0029), total nerve density (P=.0029) and superficial and basal epithelial cell densities (P=.0004, P=.0036) with an increase in superficial epithelial cell size (P=.016). There were no statistically significant differences in the number of subbasal nerve main trunks (P=.09), nerve branching (P=.21), and nerve tortuosity (P=.05). CONCLUSIONS: Corneal IVCM enables near-histological visualization and quantification of the cellular and neural changes in corneal allodynia. Regardless of etiology, corneal allodynia is associated with decreased corneal epithelial cell densities, increased epithelial cell size, and decreased numbers and lengths of subbasal nerves despite an unremarkable slit-lamp examination. Therefore, IVCM may be useful in the management of patients with corneal allodynia.
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a neurovascular disease that affects prematurely born infants and is known to have significant long term effects on vision. We conducted the studies described herein not only to learn more about vision but also about the pathogenesis of ROP. The coincidence of ROP onset and rapid developmental elongation of the rod photoreceptor outer segments motivated us to consider the role of the rods in this disease. We used noninvasive electroretinographic (ERG), psychophysical, and retinal imaging procedures to study the function and structure of the neurosensory retina. Rod photoreceptor and post-receptor responses are significantly altered years after the preterm days during which ROP is an active disease. The alterations include persistent rod dysfunction, and evidence of compensatory remodeling of the post-receptor retina is found in ERG responses to full-field stimuli and in psychophysical thresholds that probe small retinal regions. In the central retina, both Mild and Severe ROP delay maturation of parafoveal scotopic thresholds and are associated with attenuation of cone mediated multifocal ERG responses, significant thickening of post-receptor retinal laminae, and dysmorphic cone photoreceptors. These results have implications for vision and control of eye growth and refractive development and suggest future research directions. These results also lead to a proposal for noninvasive management using light that may add to the currently invasive therapeutic armamentarium against ROP.
Conjunctival goblet cells play a major role in maintaining the mucus layer of the tear film under physiological conditions as well as in inflammatory diseases like dry eye and allergic conjunctivitis. Resolution of inflammation is mediated by proresolution agonists such as lipoxin A4 (LXA4) that can also function under physiological conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine the actions of LXA4 on cultured rat conjunctival goblet cell mucin secretion, intracellular [Ca(2+)] ([Ca(2+)]i), and identify signaling pathways activated by LXA4. ALX/FPR2 (formyl peptide receptor2) was localized to goblet cells in rat conjunctiva and in cultured goblet cells. LXA4 significantly increased mucin secretion, [Ca(2+)]i, and extracellular regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK 1/2) activation. These functions were inhibited by ALX/FPR2 inhibitors. Stable analogs of LXA4 increased [Ca(2+)]i to the same extent as LXA4. Sequential addition of either LXA4 or resolvin D1 followed by the second compound decreased [Ca(2+)]i of the second compound compared with its initial response. LXA4 activated phospholipases C, D, and A2 and downstream molecules protein kinase C, ERK 1/2, and Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinase to increase mucin secretion and [Ca(2+)]i. We conclude that conjunctival goblet cells respond to LXA4 to maintain the homeostasis of the ocular surface and could be a novel treatment for dry eye diseases.
PURPOSE: Patching for double vision is a common palliative treatment for head-trauma patients with acquired strabismus when prisms are not feasible. METHODS: We review literature on spatial neglect and discuss possible effects of monocular occlusion on spatial attention. RESULTS: Patching the left eye has been shown to worsen spatial judgments in some brain-injured patients with left neglect by inhibiting the right superior colliculus further impairing contralateral leftward orienting (the Sprague Effect). CONCLUSIONS: Because more peripheral parts of the visual field increasingly project to the contralateral superior colliculus with the temporal crescent being entirely contralateral, avoiding patching of the temporal crescent was advised, and in most cases can be achieved by taping off the spectacle lens and avoiding an elastic eye patch.
Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetically heterogeneous disorder with an estimated prevalence of one in 4,000 that is classically characterized by the progressive constriction of peripheral vision and a later deterioration of visual acuity. Central vision can be compromised earlier in disease, however, in the approximately 25% of patients that have cystoid macular edema. This poorly understood problem can thus significantly impair patient quality of life, particularly as available treatments have limited efficacy. We will review clinical features of retinitis pigmentosa-associated cystoid macular edema, potential causative mechanisms, and finally, evidence supporting currently employed therapies with emphasis upon which management strategies require further evidence-based evaluation.
A 25-year-old man with Type 1 diabetes mellitus experienced rapid visual decline and was scheduled for right cataract surgery. At the time of administering an inferotemporal retrobulbar block, a white discharge appeared spontaneously on the surface of the globe. Superotemporally a cyst was found and its contents were subtotally evacuated. Microscopically, eosinophilic, acellular material with chatter artifact and small vacuoles was detected and initially thought to represent a lens choristoma. This material stained moderately with the periodic acid Schiff method and was focally Congo red positive without apple green birefringence; it also stained blue with the Masson trichrome method. Acid-fast staining disclosed the presence of rare vellous hairs. Adherent cells were not epidermal cells (CK5/6) but conjunctival epithelial cells (CK7); CD68-positive histiocytes were also identified. The lesion was diagnosed as a disrupted orbital dermoid cyst of conjunctival origin.
A 71-year-old woman developed a small bluish lesion beneath the cilia of the left lower eyelid. Excision and microscopic examination disclosed a cyst with an intimately associated eccrine sweat gland. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that the cyst's epithelium was strongly CK5/6, CK14, CK7 weakly positive, and gross cystic disease fluid protein-15 and smooth muscle actin negative. This is the first immunohistochemically proven eccrine cyst of the eyelid skin. Apocrine cysts develop only at the eyelid margin where the glands of Moll are located. They immunostain positively for cytoplasmic gross cystic disease fluid protein-15 in the adlumenal cells and smooth muscle actin in an outer myoepithelial (abluminal) layer.
A 55-year-old woman had a right orbital cyst detected incidentally on radiographic imaging. The patient's symptoms were mild and included intermittent pain and vertical diplopia; the patient was not aware of any visual decline. There was a palpable mass beneath the superior orbital rim. Radiographic imaging revealed a well-demarcated cystic lesion in the right superior orbit between the levator palpebrae superioris and superior rectus muscles. The mass was completely excised via a transconjunctival approach. Histopathologic evaluation disclosed a conjunctival cyst lined by nonkeratinized squamous epithelium with scattered, rare goblet cells. This case combined with 5 other similar reported cases suggests that an intermuscular cyst located in the superior rectus-levator complex is most likely of congenital embryonic conjunctival origin.
Inflammatory damage of mucosal surface of the eye is a hallmark of dry eye disease (DED) and, in severe cases, can lead to significant discomfort, visual impairment, and blindness. DED is a multifactorial autoimmune disorder with a largely unknown pathogenesis. Using a cross-sectional patient study and a well-characterized murine model of DED, herein we investigated the immunoregulatory function of interleukin-22 (IL-22) in the pathogenesis of DED. We found that IL-22 levels were elevated in lacrimal fluids of DED patients and inversely correlated with severity of disease. Acinar cells of the lacrimal glands (LGs), not inflammatory immune cells, are the primary source of IL-22, which suppresses inflammation in ocular surface epithelial cells upon desiccating stress. Moreover, loss of function analyses using IL-22 knockout mice demonstrated that IL-22 is essential for suppression of ocular surface infiltration of Th17 cells and inhibition of DED induction. Our novel findings elucidate immunoregulatory function of LG-derived IL-22 in inhibiting IL-17-mediated ocular surface epitheliopathy in DED thus making IL-22 a new relevant therapeutic target.Mucosal Immunology advance online publication, 4 January 2017; doi:10.1038/mi.2016.119.