BACKGROUND: Safety and efficacy have been shown in a phase 1 dose-escalation study involving a unilateral subretinal injection of a recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector containing the RPE65 gene (AAV2-hRPE65v2) in individuals with inherited retinal dystrophy caused by RPE65 mutations. This finding, along with the bilateral nature of the disease and intended use in treatment, prompted us to determine the safety of administration of AAV2-hRPE65v2 to the contralateral eye in patients enrolled in the phase 1 study. METHODS: In this follow-on phase 1 trial, one dose of AAV2-hRPE65v2 (1·5 × 10(11) vector genomes) in a total volume of 300 μL was subretinally injected into the contralateral, previously uninjected, eyes of 11 children and adults (aged 11-46 years at second administration) with inherited retinal dystrophy caused by RPE65 mutations, 1·71-4·58 years after the initial subretinal injection. We assessed safety, immune response, retinal and visual function, functional vision, and activation of the visual cortex from baseline until 3 year follow-up, with observations ongoing. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01208389. FINDINGS: No adverse events related to the AAV were reported, and those related to the procedure were mostly mild (dellen formation in three patients and cataracts in two). One patient developed bacterial endophthalmitis and was excluded from analyses. We noted improvements in efficacy outcomes in most patients without significant immunogenicity. Compared with baseline, pooled analysis of ten participants showed improvements in mean mobility and full-field light sensitivity in the injected eye by day 30 that persisted to year 3 (mobility p=0·0003, white light full-field sensitivity p<0·0001), but no significant change was seen in the previously injected eyes over the same time period (mobility p=0·7398, white light full-field sensitivity p=0·6709). Changes in visual acuity from baseline to year 3 were not significant in pooled analysis in the second eyes or the previously injected eyes (p>0·49 for all time-points compared with baseline). INTERPRETATION: To our knowledge, AAV2-hRPE65v2 is the first successful gene therapy administered to the contralateral eye. The results highlight the use of several outcome measures and help to delineate the variables that contribute to maximal benefit from gene augmentation therapy in this disease. FUNDING: Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Spark Therapeutics, US National Institutes of Health, Foundation Fighting Blindness, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, Research to Prevent Blindness, Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics, Mackall Foundation Trust, F M Kirby Foundation, and The Research Foundation-Flanders.
Shorter axial length observed in patients with primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG) might be due to altered matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9) activity resulting in ECM remodeling during eye growth and development. This study aimed to evaluate common variants in MMP9 for association with PACG. Six tag SNPs of MMP9 were genotyped in a Chinese sample of 1,030 cases, including 572 PACG and 458 primary angle closure (PAC), and 499 controls. None of 6 SNPs were significantly associated with overall PAC/PACG (P > 0.07) or with PAC/PACG subgroups (Pc > 0.18). Meta-analysis of two non-Chinese studies revealed significant association between rs17576 and PACG (ORs = 0.56, P < 0.0001); however, meta-analysis of our dataset with 4 Chinese datasets did not replicate this association (ORs = 1.23, P = 0.29). Prior significant association for rs3918249 in one Caucasian study (OR = 0.63, P = 0.006) was not replicated in meta-analysis of 3 Chinese studies including this study (ORs = 0.91, P = 0.13). Significant heterogeneity between non-Chinese and Chinese datasets precluded overall meta-analysis for rs17576 and rs3918249 (Q = 0.001 and 0.04 respectively). rs17577 was nominally associated with PACG in one Caucasian study (OR = 1.71, P = 0.02), but not in 3 Chinese studies including our study (ORs = 1.20, P = 0.07). Overall meta-analysis revealed nominal association for rs17577 and PAC/PACG (ORs = 1.26, Pc = 0.05). Meta-analysis did not show significant association between the other SNPs and PAC/PACG (P > 0.47). The largest association study to date did not find significant association between MMP9 and PAC/PACG in Chinese; meta-analysis with other Chinese datasets did not produce significant association. In most instances combination with non-Chinese datasets was not possible except for one variant showing nominally significant association. More work is needed to define the role of MMP9 variants in PACG.
The aim of this article is to validate the accuracy of Facial Assessment by Computer Evaluation (FACE) program in eyelid measurements. Sixteen subjects between the ages of 27 and 65 were included with IRB approval. Clinical measurements of upper eyelid margin reflex distance (MRD1) and inter-palpebral fissure (IPF) were obtained. Photographs were then taken with a digital single lens reflex camera with built-in pop-up flash (dSLR-pop) and a dSLR with lens-mounted ring flash (dSLR-ring) with the cameras upright, rotated 90, 180, and 270 degrees. The images were analyzed using both the FACE and ImageJ software to measure MRD1 and IPF.Thirty-two eyes of sixteen subjects were included. Comparison of clinical measurement of MRD1 and IPF with FACE measurements of photos in upright position showed no statistically significant differences for dSLR-pop (MRD1: p = 0.0912, IPF: p = 0.334) and for dSLR-ring (MRD1: p = 0.105, IPF: p = 0.538). One-to-one comparison of MRD1 and IPF measurements in four positions obtained with FACE versus ImageJ for dSLR-pop showed moderate to substantial agreement for MRD1 (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.534 upright, 0.731 in 90 degree rotation, 0.627 in 180 degree rotation, 0.477 in 270 degree rotation) and substantial to excellent agreement in IPF (ICC = 0.740, 0.859, 0.849, 0.805). In photos taken with dSLR-ring, there was excellent agreement of all MRD1 (ICC = 0.916, 0.932, 0.845, 0.812) and IPF (ICC = 0.937, 0.938, 0.917, 0.888) values. The FACE program is a valid method for measuring margin reflex distance and inter-palpebral fissure.
A fully automated and robust method was developed to quantify β-III-tubulin-stained retinal ganglion cells, combining computational recognition of individual cells by CellProfiler and a machine-learning tool to teach phenotypic classification of the retinal ganglion cells by CellProfiler Analyst. In animal models of glaucoma, quantification of immunolabeled retinal ganglion cells is currently performed manually and remains time-consuming. Using this automated method, quantifications of retinal ganglion cell images were accelerated tenfold: 1800 images were counted in 3 h using our automated method, while manual counting of the same images took 72 h. This new method was validated in an established murine model of microbead-induced optic neuropathy. The use of the publicly available software and the method's user-friendly design allows this technique to be easily implemented in any laboratory.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. There is no cure for glaucoma but detection at its earliest stage and subsequent treatment can aid patients to prevent blindness. Currently, optic disc and retinal imaging facilitates glaucoma detection but this method requires manual post-imaging modifications that are time-consuming and subjective to image assessment by human observers. Therefore, it is necessary to automate this process. In this work, we have first proposed a novel computer aided approach for automatic glaucoma detection based on Regional Image Features Model (RIFM) which can automatically perform classification between normal and glaucoma images on the basis of regional information. Different from all the existing methods, our approach can extract both geometric (e.g. morphometric properties) and non-geometric based properties (e.g. pixel appearance/intensity values, texture) from images and significantly increase the classification performance. Our proposed approach consists of three new major contributions including automatic localisation of optic disc, automatic segmentation of disc, and classification between normal and glaucoma based on geometric and non-geometric properties of different regions of an image. We have compared our method with existing approaches and tested it on both fundus and Scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (SLO) images. The experimental results show that our proposed approach outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches using either geometric or non-geometric properties. The overall glaucoma classification accuracy for fundus images is 94.4 % and accuracy of detection of suspicion of glaucoma in SLO images is 93.9 %.
AIMS: Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD), a leading cause of age-related corneal edema requiring transplantation, is characterized by rosette formation of corneal endothelium with ensuing apoptosis. We sought to determine whether excess of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species leads to chronic accumulation of oxidative DNA damage and mitochondrial dysfunction, instigating cell death. RESULTS: We modeled the pathognomonic rosette formation of postmitotic corneal cells by increasing endogenous cellular oxidative stress with menadione (MN) and performed a temporal analysis of its effect in normal (HCEnC, HCECi) and FECD (FECDi) cells and ex vivo specimens. FECDi and FECD ex vivo specimens exhibited extensive mtDNA and nDNA damage as detected by quantitative PCR. Exposure to MN triggered an increase in mitochondrial superoxide levels and led to mtDNA and nDNA damage, while DNA amplification was restored with NAC pretreatment. Furthermore, MN exposure led to a decrease in ΔΨm and adenosine triphosphate levels in normal cells, while FECDi exhibited mitochondrial dysfunction at baseline. Mitochondrial fragmentation and cytochrome c release were detected in FECD tissue and after MN treatment of HCEnCs. Furthermore, cleavage of caspase-9 and caspase-3 followed MN-induced cytochrome c release in HCEnCs. INNOVATION: This study provides the first line of evidence that accumulation of oxidative DNA damage leads to rosette formation, loss of functionally intact mitochondria via fragmentation, and subsequent cell death during postmitotic cell degeneration of ocular tissue. CONCLUSION: MN induced rosette formation, along with mtDNA and nDNA damage, mitochondrial dysfunction, and fragmentation, leading to activation of the intrinsic apoptosis via caspase cleavage and cytochrome c release. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 24, 1072-1083.
UNLABELLED: Poor postnatal growth after preterm birth does not match the normal rapid growth in utero and is associated with preterm morbidities. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) axis is the major hormonal mediator of growth in utero, and levels of IGF-1 are often very low after preterm birth. We reviewed the role of IGF-1 in foetal development and the corresponding preterm perinatal period to highlight the potential clinical importance of IGF-1 deficiency in preterm morbidities. CONCLUSION: There is a rationale for clinical trials to evaluate the potential benefits of IGF-1 replacement in very preterm infants.
OBJECTIVE: To analyze overlaps between pregnancy and orbital inflammation (OI). DESIGN: Retrospective observational case series. METHODS: Eight new cases from 1997 to 2015 and 2 previously published cases were identified for inclusion in this investigation to provide the fullest clinical picture. Medical records, imaging studies, and the results of biopsies were reviewed. RESULTS: Three categories of association were discovered: (1) OI arising for the first time during pregnancy (5 cases); (2) OI arising within 3 months of delivery (2 cases); and (3) previously diagnosed OI reactivated or exacerbated by pregnancy (3 cases). One patient had a preexistent systemic autoimmune disease and another's was later diagnosed. One patient had attacks during sequential pregnancies. Findings included eyelid swelling and erythema, conjunctival chemosis, pain on eye movement, minimal diplopia, the usual absence of proptosis, and general preservation of visual acuity. Imaging studies disclosed extraocular muscle swelling (8 cases), most frequently of a single lateral rectus muscle. There were 2 cases of dacryoadenitis; 1 of these and an additional case displayed inflammation of the retrobulbar fat. Corticosteroids effected resolution of most symptoms. Singleton births were normal with the exceptions of an intrauterine fetal demise owing to acrania and a molar pregnancy. CONCLUSION: OI usually affects a single rectus muscle (typically the lateral) and, less often, the lacrimal gland and is often mild when it arises during or after pregnancy. Independent systemic autoimmune disease is an uncommon feature. Corticosteroids were efficacious except in 1 case with severe orbital scarring. No definitive causal relationships between pregnancy and OI could be established based on the clinical data.
PURPOSE: To investigate the association between blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and pterygium. METHODS: Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2008-2011 were used for the present epidemiologic study. A total of 19,178 participants aged ≥ 30 years were evaluated for blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and performed ophthalmic slit lamp examinations. Pterygium was considered as a growth of fibrovascular tissue over the cornea. RESULTS: The average blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were 18.6 ng/mL, and prevalence of pterygium was 6.5%. The odds of pterygium significantly increased across blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D quintiles after controlling sun exposure time as well as other confounders such as sex, age, smoking, diabetes, hypertension (P < 0.001). The odds ratios (OR) for pterygium was 1.51 (95% Confidence Interval[95%CI]; 1.19-1.92) in the highest blood vitamin D quintile. Stratified analysis by sex showed a positive association between blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and pterygium in both men (quintile 5 versus 1, OR; 1.68, 95%CI; 1.19-2.37) and women (quintile 5 versus 1, OR; 1.37, 95% CI; 1.00-1.88). CONCLUSIONS: Even after controlling sun light exposure time, we found a positive association between blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and pterygium in a representative Korean population. The mechanism underlying this association is unknown.
INTRODUCTION: Congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles type 2 (CFEOM2) is a distinct non-syndromic form of congenital incomitant strabismus secondary to orbital dysinnervation from recessive mutations in the gene PHOX2A. The phenotype includes bilateral ptosis, very large angle exotropia, ophthalmoplegia, and poorly-reactive pupils. Other than amblyopia, afferent visual dysfunction has not been considered part of CFEOM2; however, we have repeatedly observed non-amblyopic subnormal vision in affected patients. The purpose of this study was to document this recurrent feature of the phenotype. METHODS: A retrospective case series (2002-2012). RESULTS: Eighteen patients (four families) were identified; all affected individuals had confirmed homozygous recessive PHOX2A mutations except one individual for whom genetic testing was not done because of multiple genetically confirmed family members. Age at assessment ranged from 5-62 years old (median 10 years old). All patients had decreased best-corrected visual acuity not completely explainable by amblyopia in both the preferred and non-preferred eye. In those patients who had further ancillary testing, visual fields (five patients) and electroretinography (10 patients) confirmed abnormalities not ascribable to amblyopia. CONCLUSIONS: In addition to a distinct form of congenital incomitant strabismus, the phenotype of CFEOM2 includes subnormal vision consistent with retinal dysfunction. This could be the direct result of PHOX2A mutations or a secondary effect of orbital dysinnervation.
Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN) is a systemic disease that can be associated with debilitating acute and chronic complications across multiple organ systems. As patients with acute SJS/TEN are often treated in a burn intensive care unit (BICU), we surveyed burn centers across the United States to determine their approach to the care of these patients. The goal of our study was to identify best practices and possible variations in the care of patients with acute SJS/TEN. We demonstrate that the method of diagnosis, use of systemic therapies, and involvement of subspecialists varied significantly between burn centers. Beyond supportive care provided to every patient, our data highlights a lack of standardization in the acute care of patients with SJS/TEN. A comprehensive guideline for the care of patients with acute SJS/TEN is indicated.
AIMS: To compare swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) and enhanced depth imaging spectral-domain OCT (EDI-OCT) in quantitative assessment of optic nerve head (ONH) parameters. METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, patients with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) and age-matched control subjects underwent SS-OCT and EDI-OCT B-scans of the ONH in a single visit. Two masked readers independently measured the horizontal and vertical lamina cribrosa depth (LCDH and LCDV, respectively), as well as thinnest Bruch's membrane opening minimum rim width (BMO-MRW) from SS-OCT and EDI-OCT scans. We assessed agreement between SS-OCT and EDI-OCT measurements by linear regression models, Bland-Altman analysis and concordance correlation coefficients (CCC). Intrareader and inter-reader reproducibility was assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). RESULTS: One eye from each of 40 patients with POAG and 20 controls were included. All three ONH measurements were higher on SS-OCT than on EDI-OCT, with significant differences in LCDH (mean difference=31.7 µm, p<0.01) and thinnest BMO-MRW (mean difference=20.5 µm, p<0.01). Linear regression models described the agreement between SS-OCT and EDI-OCT measurements with R(2)>0.8 for LCDH among both patients with POAG and controls and for thinnest BMO-MRW among patients with POAG. The CCC was >0.8 overall for each parameter. Intrareader and inter-reader ICCs were ≥0.989 and ≥0.964, respectively, for all parameters. CONCLUSIONS: LCDH, LCDV and thinnest BMO-MRW measurements are not interchangeable between SS-OCT and EDI-OCT, but show good intrareader and inter-reader reproducibility and interdevice agreement for quantitative characterisation of the ONH, particularly among patients with glaucoma.
PURPOSE: To examine whether Nrf2-regulated antioxidant defense and p53 are activated in human corneal endothelial cells (CEnCs) by environmental levels of ultraviolet A (UV-A), a known stimulator of oxidative stress. METHODS: Immortalized human CEnCs (HCEnCi) were exposed to UV-A fluences of 2.5, 5, 10, or 25 J/cm2, then allowed to recover for 3 to 24 hours. Control HCEnCi did not receive UV-A. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured using H2DCFDA. Cell cytotoxicity was evaluated by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release. Levels of Nrf2, HO-1, NQO-1, p53, and caspase3 were detected by immunnoblotting or real-time PCR. Activated caspase3 was measured by immunoblotting and a fluorescence assay. RESULTS: Exposure of HCEnCi to 5, 10, and 25 J/cm2 UV-A increased ROS levels compared with controls. Nrf2, HO-1, and NQO-1 mRNA increased 1.7- to 3.2-fold at 3 and 6 hours after irradiation with 2.5 and 5 J/cm2 UV-A. At 6 hours post irradiation, UV-A (5 J/cm2) enhanced nuclear Nrf2 translocation. At 24 hours post treatment, UV-A (5, 10, and 25 J/cm2) produced a 1.8- to 2.8-fold increase in phospho-p53 and a 2.6- to 6.0-fold increase in activated caspase3 compared with controls, resulting in 20% to 42% cell death. CONCLUSIONS: Lower fluences of UV-A induce Nrf2-regulated antioxidant defense and higher fluences activate p53 and caspase3, indicating that even near-environmental levels of UV-A may affect normal CEnCs. This data suggest that UV-A may especially damage cells deficient in antioxidant defense, and thus may be involved in the etiology of Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD).
PURPOSE: Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) is a major cause of visual loss with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We evaluated whether blockade of phosphatidyl-inositol-3-kinase (PI3K) and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), by impairing VEGF-A and other growth factor receptors like platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), would reduce laser-induced CNV in mice. METHODS: Choroidal neovascularization lesions were induced in C57BL/6 mice. Two groups of mice received oral GSK2126458 (3 mg/kg) or vehicle for 14 days following laser, whereas three groups were treated with GSK2126458 (6 μg/eye), aflibercept (2 μL/eye), or vehicle intravitreally on days 0 and 7 after laser. Vascular leakage was measured by fluorescein angiography (FA) on day 14. Choroidal neovascularization membranes were evaluated on choroidal flat mounts following FITC-dextran perfusion, as well as ED1 and isolectin B4 (IB4) immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: Oral and intravitreal (IVT) GSK2126458 reduced leakage and area of CNV lesions. Greater probability of leaking lesions (∼60%; P < 0.05) was observed in both vehicle groups. Fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran-labeled total CNV burden area (total lesion area/eye) was reduced ∼67% (P < 0.05) and 35% (P = 0.0528) after oral and IVT GSK2126458 administration. GSK2126458 treatment reduced lesion size by ∼80% (P < 0.05) and 50% (P < 0.05) for oral and IVT control groups. Aflibercept did not alter lesion size (∼27% reduction). CONCLUSIONS: Phosphatidyl-inositol-3-kinase/mTOR is involved in laser-induced CNV angiogenic processes. GSK2126458 effectively reduces CNV size and leakage. Choroidal neovascularization size following IVT GSK2126458 was smaller than after oral administration. Therefore, inhibition of PI3K/mTOR pathways may be more effective due to blockade of action of multiple growth factors.
PURPOSE: The risk of vision loss from proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) can be reduced with timely detection and treatment. We aimed to identify serum molecular signatures that might help in the early detection of PDR in patients with diabetes. METHODS: A total of 40 patients with diabetes were recruited at King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 20 with extensive PDR and 20 with mild non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR). The two groups were matched in age, gender, and known duration of diabetes. We examined the whole genome transcriptome of blood samples from the patients using RNA sequencing. We built a model using a support vector machine (SVM) approach to identify gene combinations that can classify the two groups. RESULTS: Differentially expressed genes were calculated from a total of 25,500 genes. Six genes (CCDC144NL, DYX1C1, KCNH3, LOC100506476, LOC285847, and ZNF80) were selected from the top 26 differentially expressed genes, and a combinatorial molecular signature was built based on the expression of the six genes. The mean area under receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was 0.978 in the cross validation. The corresponding sensitivity and specificity were 91.7% and 91.5%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our preliminary study defined a combinatorial molecular signature that may be useful as a potential biomarker for early detection of proliferative diabetic retinopathy in patients with diabetes. A larger-scale study with an independent cohort of samples is necessary to validate and expand these findings.
Duane retraction syndrome (DRS) is a congenital eye-movement disorder defined by limited outward gaze and retraction of the eye on attempted inward gaze. Here, we report on three heterozygous loss-of-function MAFB mutations causing DRS and a dominant-negative MAFB mutation causing DRS and deafness. Using genotype-phenotype correlations in humans and Mafb-knockout mice, we propose a threshold model for variable loss of MAFB function. Postmortem studies of DRS have reported abducens nerve hypoplasia and aberrant innervation of the lateral rectus muscle by the oculomotor nerve. Our studies in mice now confirm this human DRS pathology. Moreover, we demonstrate that selectively disrupting abducens nerve development is sufficient to cause secondary innervation of the lateral rectus muscle by aberrant oculomotor nerve branches, which form at developmental decision regions close to target extraocular muscles. Thus, we present evidence that the primary cause of DRS is failure of the abducens nerve to fully innervate the lateral rectus muscle in early development.
The cornea contains a heterogeneous population of antigen-presenting cells with the capacity to contribute to immune responses. Adenovirus keratitis is a severe corneal infection with acute and chronic phases. The role of resident corneal antigen-presenting cells in adenovirus keratitis has not been studied. We utilized transgenic MaFIA mice in which c-fms expressing macrophages and dendritic cells can be induced to undergo apoptosis, in a mouse model of adenovirus keratitis. Clinical keratitis and recruitment of myeloperoxidase and CD45(+) cells were diminished in c-fms depleted, adenovirus infected mice, as compared to controls, consistent with a role for myeloid-lineage cells in adenovirus keratitis.
PURPOSE: To describe and further analyze the long-term results in visual acuity (VA), anatomical retention, and rate of complications from patients who underwent Boston keratoprosthesis (B-Kpro) type 1 after ocular chemical burns in the Dominican Republic. METHODS: A retrospective review of 42 eyes (22 OD:20 OS) of 36 patients who underwent B-Kpro type 1 implantation after severe ocular burn at Hospital Elías Santana in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, between April 2006 and October 2014, were included. RESULTS: Demographics, VA, anatomical retention, and the rates of postoperative complications and concurrent surgeries were evaluated. CONCLUSIONS: The excellent anatomical retention rates and visual outcomes presented in this study support the remarkable capability of B-Kpro type 1 to restore functional VA in eyes with severe chemical injuries. However, strict control of the postoperative complications is necessary for long-term success. In conclusion, the use of a B-Kpro type 1 after severe chemical burn is a viable option in patients otherwise condemned to the high risk of failure associated with conventional corneal grafts.
PURPOSE: To compare diabetic retinopathy (DR) identification and ungradable image rates between nonmydriatic ultrawide field (UWF) imaging and nonmydriatic multifield fundus photography (NMFP) in a large multistate population-based DR teleophthalmology program. DESIGN: Multiple-site, nonrandomized, consecutive, cross-sectional, retrospective, uncontrolled imaging device evaluation. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-five thousand fifty-two eyes (17 526 patients) imaged using NMFP and 16 218 eyes (8109 patients) imaged using UWF imaging. METHODS: All patients undergoing Joslin Vision Network (JVN) imaging with either NMFP or UWF imaging from May 1, 2014, through August 30, 2015, within the Indian Health Service-JVN program, which serves American Indian and Alaska Native communities at 97 sites across 25 states, were evaluated. All retinal images were graded using a standardized validated protocol in a centralized reading center. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Ungradable rate for DR and diabetic macular edema (DME). RESULTS: The ungradable rate per patient for DR and DME was significantly lower with UWF imaging compared with NMFP (DR, 2.8% vs. 26.9% [P < 0.0001]; DME, 3.8% vs. 26.2% [P < 0.0001]). Identification of eyes with either DR or referable DR (moderate nonproliferative DR or DME or worse) was increased using UWF imaging from 11.7% to 24.2% (P < 0.0001) and from 6.2% to 13.6% (P < 0.0001), respectively. In eyes with DR imaged with UWF imaging (n = 3926 eyes of 2402 patients), the presence of predominantly peripheral lesions suggested a more severe level of DR in 7.2% of eyes (9.6% of patients). CONCLUSIONS: In a large, widely distributed DR ocular telehealth program, as compared with NMFP, nonmydriatic UWF imaging reduced the number of ungradable eyes by 81%, increased the identification of DR nearly 2-fold, and identified peripheral lesions suggesting more severe DR in almost 10% of patients, thus demonstrating significant benefits of this imaging method for large DR teleophthalmology programs.