March 2015

Sim DA, Keane PA, Tufail A, Egan CA, Aiello LP, Silva PS. Automated retinal image analysis for diabetic retinopathy in telemedicine. Curr Diab Rep 2015;15(3):14.Abstract

There will be an estimated 552 million persons with diabetes globally by the year 2030. Over half of these individuals will develop diabetic retinopathy, representing a nearly insurmountable burden for providing diabetes eye care. Telemedicine programmes have the capability to distribute quality eye care to virtually any location and address the lack of access to ophthalmic services. In most programmes, there is currently a heavy reliance on specially trained retinal image graders, a resource in short supply worldwide. These factors necessitate an image grading automation process to increase the speed of retinal image evaluation while maintaining accuracy and cost effectiveness. Several automatic retinal image analysis systems designed for use in telemedicine have recently become commercially available. Such systems have the potential to substantially improve the manner by which diabetes eye care is delivered by providing automated real-time evaluation to expedite diagnosis and referral if required. Furthermore, integration with electronic medical records may allow a more accurate prognostication for individual patients and may provide predictive modelling of medical risk factors based on broad population data.

Simavli H, Que CJ, Akduman M, Rizzo JL, Tsikata E, de Boer JF, Chen TC. Diagnostic capability of peripapillary retinal thickness in glaucoma using 3D volume scans. Am J Ophthalmol 2015;159(3):545-56.e2.Abstract

PURPOSE: To determine the diagnostic capability of spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD OCT) peripapillary retinal thickness (RT) measurements from 3-dimensional (3D) volume scans for primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. METHODS: setting: Institutional. study population: 156 patients (89 POAG and 67 normal subjects). observation procedures: One eye of each subject was included. SD OCT peripapillary RT values from 3D volume scans were calculated for 4 quadrants of 3 different sized annuli. Peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness values were also determined. main outcome measures: Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) values, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and positive and negative likelihood ratios. RESULTS: The top 5 RT AUROCs for all glaucoma patients and for a subset of early glaucoma patients were for the inferior quadrant of outer circumpapillary annulus of circular grid (OCA) 1 (0.959, 0.939), inferior quadrant of OCA2 (0.945, 0.921), superior quadrant of OCA1 (0.890, 0.811), inferior quadrant of OCA3 (0.887, 0.854), and superior quadrant of OCA2 (0.879, 0.807). Smaller RT annuli OCA1 and OCA2 consistently showed better diagnostic performance than the larger RT annulus OCA3. For both RNFL and RT measurements, best AUROC values were found for inferior RT OCA1 and OCA2, followed by inferior and overall RNFL thickness. CONCLUSION: Peripapillary RT measurements from 3D volume scans showed excellent diagnostic performance for detecting both glaucoma and early glaucoma patients. Peripapillary RT values have the same or better diagnostic capability compared to peripapillary RNFL thickness measurements, while also having fewer algorithm errors.

Singer JM, Madsen JR, Anderson WS, Kreiman G. Sensitivity to timing and order in human visual cortex. J Neurophysiol 2015;113(5):1656-69.Abstract

Visual recognition takes a small fraction of a second and relies on the cascade of signals along the ventral visual stream. Given the rapid path through multiple processing steps between photoreceptors and higher visual areas, information must progress from stage to stage very quickly. This rapid progression of information suggests that fine temporal details of the neural response may be important to the brain's encoding of visual signals. We investigated how changes in the relative timing of incoming visual stimulation affect the representation of object information by recording intracranial field potentials along the human ventral visual stream while subjects recognized objects whose parts were presented with varying asynchrony. Visual responses along the ventral stream were sensitive to timing differences as small as 17 ms between parts. In particular, there was a strong dependency on the temporal order of stimulus presentation, even at short asynchronies. From these observations we infer that the neural representation of complex information in visual cortex can be modulated by rapid dynamics on scales of tens of milliseconds.

Utheim O, Islam R, Lyberg T, Roald B, Eidet JR, de la Paz MF, Dartt DA, Raeder S, Utheim TP. Serum-free and xenobiotic-free preservation of cultured human limbal epithelial cells. PLoS One 2015;10(3):e0118517.Abstract

AIM/PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: To develop a one-week storage method, without serum and xenobiotics, that would maintain cell viability, morphology, and phenotype of cultured human limbal epithelial sheets. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Human limbal explants were cultured on intact human amniotic membranes for two weeks. The sheets were stored in a hermetically sealed container at 23°C in either a serum-free medium with selected animal serum-derived compounds (Quantum 286) or a xenobiotic-free medium (Minimal Essential Medium) for 4 and 7 days. Stored and non-stored cultures were analyzed for cell viability, amniotic membrane and epithelial sheet thickness, and a panel of immunohistochemical markers for immature cells (ΔNp63α, p63, Bmi-1, C/EBP∂, ABCG2 and K19), differentiated cells (K3 and Cx43), proliferation (PCNA), and apoptosis (Caspase-3). RESULTS: The cell viability of the cultures was 98 ± 1% and remained high after storage. Mean central thickness of non-stored limbal epithelial sheets was 23 ± 3 μm, and no substantial loss of cells was observed after storage. The non-stored epithelial sheets expressed a predominantly immature phenotype with ΔNp63α positivity of more than 3% in 9 of 13 cultures. After storage, the expression of ABCG2 and C/EBP∂ was reduced for the 7 day Quantum 286-storage group; (P = 0.04), and Bmi-1 was reduced after 4 day Quantum 286-storage; (P = 0.02). No other markers varied significantly. The expression of differentiation markers was unrelated to the thickness of the epithelia and amniotic membrane, apart from ABCG2, which correlated negatively with thickness of limbal epithelia (R = -0.69, P = 0.01) and ΔNp63α, which correlated negatively with amniotic membrane thickness (R = -0.59, P = 0.03). CONCLUSION: Limbal epithelial cells cultured from explants on amniotic membrane can be stored at 23°C in both serum-free and xenobiotic-free media, with sustained cell viability, ultrastructure, and ΔNp63α-positivity after both 4 and 7 days.