May 2021

Abbasi B, Rizzo JF. Advances in Neuroscience, Not Devices, Will Determine the Effectiveness of Visual Prostheses. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):168-175.Abstract
Background: Innovations in engineering and neuroscience have enabled the development of sophisticated visual prosthetic devices. In clinical trials, these devices have provided visual acuities as high as 20/460, enabled coarse navigation, and even allowed for reading of short words. However, long-term commercial viability arguably rests on attaining even better vision and more definitive improvements in tasks of daily living and quality of life. Purpose: Here we review technological and biological obstacles in the implementation of visual prosthetics. Conclusions: Research in the visual prosthetic field has tackled significant technical challenges, including biocompatibility, signal spread through neural tissue, and inadvertent activation of passing axons; however, significant gaps in knowledge remain in the realm of neuroscience, including the neural code of vision and visual plasticity. We assert that further optimization of prosthetic devices alone will not provide markedly improved visual outcomes without significant advances in our understanding of neuroscience.
Aboobakar IF, Friedman DS. Home Monitoring for Glaucoma: Current Applications and Future Directions. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):310-314.Abstract
Technological advances provide a number of options for glaucoma monitoring outside the office setting, including home-based tonometry and perimetry. This has the potential to revolutionize management of this chronic disease, improve access to care, and enhance patient engagement. Here, we provide an overview of existing technologies for home-based glaucoma monitoring. We also discuss areas for future research and the potential applications of these technologies to telemedicine, which has been brought to the forefront during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Agrawal R, Testi I, Lee CS, Tsui E, Blazes M, Thorne JE, Okada AA, Smith JR, McCluskey PJ, Kempen JH, Tappeiner C, Agarwal M, Bodaghi B, Nguyen QD, Gupta V, De Smet MD, Zierhut M, Pavesio C, Pavesio C. Evolving consensus for immunomodulatory therapy in non-infectious uveitis during the COVID-19 pandemic. Br J Ophthalmol 2021;105(5):639-647.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Immunomodulatory therapy (IMT) is often considered for systemic treatment of non-infectious uveitis (NIU). During the evolving coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, given the concerns related to IMT and the increased risk of infections, an urgent need for guidance on the management of IMT in patients with uveitis has emerged. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of international uveitis experts was conducted. An expert steering committee identified clinical questions on the use of IMT in patients with NIU during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using an interactive online questionnaire, guided by background experience and knowledge, 139 global uveitis experts generated consensus statements for IMT. In total, 216 statements were developed around when to initiate, continue, decrease and stop systemic and local corticosteroids, conventional immunosuppressive agents and biologics in patients with NIU. Thirty-one additional questions were added, related to general recommendations, including the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and hydroxychloroquine. RESULTS: Highest consensus was achieved for not initiating IMT in patients who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19, and for using local over systemic corticosteroid therapy in patients who are at high-risk and very high-risk for severe or fatal COVID-19. While there was a consensus in starting or initiating NSAIDs for the treatment of scleritis in healthy patients, there was no consensus in starting hydroxychloroquine in any risk groups. CONCLUSION: Consensus guidelines were proposed based on global expert opinion and practical experience to bridge the gap between clinical needs and the absence of medical evidence, to guide the treatment of patients with NIU during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Armstrong GW, Kalra G, De Arrigunaga S, Friedman DS, Lorch AC. Anterior Segment Imaging Devices in Ophthalmic Telemedicine. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):149-156.Abstract
Obtaining a clear assessment of the anterior segment is critical for disease diagnosis and management in ophthalmic telemedicine. The anterior segment can be imaged with slit lamp cameras, robotic remote controlled slit lamps, cell phones, cell phone adapters, digital cameras, and webcams, all of which can enable remote care. The ability of these devices to identify various ophthalmic diseases has been studied, including cataracts, as well as abnormalities of the ocular adnexa, cornea, and anterior chamber. This article reviews the current state of anterior segment imaging for the purpose of ophthalmic telemedical care.
Bal S, Tahvildari M, Jurkunas U. Scleral Perforation Secondary to Cyclophotocoagulation. Ophthalmology 2021;128(5):662.
Ballios BG, Pierce EA, Huckfeldt RM. Gene editing technology: Towards precision medicine in inherited retinal diseases. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):176-184.Abstract
Purpose: To review preclinical and clinical advances in gene therapy, with a focus on gene editing technologies, and application to inherited retinal disease.Methods: A narrative overview of the literature, summarizing the state-of-the-art in clinical gene therapy for inherited retinal disease, as well as the science and application of new gene editing technology.Results: The last three years has seen the first FDA approval of an in vivo gene replacement therapy for a hereditary blinding eye disease and, recently, the first clinical application of an in vivo gene editing technique. Limitations and challenges in this evolving field are highlighted, as well as new technologies developed to address the multitude of molecular mechanisms of disease.Conclusion: Genetic therapy for the treatment of inherited retinal disease is a rapidly expanding area of ophthalmology. New technologies have revolutionized the field of genome engineering and rekindled an interest in precision medicines for these conditions.
Brill D, Papaliodis G. Uveitis Specialists Harnessing Disruptive Technology during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):296-303.Abstract
Spurred by the coronavirus disease pandemic and shortage of eye care providers, telemedicine is transforming the way ophthalmologists care for their patients. Video conferencing, ophthalmic imaging, hybrid visits, intraocular inflammation quantification, and portable technology are evolving areas that may allow more uveitis patients to be evaluated via telemedicine. Despite these promising disruptive technologies, there remain significant technological limitations, legal barriers, variable insurance coverage for virtual visits, and lack of clinical trials for uveitis specialists to embrace telemedicine.
Celebi ARC, Park EA, Verticchio Vercellin AC, Tsikata E, Lee R, Shieh E, Antar H, Freeman M, Zhang J, Que C, Simavli H, McClurkin M, Guo R, Elze T, de Boer JF, Chen TC. Structure-Function Mapping Using a Three-Dimensional Neuroretinal Rim Parameter Derived From Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography Volume Scans. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2021;10(6):28.Abstract
Purpose: To assess the structure-function relationship in glaucoma using Humphrey visual field (HVF) perimetry and a three-dimensional neuroretinal rim parameter derived from spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) volume scans. Methods: Structure-function correlation was analyzed globally and regionally (four quadrants and four sectors). Structural data included peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness and minimum distance band (MDB) neuroretinal rim thickness, defined as the shortest distance between the inner cup surface and the outer retinal pigment epithelium/Bruch's membrane complex. Logarithmic regression analyses were performed and Pearson correlation coefficients determined to assess relationship strength. Results: The study consisted of 102 open-angle glaucoma patients and 58 healthy subjects. The Pearson correlation coefficient for global MDB thickness (R = 0.585) was higher than for global RNFL thickness (R = 0.492), but the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.18). The correlation coefficients for regional MDB thicknesses and corresponding HVF sensitivities were higher than those for regional RNFL thicknesses and HVF in six out of eight regions (P = 0.08 to 0.47). In the remaining two out of eight regions, the correlation coefficients were higher for RNFL thickness than for MDB thickness (P = 0.15 to 0.20). Conclusions: Three-dimensional MDB neuroretinal rim thickness relates to visual function as strongly as the most commonly used SD-OCT parameter for glaucoma, two-dimensional peripapillary RNFL thickness. Translational Relevance: This paper illustrates the potential for 3D OCT algorithms to improve in vivo imaging in glaucoma.
Chen ZJ, Lu SY, Rong SS, Ho M, Ng DS-C, Chen H, Gong B, Yam JC, Young AL, Brelen M, Tham CC, Pang CP, Chen LJ. Genetic associations of central serous chorioretinopathy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
AIMS: To identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR) by a systematic review and meta-analysis, and to compare the association profiles between CSCR, neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV). METHODS: We searched the EMBASE, PubMed and Web of Science for genetic studies of CSCR from the starting dates of the databases to 12 September 2020. We then performed meta-analyses on all SNPs reported by more than two studies and calculated the pooled OR and 95% CIs. We also conducted sensitivity analysis and adopted the funnel plot to assess potential publication bias. RESULTS: Totally 415 publications were reviewed, among them 10 were eligible for meta-analysis. We found 10 SNPs that have been reported at least twice. Meta-analysis and sensitivity analysis confirmed significant associations between CSCR and six SNPs in three genes, namely age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2 (ARMS2) (rs10490924, OR=1.37; p=0.00064), complement factor H (CFH) (rs800292, OR=1.44; p=7.80×10-5; rs1061170, OR=1.34; p=0.0028; rs1329428, OR=1.40; p=0.012; and rs2284664, OR=1.36; p=0.0089) and tumour necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 10a (TNFRSF10A) (rs13278062, OR=1.34; p=1.44×10-15). Among them, only TNFRSF10A rs13278062 showed the same trend of effect on CSCR, nAMD and PCV, while the SNPs in ARMS2 and CFH showed opposite trends in the SNP associations. CONCLUSIONS: This study confirmed the associations of ARMS2, CFH and TNFRSF10A with CSCR, and revealed that ARMS2, CFH and TNFRSF10A may affect different phenotypic expressions of CSCR, nAMD and PCV.
Chodnicki KD, Prasad S. Ophthalmic Implications of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell Therapy. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):329-334.Abstract
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a revolutionary addition to the burgeoning field of immunotherapy. CAR T-cells are engineered by combining a T-cell receptor with the antigen-binding site of an immunoglobulin that allows the hybrid cell to target antigens of interest. CAR T-cell therapy has been approved to treat various hematologic malignancies, including relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. While the treatment efficacy is exciting, challenges remain in understanding the unique spectrum of adverse effects of CAR T-cell therapy, including cytokine release syndrome and neurotoxicity. Innovative research is underway to expand this therapy into solid tumors and fields beyond hematology and oncology. To date, there has been limited research into ophthalmic uses and considerations of CAR T-cell therapy. This review focuses on preclinical investigations into CAR T-cell therapy for retinoblastoma and uveal melanoma, as well as ophthalmic complications of CAR T-cell therapy.
Chwalisz BK. Cerebral amyloid angiopathy and related inflammatory disorders. J Neurol Sci 2021;424:117425.Abstract
Inflammatory cerebral amyloid angiopathy is a largely reversible inflammatory vasculopathy that develops in an acute or subacute fashion in reaction to amyloid protein deposition in the central nervous system blood vessels. There are two recognized pathologically characterized variants: cerebral amyloid angiopathy-related inflammation (CAAri) and A beta-related angiitis (ABRA). Both variants produce a clinical picture that resembles primary angiitis of the CNS but is distinguished by a characteristic radiologic appearance. Although originally defined as a clinicopathologic diagnosis, it can now often be diagnosed based on clinicoradiologic criteria, though confirmation with brain and meningeal biopsy is still required in some cases. This disorder typically responds to steroids but addition of other immune suppressants may be needed in some cases to control the disease.
Ciociola EC, Kavitha S, Sengupta S, Wiggs JL, Kader MA, Raman GV, Rajendrababu S, Ramulu PY, Venkatesh R, Zebardast N. The Heritability of Primary Angle Closure Anatomic Traits and Predictors of Angle Closure in South Indian Siblings. Am J Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: To estimate the heritability of ocular biometric and anterior chamber morphologic parameters and to determine predictors of angle closure concordance in South Indian probands with angle closure and their siblings. DESIGN: Prospective observational cohort study. METHODS: Subjects received a standardized ophthalmic examination, A-scan ultrasonography, pachymetry, and anterior segment optical coherence tomography (ASOCT) imaging. Heritability was calculated using residual correlation coefficients adjusted for age, sex, and home setting. Concordant siblings pairs were defined as both proband and sibling with angle closure. Predictors of angle closure concordance among siblings were calculated using multivariable logistic regression models. RESULTS: 345 sibling pairs participated. All anterior chamber parameters were highly heritable (p<0.001 for all). Similarly, all iris parameters, axial length, lens thickness (LT), central corneal thickness, anterior lens curvature, lens vault (LV), spherical equivalent, and intraocular pressure were moderately to highly heritable (p<0.004 for all). LV and LT were more heritable among concordant siblings (p<0.05 for both). In contrast, ASOCT angle parameters had statistically insignificant heritability estimates. In multivariable analyses, siblings older than their probands were more likely to be concordant for angle closure (OR=1.05 (95% CI 1.01, 1.09), p=0.02) and siblings with deeper anterior chamber depths (ACD) compared to their proband were less likely to be concordant for angle closure (OR=0.74 (95% CI 0.64, 0.86), p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Iris, anterior chamber, and lens parameters may be heritable while angle parameters were not. LT and LV may play important roles in the pathogenesis of angle closure. Siblings who are older or have a shallower ACD may need more careful disease monitoring.
Cohen DA, Gise R, Gaier ED. Serum Biomarkers in Neuro-Ophthalmology: When to Test. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):322-328.Abstract
Discovery and characterization of serologic biomarkers has revolutionized the diagnostic framework of systemic and paraneoplastic autoimmune neuro-ophthalmic diseases. Expanding recognition of the multiple ocular and visual manifestations of these conditions highlights the important role of the referring provider in identifying potential cases. Increasing ease of access to serologic testing also enables these practitioners to initiate the diagnostic work-up in suspected cases. We aimed to provide an update on the current knowledge surrounding and use of relevant autoimmune biomarkers by correlating specific clinical neuro-ophthalmic manifestations with autoantibody biomarkers. The utility of select biomarkers for myasthenia gravis, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-IgG-associated disorder, opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome, anti-collapsin-response mediator protein-5 optic neuropathy, and glial fibrillary acidic protein-IgG-associated disease are discussed with particular focus on the clinical contexts in which to consider testing.
Currant H, Hysi P, Fitzgerald TW, Gharahkhani P, Bonnemaijer PWM, Senabouth A, Hewitt AW, and Consortium UKBEV, and Consortium UKBEV, Atan D, Aung T, Charng J, Choquet H, Craig J, Khaw PT, Klaver CCW, Kubo M, Ong J-S, Pasquale LR, Reisman CA, Daniszewski M, Powell JE, Pébay A, Simcoe MJ, Thiadens AAHJ, van Duijn CM, Yazar S, Jorgenson E, Macgregor S, Hammond CJ, Mackey DA, Wiggs JL, Foster PJ, Patel PJ, Birney E, Khawaja AP. Genetic variation affects morphological retinal phenotypes extracted from UK Biobank optical coherence tomography images. PLoS Genet 2021;17(5):e1009497.Abstract
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) enables non-invasive imaging of the retina and is used to diagnose and manage ophthalmic diseases including glaucoma. We present the first large-scale genome-wide association study of inner retinal morphology using phenotypes derived from OCT images of 31,434 UK Biobank participants. We identify 46 loci associated with thickness of the retinal nerve fibre layer or ganglion cell inner plexiform layer. Only one of these loci has been associated with glaucoma, and despite its clear role as a biomarker for the disease, Mendelian randomisation does not support inner retinal thickness being on the same genetic causal pathway as glaucoma. We extracted overall retinal thickness at the fovea, representative of foveal hypoplasia, with which three of the 46 SNPs were associated. We additionally associate these three loci with visual acuity. In contrast to the Mendelian causes of severe foveal hypoplasia, our results suggest a spectrum of foveal hypoplasia, in part genetically determined, with consequences on visual function.
Dahrouj M, Miller JB. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Retinal Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):341-345.Abstract
Ophthalmology has been at the forefront of medical specialties adopting artificial intelligence. This is primarily due to the "image-centric" nature of the field. Thanks to the abundance of patients' OCT scans, analysis of OCT imaging has greatly benefited from artificial intelligence to expand patient screening and facilitate clinical decision-making.In this review, we define the concepts of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning and how different artificial intelligence algorithms have been applied in OCT image analysis for disease screening, diagnosis, management, and prognosis.Finally, we address some of the challenges and limitations that might affect the incorporation of artificial intelligence in ophthalmology. These limitations mainly revolve around the quality and accuracy of datasets used in the algorithms and their generalizability, false negatives, and the cultural challenges around the adoption of the technology.
De Arrigunaga S, Aziz K, Lorch AC, Friedman DS, Armstrong GW. A Review of Ophthalmic Telemedicine for Emergency Department Settings. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;:1-8.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Patients presenting to emergency departments for ophthalmic emergencies benefit from prompt evaluation. However, Few emergency departments (EDs) have ophthalmologists on call, and eye care provided in EDs without ophthalmic services can be inaccurate. METHODS: We review the current state of ophthalmic telemedical care in EDs and highlight important considerations when implementing telemedicine in this setting. RESULTS: Telemedicine allows ophthalmologists to work with on-site emergency care providers to interview and examine patients remotely in EDs, enabling proper assessment of patient history, visual acuity, pupils, intraocular pressure, as well as the anterior and posterior segment. To date, patients' perceptions of this new model of care have been largely positive. DISCUSSION: The use of telemedical consultations for remote evaluation of patients with ophthalmic complaints stands to improve the quality of care provided to patients and extend the reach of remote ophthalmologists. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk of in-person care further highlights the potential for telemedicine to augment existing models of emergency care.
Deitch I, Ferenchak K, Miller JB. Quantitative autofluorescence: Review of Current Technical Aspects and Applications in Chorioretinal Disease. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):346-350.Abstract
Purpose: In this review we discuss the broad clinical application of qAF and provide a descriptive summary of the phenotypic findings of different chorioretinal pathologies.Background: Quantitative Fundus autofluorescence (qAF) is a novel developing technology that can aid in diagnosis and longitudinal disease monitoring by measuring and comparing autofluorescence intensities. Fundus autofluorescence (FAF) is a noninvasive imaging method that creates a density map of the fluorophores of the ocular fundus and provides both functional and topographic anatomic information about retinal cells. Fluorophores are molecules that have the ability to temporarily absorb irradiated light, and emit a small amount of light of a different wavelength. Different endogenous fluorophores can be found in the ocular fundus. Changes in accumulation of retinal fluorophores usually indicate retinal pathology and create characteristic patterns of hyper-autofluorescence and hypo-autofluorescence that help establish a diagnosis.Conclusion: qAF allows a safe non-invasive visualization of the retina, enables a standard for AF intensities comparison and aids to the understanding of the genotype-phenotype correlations.
Dohlman TH, Singh RB, Dana R. Advances in the Medical Management of Neurotrophic Keratitis. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):335-340.Abstract
Neurotrophic Keratitis (NK) is a degenerative disorder of the cornea characterized by decreased or absent sensory corneal innervation, corneal epitheliopathy and impaired healing.The clinical presentation of NK can range from persistent epithelial defects to corneal perforation and management is often both challenging and protracted. Historically, the management of NK has consisted of non-specific strategies to facilitate corneal epithelial healing such as lubrication, bandage contact lenses and tarsorrhaphy. Recent advances in the development of therapeutics for NK have provided new and efficacious targeted strategies for its management.In this article, we review recombinant human nerve growth factor (Cenegermin), currently approved for clinical use in the United States and Europe, as well as other promising therapeutic options that are in pre-clinical development such as thymosine β4, connexin43 inhibitors, and artificial extracellular matrix components.
E J-Y, Mihailovic A, Garzon C, Schrack JA, Li T, West SK, Friedman DS, Gitlin LN, Ramulu PY. Importance and severity dependence of physical activity by GPS-tracked location in glaucoma patients: GPS-tracked physical activity in glaucoma. Am J Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: To quantify the association of visual field (VF) damage on physical activity away-from-home, per away-from-home excursion, and at home. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. METHODS: Among 229 participants with glaucoma or suspected glaucoma, severity of VF damage was defined as average sensitivity within the integrated VF (IVF). Participants wore accelerometers and GPS trackers for seven days to measure physical activity and characterize activity location. Multivariable negative binomial regressions were used to test whether away-from-home activity per day, physical activity per away-from-home excursion, and at home activity per day varied by severity of VF damage. RESULTS: Each 5-dB decrement in IVF sensitivity was associated with a lower amount of away-from-home activities per day [18% less Moderate & Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) minutes/day, 95% CI, 0.69 to 0.97], and physical activities per away-from-home excursion (20% less MVPA minutes/excursion, 95% CI, 0.65, 0.98). Similar findings were noted for other away-from-home activity measures (including active minutes/steps per day, or active minutes/steps per excursion). However, worse IVF sensitivity was not associated with measures of at home activities (MVPA minutes/day, active minutes/day, and steps/day), time spent at or away from home, or excursions/week (p>0.1 for all). CONCLUSIONS: Restriction of physical activity in more severe glaucoma patients results mostly from activity restriction outside home environment. These findings highlight the importance of maintaining a safe home environment (where activity is less restricted) and increasing confidence to perform activity, particular high intensity activity, when leaving the home amongst patients with glaucoma.
E J-Y, Mihailovic A, Schrack JA, Li T, Friedman DS, West SK, Gitlin LN, Ramulu PY. Characterizing Longitudinal Changes in Physical Activity and Fear of Falling after Falls in Glaucoma. J Am Geriatr Soc 2021;69(5):1249-1256.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Older adults with visual impairments experience a higher risk of falling, and are more vulnerable to adverse health consequences associated with falls than those with normal vision. This study characterizes longitudinal changes in objectively measured physical activity and fear of falling (FoF) occurring after various types of falls in visually impaired older adults. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Hospital-based enrollment. PARTICIPANTS: People with glaucoma or suspected glaucoma. MEASUREMENTS: Falls were defined as unintentionally coming to rest on the ground or a lower level, and injurious falls were determined though follow-up calls. Study participants were categorized into three groups-fallers with injurious consequences, fallers without injurious consequences, and non-fallers based on fall status in the first year. Physical activity was assessed by waist-bound accelerometer. FoF was evaluated by questionnaire, with Rasch modeling generating FoF scores where higher scores reflected worse FoF. The 3-year longitudinal changes of physical activity and FoF were modeled using mixed-effects models. RESULTS: In linear models fully adjusted for visual field damage and other covariates, physical activity among injurious fallers showed greater annual (per year) declines in daily steps (-425 steps/d, 95% confidence interval (CI) = -793, -57), daily active minutes (-13 min/d, 95% CI = -21, -6), and daily moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) minutes (-3 MVPA minutes/d, 95% CI = -5, 0) over the 3-year period as compared to non-fallers; however, physical activity did not significantly decline among non-injurious fallers. No longitudinal increases in FoF scores were observed in injurious or non-injurious fallers when compared to non-fallers. CONCLUSION: Among visually impaired older adults, injurious falls identified prospectively over 12 months contributed to a significant decline in physical activity over a 3-year period, while minimal changes were observed in FoF.