November 2014

Behlau I, Martin KV, Martin JN, Naumova EN, Cadorette JJ, Sforza TJ, Pineda R, Dohlman CH. Infectious endophthalmitis in Boston keratoprosthesis: incidence and prevention. Acta Ophthalmol 2014;92(7):e546-55.Abstract

PURPOSE: To determine the cumulative worldwide incidence of infectious endophthalmitis and associated vision loss after Boston keratoprosthesis (B-KPro) Type I/II implantation and to propose both safe and inexpensive prophylactic antibiotic regimens. METHODS: Two retrospective methods were used to determine the incidence, visual outcomes and aetiologies of infectious endophthalmitis associated with the B-KPro divided per decade: (i) systematic review of the literature from 1990 through January 2013 and (ii) a surveillance survey sent to all surgeons who implanted B-KPros through 2010 with 1-year minimum follow-up. In addition, a single-Boston surgeon 20-year experience was examined. RESULTS: From 1990 through 2010, there were 4729 B-KPros implanted worldwide by 209 U.S. surgeons and 159 international surgeons. The endophthalmitis cumulative mean incidence declined from 12% during its first decade of use to about 3% during its second decade in the Unites States and about 5% internationally during the second decade. There remains a large incidence range both in the United States (1-12.5%) and internationally (up to 17%). Poor compliance with daily topical antibiotics is an important risk factor. While Gram-positive organisms remained dominant, fungal infections emerged during the second decade. CONCLUSIONS: Daily prophylactic topical antibiotics have dramatically reduced the endophthalmitis incidence. Although Gram-positive organisms are the most common aetiology, antimicrobials must be inclusive of Gram-negative organisms. Selection of prophylactic regimens should be tailored to local antibiotic susceptibility patterns, be cost-effective, and should not promote the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. An example of a broad-spectrum, low-cost prophylactic option for non-autoimmune patients includes trimethoprim/polymyxinB once daily.

Ip MS, Domalpally A, Sun JK, Ehrlich JS. Long-term Effects of Therapy with Ranibizumab on Diabetic Retinopathy Severity and Baseline Risk Factors for Worsening Retinopathy. Ophthalmology 2014;Abstract

PURPOSE: To assess the effects of intravitreal ranibizumab on diabetic retinopathy (DR) severity when administered for up to 3 years, evaluate the effect of delayed initiation of ranibizumab therapy on DR severity, and identify baseline patient characteristics associated with the development of proliferative DR (PDR). DESIGN: Exploratory analyses of phase III, randomized, double-masked, sham-controlled multicenter clinical trials. PARTICIPANTS: Adults with diabetic macular edema (DME) (N = 759), baseline best-corrected visual acuity 20/40 to 20/320 Snellen equivalent, and central foveal thickness ≥275 μm. METHODS: Patients were randomized to monthly 0.3 or 0.5 mg ranibizumab or sham injections. Sham participants could switch to 0.5 mg ranibizumab during the third year (sham/0.5 mg crossover). Baseline risk factors were evaluated to explore potential associations with development of PDR. Time to first development of PDR was analyzed by Kaplan-Meier methods to calculate cumulative probabilities by group. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Study eye change on the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study severity scale and a composite clinical outcome evaluating progression to PDR based on photographic changes plus clinically important events defining PDR. RESULTS: At month 36, a greater proportion of ranibizumab-treated eyes had ≥2- or ≥3-step DR improvement compared with sham/0.5 mg crossover. A ≥3-step improvement was achieved at 36 months by 3.3%, 15.0%, and 13.2% of sham/0.5 mg, 0.3 mg, and 0.5 mg ranibizumab-treated eyes, respectively (P < 0.0001). Through 36 months, 39.1% of eyes in the sham/0.5 mg group developed PDR, as measured by composite outcome, compared with 18.3% and 17.1% of eyes treated with 0.3 or 0.5 mg ranibizumab, respectively. The presence of macular capillary nonperfusion at baseline seems to be associated with progression to PDR in ranibizumab-treated eyes but did not meaningfully influence visual acuity improvement in eyes with DME after ranibizumab therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Ranibizumab, as administered to patients with DME for 12 to 36 months in these studies, can both improve DR severity and prevent worsening. Prolonged delays in initiation of ranibizumab therapy may limit this therapeutic effect. Although uncommon, the development of PDR still occurs in a small percentage of eyes undergoing anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy and may be related to the presence of macular nonperfusion.

Jakobiec FA, Rai R, Rashid A, Kanoff J, Mukai S. Dystrophic hyaloid artery remnants and other abnormalities in a buphthalmic eye with retinoblastoma. Surv Ophthalmol 2014;59(6):636-642.Abstract

Partial persistence of the hyaloid artery unaccompanied by hyperplastic primary vitreous has not been previously reported in association with retinoblastoma. We describe an 18-month-old child with such a finding who had a retinoblastoma that was undifferentiated, extensively necrotic, heavily calcified, and completely filled the eyeball. The enucleated globe harbored a nonperfused, fossilized remnant of the hyaloid artery due to DNA/calcium deposition in the vascular wall. This structure inserted into a lenticular, extracapsular, fibrous plaque corresponding to a Mittendorf dot. The tumor had induced a placoid cataractous lens, obliterated the anterior and posterior chambers, caused glaucoma leading to buphthalmos, and extended into the optic nerve and extraocularly to involve the orbit. We conclude that the retinoblastoma arose early in ocular morphogenesis, at around 4 months gestation, when the programmed involution of the hyaloid artery begins. This process would typically end at 7-8 months gestation, but was aborted by the tumor. The patient died 6 weeks after surgery without receiving further treatment because of the parents' resistance.

Li J, Liu C-H, Sun Y, Gong Y, Fu Z, Evans LP, Tian KT, Juan AM, Hurst CG, Mammoto A, Chen J. Endothelial TWIST1 Promotes Pathological Ocular Angiogenesis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(12):8267-77.Abstract

PURPOSE: Pathological neovessel formation impacts many blinding vascular eye diseases. Identification of molecular signatures distinguishing pathological neovascularization from normal quiescent vessels is critical for developing new interventions. Twist-related protein 1 (TWIST1) is a transcription factor important in tumor and pulmonary angiogenesis. This study investigated the potential role of TWIST1 in modulating pathological ocular angiogenesis in mice. METHODS: Twist1 expression and localization were analyzed in a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). Pathological ocular angiogenesis in Tie2-driven conditional Twist1 knockout mice were evaluated in both OIR and laser-induced choroidal neovascularization models. In addition, the effects of TWIST1 on angiogenesis and endothelial cell function were analyzed in sprouting assays of aortic rings and choroidal explants isolated from Twist1 knockout mice, and in human retinal microvascular endothelial cells treated with TWIST1 small interfering RNA (siRNA). RESULTS: TWIST1 is highly enriched in pathological neovessels in OIR retinas. Conditional Tie2-driven depletion of Twist1 significantly suppressed pathological neovessels in OIR without impacting developmental retinal angiogenesis. In a laser-induced choroidal neovascularization model, Twist1 deficiency also resulted in significantly smaller lesions with decreased vascular leakage. In addition, loss of Twist1 significantly decreased vascular sprouting in both aortic ring and choroid explants. Knockdown of TWIST1 in endothelial cells led to dampened expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) and decreased endothelial cell proliferation. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that TWIST1 is a novel regulator of pathologic ocular angiogenesis and may represent a new molecular target for developing potential therapeutic treatments to suppress pathological neovascularization in vascular eye diseases.

Liu Y, Garrett ME, Yaspan BL, Bailey JC, Loomis SJ, Brilliant M, Budenz DL, Christen WG, Fingert JH, Gaasterland D, Gaasterland T, Kang JH, Lee RK, Lichter P, Moroi SE, Realini A, Richards JE, Schuman JS, Scott WK, Singh K, Sit AJ, Vollrath D, Weinreb R, Wollstein G, Zack DJ, Zhang K, Pericak-Vance MA, Haines JL, Pasquale LR, Wiggs JL, Allingham RR, Ashley-Koch AE, Hauser MA. DNA copy number variants of known glaucoma genes in relation to primary open-angle glaucoma. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(12):8251-8.Abstract

PURPOSE: We examined the role of DNA copy number variants (CNVs) of known glaucoma genes in relation to primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). METHODS: Our study included DNA samples from two studies (NEIGHBOR and GLAUGEN). All the samples were genotyped with the Illumina Human660W_Quad_v1 BeadChip. After removing non-blood-derived and amplified DNA samples, we applied quality control steps based on the mean Log R Ratio and the mean B allele frequency. Subsequently, data from 3057 DNA samples (1599 cases and 1458 controls) were analyzed with PennCNV software. We defined CNVs as those ≥5 kilobases (kb) in size and interrogated by ≥5 consecutive probes. We further limited our investigation to CNVs in known POAG-related genes, including CDKN2B-AS1, TMCO1, SIX1/SIX6, CAV1/CAV2, the LRP12-ZFPM2 region, GAS7, ATOH7, FNDC3B, CYP1B1, MYOC, OPTN, WDR36, SRBD1, TBK1, and GALC. RESULTS: Genomic duplications of CDKN2B-AS1 and TMCO1 were each found in a single case. Two cases carried duplications in the GAS7 region. Genomic deletions of SIX6 and ATOH7 were each identified in one case. One case carried a TBK1 deletion and another case carried a TBK1 duplication. No controls had duplications or deletions in these six genes. A single control had a duplication in the MYOC region. Deletions of GALC were observed in five cases and two controls. CONCLUSIONS: The CNV analysis of a large set of cases and controls revealed the presence of rare CNVs in known POAG susceptibility genes. Our data suggest that these rare CNVs may contribute to POAG pathogenesis and merit functional evaluation.

Lundgren P, Wilde Å, Löfqvist C, Smith LEH, Hård A-L, Hellström A. Weight at first detection of retinopathy of prematurity predicts disease severity. Br J Ophthalmol 2014;98(11):1565-9.Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether postnatal weight at first detection of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) can predict preterm infants who will develop severe ROP warranting treatment. DESIGN: This modern, population-based cohort included 147 infants born at gestational age (GA) <32 weeks in the Gothenburg region during 2011-2012 and screened for ROP at Sahlgrenska University hospital. GA, birth weight (BW), and weekly postnatal weight from birth until postmenstrual age (PMA) 40 weeks data were retrospectively retrieved. Birth weight SD scores (BWSDS) were calculated. ROP data, including first detected ROP stage, maximal ROP stage, ROP treatment, and PMA at first detected sign of ROP were also retrieved. Weight SDS (WSDS) at first ROP detection was calculated. RESULTS: Stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the best fit-model of risk factors for developing severe ROP warranting treatment included; GA (OR=0.28, CI 95% 0.12 to 0.66, p<0.01) and WSDS at first ROP detection (OR=0.22, CI 95% 0.05 to 0.89, p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Low weight and low WSDS at first ROP detection can be useful predictors for ROP warranting treatment.

Papakostas TD, Jakobiec FA, Mantagos J, Rashid A, Fay A, Vavvas DG. Idiopathic dacryoadenitis mimicking a primary intraocular tumour in a young girl. Clin Experiment Ophthalmol 2014;42(8):785-8.
Prabakaran S, Hemberg M, Chauhan R, Winter D, Tweedie-Cullen RY, Dittrich C, Hong E, Gunawardena J, Steen H, Kreiman G, Steen JA. Quantitative profiling of peptides from RNAs classified as noncoding. Nat Commun 2014;5:5429.Abstract

Only a small fraction of the mammalian genome codes for messenger RNAs destined to be translated into proteins, and it is generally assumed that a large portion of transcribed sequences--including introns and several classes of noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs)--do not give rise to peptide products. A systematic examination of translation and physiological regulation of ncRNAs has not been conducted. Here we use computational methods to identify the products of non-canonical translation in mouse neurons by analysing unannotated transcripts in combination with proteomic data. This study supports the existence of non-canonical translation products from both intragenic and extragenic genomic regions, including peptides derived from antisense transcripts and introns. Moreover, the studied novel translation products exhibit temporal regulation similar to that of proteins known to be involved in neuronal activity processes. These observations highlight a potentially large and complex set of biologically regulated translational events from transcripts formerly thought to lack coding potential.

Robert M-C, Arafat SN, Ciolino JB. Collagen cross-linking of the Boston keratoprosthesis donor carrier to prevent corneal melting in high-risk patients. Eye Contact Lens 2014;40(6):376-81.Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine the clinical relevance and pathophysiology of Boston keratoprosthesis (B-KPro)-related corneal keratolysis (cornea melt) and to describe a novel method of preventing corneal melt using ex vivo crosslinked cornea tissue carrier. METHODS: A review of B-KPro literature was performed to highlight cases of corneal melt. Studies examining the effect of corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) on the biomechanical properties of corneal tissue are summarized. The use of crosslinked corneal tissue as a carrier to the B-KPro is illustrated with a case. RESULTS: Corneal melting after B-KPro is a relatively rare event, occurring in 3% of eyes during the first 3 years of postoperative follow-up. The risk of post-KPro corneal melting is heightened in eyes with chronic ocular surface inflammation such as eyes with Stevens-Johnson syndrome and mucous membrane pemphigoid. This chronic inflammation results in high tear levels of matrix metalloproteinases, the enzymes responsible for collagenolysis and corneal melt. Crosslinked corneal tissue has been shown to have stiffer biomechanical properties and to be more resistant to degradation by collagenolytic enzymes. We have previously optimized the technique for ex vivo corneal CXL and are currently studying its impact on the prevention of corneal melting after B-KPro surgery in high-risk eyes. Crosslinked carrier tissue was used in a 52-year-old man with familial aniridia and severe post-KPro corneal melt. The patient maintained his visual acuity and showed no evidence of corneal thinning or melt in the first postoperative year. CONCLUSION: Collagen crosslinking was previously shown to halt the enzymatic degradation of corneal buttons ex vivo. This study demonstrates the safety and potential benefit of using crosslinked corneal grafts as carriers for the B-KPro, especially in eyes at higher risk of postoperative melt.

Sümbül U, Zlateski A, Vishwanathan A, Masland RH, Seung SH. Automated computation of arbor densities: a step toward identifying neuronal cell types. Front Neuroanat 2014;8:139.Abstract

The shape and position of a neuron convey information regarding its molecular and functional identity. The identification of cell types from structure, a classic method, relies on the time-consuming step of arbor tracing. However, as genetic tools and imaging methods make data-driven approaches to neuronal circuit analysis feasible, the need for automated processing increases. Here, we first establish that mouse retinal ganglion cell types can be as precise about distributing their arbor volumes across the inner plexiform layer as they are about distributing the skeletons of the arbors. Then, we describe an automated approach to computing the spatial distribution of the dendritic arbors, or arbor density, with respect to a global depth coordinate based on this observation. Our method involves three-dimensional reconstruction of neuronal arbors by a supervised machine learning algorithm, post-processing of the enhanced stacks to remove somata and isolate the neuron of interest, and registration of neurons to each other using automatically detected arbors of the starburst amacrine interneurons as fiducial markers. In principle, this method could be generalizable to other structures of the CNS, provided that they allow sparse labeling of the cells and contain a reliable axis of spatial reference.

Sun JK, Lin MM, Lammer J, Prager S, Sarangi R, Silva PS, Aiello LP. Disorganization of the retinal inner layers as a predictor of visual acuity in eyes with center-involved diabetic macular edema. JAMA Ophthalmol 2014;132(11):1309-16.Abstract

IMPORTANCE: Biomarkers that predict future visual acuity (VA) in eyes with baseline diabetic macular edema (DME) would substantively improve risk assessment, management decisions, and selection of eyes for clinical studies targeting DME. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether baseline or early change in the novel spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) parameter disorganization of the retinal inner layers (DRIL) is predictive of VA in eyes with center-involved DME. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: At a tertiary care referral center for diabetic eye disease, a retrospective, longitudinal cohort study obtained demographics, VA, and SD-OCT images from baseline, 4-month, and 8-month visits in 96 participants (120 eyes) with diabetes mellitus and baseline center-involved DME (SD-OCT central subfield thickness, ≥ 320 µm for men and ≥ 305 µm for women). Exclusion criteria included substantial media opacity, cataract surgery within 6 months, and nondiabetic retinal pathology affecting VA. On SD-OCT, the 1-mm-wide retinal area centered on the fovea was evaluated by masked graders for DRIL extent, cysts, hyperreflective foci, microaneurysms, cone outer segment tip visibility, and external limiting membrane or photoreceptor disruption and reflectivity. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Visual acuity and SD-OCT-derived retinal morphology. RESULTS: Greater DRIL extent at baseline correlated with worse baseline VA (point estimate, 0.04; 95% CI, 0.02-0.05 per 100 µm; P < .001). An increase in DRIL during 4 months was associated with VA worsening at 8 months (point estimate, 0.03; 95% CI, 0.02-0.05 per 100 µm; P < .001). A multivariate model that included a 4-month change in VA, DRIL, and external limiting membrane disruption was predictive of an 8-month VA change (r = 0.80). Each approximately 300-µm DRIL increase during 4 months predicted a 1-line, 8-month VA decline. When DRIL increased at least 250 µm at 4 months, no eyes had VA improvement of at least 1 line at 8 months. When DRIL decreased at least 250 µm at 4 months, no eyes had VA decline of at least 1 line at 8 months, and 77.7% had VA improvement of at least 1 line. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Disorganization of the retinal inner layers in the 1-mm foveal area is associated with VA, and change in DRIL predicts future change in VA. Early change in DRIL prospectively identifies eyes with a high likelihood of subsequent VA improvement or decline. Therefore, DRIL warrants further study as a robust, readily obtained, and noninvasive biomarker of future VA response in eyes with DME.

Valentino MD, McGuire AM, Rosch JW, Bispo PJM, Burnham C, Sanfilippo CM, Carter RA, Zegans ME, Beall B, Earl AM, Tuomanen EI, Morris TW, Haas W, Gilmore MS. Unencapsulated Streptococcus pneumoniae from conjunctivitis encode variant traits and belong to a distinct phylogenetic cluster. Nat Commun 2014;5:5411.Abstract

Streptococcus pneumoniae, an inhabitant of the upper respiratory mucosa, causes respiratory and invasive infections as well as conjunctivitis. Strains that lack the capsule, a main virulence factor and the target of current vaccines, are often isolated from conjunctivitis cases. Here we perform a comparative genomic analysis of 271 strains of conjunctivitis-causing S. pneumoniae from 72 postal codes in the United States. We find that the vast majority of conjunctivitis strains are members of a distinct cluster of closely related unencapsulated strains. These strains possess divergent forms of pneumococcal virulence factors (such as CbpA and neuraminidases) that are not shared with other unencapsulated nasopharyngeal S. pneumoniae. They also possess putative adhesins that have not been described in encapsulated pneumococci. These findings suggest that the unencapsulated strains capable of causing conjunctivitis utilize a pathogenesis strategy substantially different from that described for S. pneumoniae at other infection sites.

Vodopivec I, Lobo A-M, Prasad S. Ocular inflammation in neurorheumatic disease. Semin Neurol 2014;34(4):444-57.Abstract

Neuroimmunologic and systemic rheumatic diseases are frequently accompanied by inflammation of the eye, ocular adnexa, and orbital tissues. An understanding of the diverse forms of ophthalmic pathology in these conditions aids the clinician in making appropriate preventative, diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic decisions. In this review, the authors address ocular inflammation in neurorheumatic disease in three sections: first, they highlight current perspectives on immune mechanisms in the development of these disorders; next, they provide a framework for the recognition and evaluation of ophthalmologic inflammatory entities; finally, they discuss in detail several inflammatory conditions that affect the nervous system and the eye, emphasizing the features that should alert neurologists to initiate ophthalmologic evaluation. The conditions discussed include multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica, chronic relapsing inflammatory optic neuropathy, Susac syndrome, Cogan syndrome, acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy, Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease, Behçet disease, sarcoidosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener granulomatosis), polyarteritis nodosa, giant cell arteritis, IgG4-related disease, and Sjögren syndrome.

Wiecek E, Lashkari K, Dakin S, Bex PJ. Novel Quantitative Assessment of Metamorphopsia in Maculopathy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;Abstract

Purpose: Patients with macular disease often report experiencing metamorphopsia (visual distortion). Although typically measured with Amsler charts, more objective and quantitative assessments of perceived distortion are desirable to effectively monitor the presence, progression and remediation of visual impairment. Methods: Participants with binocular (n = 33) and monocular (n= 50) maculopathy across seven disease groups, and control participants (n = 10) with no identifiable retinal disease completed a modified Amsler Grid assessment (presented on a computer screen with eye tracking to ensure fixation compliance) and two novel objective measures of metamorphopsia in the central five degrees of visual field. 81% (67/83) of participants completed a task requiring them to configure eight dots in the shape of a square, and 64% (32/50) of participants experiencing monocular distortion completed a spatial alignment task using dichoptic stimuli. 10 controls completed all tasks. Results: Horizontal and vertical distortion magnitudes were calculated for each of the three assessments. Distortion magnitudes were significantly higher in patients than controls in all assessments. There was no significant difference in magnitude of distortion across different macular diseases. Among patients, there were no significant correlations between overall magnitude of distortion among any of the three measures and no significant correlations in localized measures of distortion. Conclusions: Three alternative quantifications of monocular spatial distortion in the central visual field generated uncorrelated estimates of visual distortion. It is therefore unlikely that metamorphopsia is caused solely by displacement of photoreceptors in the retina, but instead involves additional top-down information, knowledge about the scene, and perhaps, cortical reorganization.