Agrawal R, Betzler BK, Testi I, Mahajan S, Agarwal A, Gunasekeran DV, Raje D, Aggarwal K, Murthy SI, Westcott M, Chee S-P, McCluskey P, Ho SL, Teoh S, Cimino L, Biswas J, Narain S, Agarwal M, Mahendradas P, Khairallah M, Jones N, Tugal-Tutkun I, Babu K, Basu S, Carreño E, Lee R, Al-Dhibi H, Bodaghi B, Invernizzi A, Goldstein DA, Barisani-Asenbauer T, González-López JJ, Androudi S, Bansal R, Moharana B, Esposti SD, Tasiopoulou A, Nadarajah S, Agarwal M, Abraham S, Vala R, Singh R, Sharma A, Sharma K, Zierhut M, Kon OM, Cunningham ET, Kempen JH, Nguyen QD, Pavesio C, Gupta V. The Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS)-1: A Multinational Review of 447 Patients with Tubercular Intermediate Uveitis and Panuveitis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-11.Abstract
Tubercular intermediate uveitis (TIU) and panuveitis (TBP) are difficult to manage because of limitations in diagnostic tools and lack of evidence-based treatment guidelines. The Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS) analyzed treatment regimens and therapeutic outcomes in patients with TIU and TBP. Multicentre retrospective analysis. A total of 138 TIU and 309 TBP patients were included. A total of 382 subjects received antitubercular therapy (ATT) (n = 382/447; 85.4%) and 382 received corticosteroids (n = 382/447; 85.4%). Treatment failure was observed in 78 individuals (n = 78/447; 17.4%), occurring less frequently in patients receiving ATT (n = 66/382; 17.2%) compared to those who did not (n = 12/65; 18.5%). The study did not show any statistically significant therapeutic effect of ATT in patients with TIU and TBP. Taking into account the limitations of the retrospective, non-randomized study design, resultant reliance on reported data records, and unequal size of the samples, the current study cannot provide conclusive evidence on the therapeutic benefit of ATT in TIU and TBP.
PURPOSE: To investigate clinical baseline characteristics and optical coherence tomography biomarkers predicting visual loss during observation in eyes with diabetic macular oedema (DMO) and good baseline visual acuity (VA). METHODS: A sub-analysis of a 12-month, retrospective study, including patients with baseline VA ≤0.1 logMAR (≥20/25 Snellen) and centre-involving DMO. The primary outcome measure was the correlation between baseline characteristics and VA loss ≥10 letters during follow-up. RESULTS: A total of 249 eyes were included in the initial study, of which 147 eyes were observed and 80 eyes received anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) treatment at baseline. Visual acuity (VA) loss ≥10 letters occurred in 21.8% (observed cohort) and in 24.3% (treated cohort), respectively. Within observed eyes, presence of hyperreflective foci [HRF; odds ratio (OR): 3.18, p = 0.046], and disorganization of inner retina layers (DRIL; OR: 2.71, p = 0.026) were associated with a higher risk of VA loss ≥10 letters. In observed eyes with a combined presence of HRF, DRIL and ellipsoid zone (EZ) disruption, the risk of VA loss was further increased (OR: 3.86, p = 0.034). In eyes with combined presence of DRIL, HRF and EZ disruption, risk of VA loss was 46.7% (7/15 eyes) in the observed cohort, and 26.3% (5/19 eyes) in the treated cohort (p = 0.26). CONCLUSION: Patients with DMO and good baseline VA, managed by observation, are of increased risk for VA loss if DRIL, HRF and EZ disruption are present at baseline. Earlier treatment with anti-VEGF in these patients may potentially decrease the risk of VA loss at 12 months.
A yellow cyst of the caruncle in a 68-year-old man displayed the characteristic sebaceous glands and sebocytes of steatocystoma within the cyst wall, with a unique configuration of multiple branching compartments. The cyst lining was of trichilemmal character, lacking a keratohyalin granular layer, and replicated the immunohistochemical characteristics of a previously reported caruncular steatocystoma with the exception of a positive trichilemmal marker, calretinin, in the present case. Four previous cases of caruncular steatocystoma have been described, only one of which incorporated immunohistochemical analysis. Steatocystoma develops from a sebaceous gland duct, which displayed in this case multiple chambers subdividing what is usually a single round lumen.
AIMS: To evaluate the impact of herpes simplex virus (HSV)-induced scar location on bilateral corneal nerve alterations using laser in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). METHODS: Central and peripheral corneal subbasal nerve density (CSND) were assessed bilaterally in 39 patients with unilateral HSV-induced corneal scars (21 central scars (CS), 18 peripheral scars (PS)) using IVCM. Results were compared between patients and 24 age-matched controls. CSND was correlated to corneal sensation for all locations. RESULTS: Overall patients revealed significant decrease of CSND in the central and peripheral cornea (9.13±0.98 and 6.26±0.53 mm/mm, p<0.001), compared with controls (22.60±0.77 and 9.88±0.49 mm/mm). CS group showed a decrease in central (8.09±1.30 mm/mm) and total peripheral nerves (5.15±0.62 mm/mm) of the affected eyes, whereas PS group demonstrated a decrease in central (10.34±1.48 mm/mm) and localised peripheral nerves only in the scar area (4.22±0.77 mm/mm) (all p<0.001). In contralateral eyes, CSND decreased in the central cornea of the CS group (16.88±1.27, p=0.004), and in the peripheral area, mirroring the scar area in the affected eyes of the PS group (7.20±0.87, p=0.032). Corneal sensation significantly decreased in the whole cornea of the affected, but not in contralateral eyes (p<0.001). A positive correlation between CSND and corneal sensation was found in all locations (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with HSV scar demonstrate bilateral CSND decrease as shown by IVCM. CSND and corneal sensation decrease in both central and peripheral cornea in affected eyes, although only in the scar area in PS group. Interestingly, diminishment of CSND was found locally in the contralateral eyes, corresponding and mirroring the scar location in the affected eyes.
Herpes simplex keratitis, caused primarily by human herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), remains the most common infectious cause of unilateral blindness and vision impairment in the industrialized world. Major advances in the care of HSV keratitis have been driven in large part by the landmark Herpetic Eye Disease Study randomized clinical trials, which were among the first in ophthalmology to reflect emerging trial conventions, including multicenter subject enrollment, double-masking, placebo controls, and a priori sample size determinations. The results of these trials now form much of the evidence basis for the management of this disease. However, management patterns in clinical practice often deviate from evidence-based care. These perceived quality gaps have given rise to the evolving field of implementation science, which is concerned with the methods of promoting the application of evidence-based medicine within routine care. To overcome variations in the quality and consistency of care for HSV keratitis, a range of clinical- and technology-based innovations are proposed. The most pressing needs include the following: a rational and tractable disease classification scheme that provides an immediate link between the anatomical localization of disease (corneal epithelial, stromal, or endothelial) and the appropriate treatment, and the actualization of an electronic medical record system capable of providing evidence-based treatment algorithms at relevant points of care. The latter would also input data to population-wide disease registries to identify implementation-rich targets for quality improvement, education, and research. These innovations may allow us to reduce the human and economic burdens of this highly morbid, and often blinding, disease.
Fibulin-3 (F3) is an extracellular matrix glycoprotein found in basement membranes across the body. An autosomal dominant R345W mutation in F3 causes a macular dystrophy resembling dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), whereas genetic removal of wild-type (WT) F3 protects mice from sub-retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) deposit formation. These observations suggest that F3 is a protein which can regulate pathogenic sub-RPE deposit formation in the eye. Yet the precise role of WT F3 within the eye is still largely unknown. We found that F3 is expressed throughout the mouse eye (cornea, trabecular meshwork (TM) ring, neural retina, RPE/choroid, and optic nerve). We next performed a thorough structural and functional characterization of each of these tissues in WT and homozygous (F3) knockout mice. The corneal stroma in F3 mice progressively thins beginning at 2 months, and the development of corneal opacity and vascularization starts at 9 months, which worsens with age. However, in all other tissues (TM, neural retina, RPE, and optic nerve), gross structural anatomy and functionality were similar across WT and F3 mice when evaluated using SD-OCT, histological analyses, electron microscopy, scotopic electroretinogram, optokinetic response, and axonal anterograde transport. The lack of noticeable retinal abnormalities in F3 mice was confirmed in a human patient with biallelic loss-of-function mutations in F3. These data suggest that (i) F3 is important for maintaining the structural integrity of the cornea, (ii) absence of F3 does not affect the structure or function of any other ocular tissue in which it is expressed, and (iii) targeted silencing of F3 in the retina and/or RPE will likely be well-tolerated, serving as a safe therapeutic strategy for reducing sub-RPE deposit formation in disease. KEY MESSAGES: • Fibulins are expressed throughout the body at varying levels. • Fibulin-3 has a tissue-specific pattern of expression within the eye. • Lack of fibulin-3 leads to structural deformities in the cornea. • The retina and RPE remain structurally and functionally healthy in the absence of fibulin-3 in both mice and humans.
PURPOSE: Subperiosteal orbital lesions are most commonly abscesses secondary to sinusitis but, in rare cases, may represent other processes. Here, the authors compare the clinical and radiographic presentation of subperiosteal abscesses and alternate subperiosteal processes ("masqueraders") in an effort to establish distinguishing preoperative diagnostic criteria. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of cases of subperiosteal orbital lesions that underwent surgical intervention over a 3-year period was performed. The medical records of 6 cases of subperiosteal masqueraders and 6 cases of abscesses were reviewed for the clinical course, imaging (including radiographic density of lesions), and pathology. Clinical and radiographic features of the 2 groups were compared. RESULTS: All cases presented with orbital signs on exam. Fever and leukocytosis were absent in the masquerader group and present in 3 patients from the abscess group. Common radiographic findings in both groups included a rim-enhancing convex mass along the orbital wall and adjacent sinus opacification, often with bony dehiscence. Of the masqueraders, the final diagnosis was hematoma in 3 cases, mucocele in 1, and malignancy in 2. The difference between the mean radiodensity of the subperiosteal abscesses, 38 ± 5 Hounsfield units (95% CI, 34-42), as compared with the average radiodensity of the masqueraders, 71 ± 5 Hounsfield units (95% CI, 67-75), was significant (p = 0.042). Comparing radiodensity of the orbital lesion to adjacent sinus lesions and metastatic lesions elsewhere was also informative in establishing the diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: Radiographic features, particularly radiodensity, may help distinguish subperiosteal abscesses from other lesions and aid in preoperative diagnosis and management.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Orbital disease represents a diverse spectrum of pathology and can result in a variety of neuro-ophthalmic manifestations. The aim of this review is to provide updates on recent advances in our understanding of orbital disease secondary to thyroid eye disease, myositis, IgG4-related disease, sarcoidosis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis and various tumours. RECENT FINDINGS: With regards to thyroid eye disease, there have been recent advances in the development of steroid-sparing therapies, new modalities for objectively monitoring disease activity and increased understanding of the role of environmental risk factors. There has been interest in characterizing the clinical course and underlying mechanism of optic nerve disease secondary to orbital disorders, which has led to advances in how we monitor for and prevent permanent vision loss. Increased knowledge of orbital tumour subtype histopathology and the development of novel classification systems has had prognostic value and aided medical decision-making. SUMMARY: Orbital disease occurs secondary to a wide variety of diseases and can lead to neuro-ophthalmic manifestations with significant morbidity. Advances in our understanding of different subtypes of orbital disease have improved our ability to treat these potentially debilitating conditions.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Optic nerve sheath meningiomas (ONSMs) are rare benign tumors of the anterior visual pathway which present with slowly progressive and painless vision loss and account for approximately 2% of all orbital tumors. This article provides an overview as well as an update on the ONSMs with regards to cause, epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management in adults and pediatric population. RECENT FINDINGS: The clinical presentation and prognosis of ONSMs can vary and largely depend on the location of tumor as well as the histologic type. Overall, the diagnosis is based on clinical presentation, examination, and neuroimaging findings. Nevertheless, delays in diagnosis or misdiagnosis are not uncommon and can result in higher morbidity rates. Recent advances in diagnostic as well as more effective and less-invasive treatment options are discussed in this review. SUMMARY: ONSMs are a rare cause of slowly progressive and inexorable visual loss. Although ONSM diagnosis depends on the characteristic clinical and radiologic findings, prompt diagnosis, and appropriate management is critical for favorable visual outcomes. Thus, current focus is optimizing diagnostic as well-treatment methods for patients with ONSMs.
The enterococci, which are among the leading causes of multidrug-resistant (MDR) hospital infection, are notable for their environmental ruggedness, which extends to intrinsic antibiotic resistance. To identify genes that confer this unique property, we used Tn-seq to comprehensively explore the genome of MDR strain MMH594 for genes important for growth in nutrient-containing medium and with low-level antibiotic challenge. As expected, a large core of genes for DNA replication, expression, and central metabolism, shared with other bacteria, are intolerant to transposon disruption. However, genes were identified that are important to that are either absent from or unimportant for and fitness when similarly tested. Further, 217 genes were identified that when challenged by sub-MIC antibiotic levels exhibited reduced tolerance to transposon disruption, including those previously shown to contribute to intrinsic resistance, and others not previously ascribed this role. is one of the few Gram-positive bacteria experimentally shown to possess a functional Entner-Doudoroff pathway for carbon metabolism, a pathway that contributes to stress tolerance in other microbes. Through functional genomics and network analysis we defined the unusual structure of this pathway in and assessed its importance. These approaches also identified toxin-antitoxin and related systems that are unique and active in Finally, we identified genes that are absent in the closest nonenterococcal relatives, the vagococci, and that contribute importantly to fitness with and without antibiotic selection, advancing an understanding of the unique biology of enterococci. Enterococci are leading causes of antibiotic-resistant infection transmitted in hospitals. The intrinsic hardiness of these organisms allows them to survive disinfection practices and then proliferate in the gastrointestinal tracts of antibiotic-treated patients. The objective of this study was to identify the underlying genetic basis for its unusual hardiness. Using a functional genomic approach, we identified traits and pathways of general importance for enterococcal survival and growth that distinguish them from closely related pathogens as well as ancestrally related species. We further identified unique traits that enable them to survive antibiotic challenge, revealing a large set of genes that contribute to intrinsic antibiotic resistance and a smaller set of uniquely important genes that are rare outside enterococci.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the natural history and ophthalmologic morbidity of Mycoplasma pneumoniae-induced rash and mucositis (MIRM) and propose a treatment algorithm. DESIGN: Retrospective, interventional case series. METHODS: Retrospective chart review of all MIRM patients examined by the department of ophthalmology at a tertiary children's hospital. Diagnosis was established clinically concomitant with either positive Mycoplasma pneumoniae IgM or PCR testing from January 1, 2010, until December 31, 2019. The main outcome measures were best-corrected visual acuity, long-term ocular sequelae, and duration and type of ophthalmic intervention. RESULTS: There were 15 patients (10 male and 5 female) aged 10.9 ± 4.2 years who had primary episodes of MIRM; of those, 4 had multiple episodes. All patients required topical steroid treatment, 3 required amniotic membrane transplantation, and 1 patient underwent placement of a sutureless biologic corneal badage device. There were no patients who suffered visual loss, but 1 was left with mild symblephara near the lateral canthus in each eye and 2 others had scarring of the eyelid margins and blepharitis. CONCLUSIONS: The ocular morbidity is significantly less in MIRM than in other closely related syndromes such as erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis. However, these patients still require close observation and a low threshold for intervention to avoid permanent ophthalmic sequelae and possible blindness.
BACKGROUND: The American Indian Navajo and Goshute peoples are underserved patient populations residing in the Four Corners area of the United States and Ibupah, Utah, respectively. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of epidemiological factors and lipid biomarkers that may be associated with type II diabetes, hypertension and retinal manifestations in tribal and non-tribal members in the study areas (n = 146 participants). We performed multivariate analyses to determine which, if any, risk factors were unique at the tribal level. Fundus photos and epidemiological data through standardized questionnaires were collected. Blood samples were collected to analyze lipid biomarkers. Univariate analyses were conducted and statistically significant factors at < 0.10 were entered into a multivariate regression. RESULTS: Of 51 participants for whom phenotyping was available, from the Four Corners region, 31 had type II diabetes (DM), 26 had hypertension and 6 had diabetic retinopathy (DR). Of the 64 participants from Ibupah with phenotyping available, 20 had diabetes, 19 had hypertension and 6 had DR. Navajo participants were less likely to have any type of retinopathy as compared to Goshute participants (odds ratio (OR) = 0.059; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.016-0.223; < 0.001). Associations were found between diabetes and hypertension in both populations. Older age was associated with hypertension in the Four Corners, and the Navajo that reside there on the reservation, but not within the Goshute and Ibupah populations. Combining both the Ibupah, Utah and Four Corners study populations, being American Indian ( = 0.022), residing in the Four Corners ( = 0.027) and having hypertension ( < 0.001) increased the risk of DM. DM ( < 0.001) and age ( = 0.002) were significantly associated with hypertension in both populations examined. When retinopathy was evaluated for both populations combined, hypertension ( = 0.037) and living in Ibupah ( < 0.001) were associated with greater risk of retinopathy. When combining both American Indian populations from the Four Corners and Ibupah, those with hypertension were more likely to have DM ( < 0.001). No lipid biomarkers were found to be significantly associated with any disease state. CONCLUSIONS: We found different comorbid factors with retinal disease outcome between the two tribes that reside within the Intermountain West. This is indicated by the association of tribe and with the type of retinopathy outcome when we combined the populations of American Indians. Overall, the Navajo peoples and the Four Corners had a higher prevalence of chronic disease that included diabetes and hypertension than the Goshutes and Ibupah. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to conduct an analysis for disease outcomes exclusively including the Navajo and Goshute tribe of the Intermountain West.
Connexins are the structural components of gap junctions and hemichannels that mediate the communication and exchange of small molecules between cells, and between the intracellular and extracellular environment, respectively. Connexin (Cx) 46 is predominately expressed in lens fiber cells, where they function in maintaining the homeostasis and transparency of the lens. Cx46 mutations are associated with impairment of channel function, which results in the development of congenital cataracts. Cx46 gap junctions and hemichannels are closely regulated by multiple mechanisms. Key regulators of Cx46 channel function include Ca and calmodulin (CaM). Ca plays an essential role in lens homeostasis, and its dysregulation causes cataracts. Ca associated CaM is a well-established inhibitor of gap junction coupling. Recent studies suggest that elevated intracellular Ca activates Cx hemichannels in lens fiber cells and Cx46 directly interacts with CaM. A Cx46 site mutation (Cx46-G143R), which is associated with congenital Coppock cataracts, shows an increased Cx46-CaM interaction and this interaction is insensitive to Ca, given that depletion of Ca reduces the interaction between CaM and wild-type Cx46. Moreover, inhibition of CaM function greatly reduces the hemichannel activity in the Cx46 G143R mutant. These research findings suggest a new regulatory mechanism by which enhanced association of Cx46 with CaM leads to the increase in hemichannel activity and dysregulation may lead to cataract development. In this review, we will first discuss the involvement of Ca/CaM in lens homeostasis and pathology, and follow by providing a general overview of Ca/CaM in the regulation of Cx46 gap junctions. We discuss the most recent studies concerning the molecular mechanism of Ca/CaM in regulating Cx46 hemichannels. Finally, we will offer perspectives of the impacts of Ca/CaM and dysregulation on Cx46 channels and vice versa.
Purpose: To benchmark the optical performance of Boston Keratoprosthesis (B-KPro). Methods: Back focal lengths (BFL) of B-KPros for various eye axial lengths were measured using an optical bench, International Organization for Standardization-certified for intraocular lens characterization, and compared against manufacturer's specification. The modulation transfer function (MTF) and the resolution efficiencies were measured. The theoretical geometry-dependent higher-order aberrations (HOA) were calculated. The devices were characterized with optical profilometry for estimating the surface scattering. Aberration correction and subsequent image quality improvement were simulated in CODE-V. Natural scene-imaging was performed in a mock ocular environment. Retrospective analysis of 15 B-KPro recipient eyes were presented to evaluate the possibility of achieving 20/20 best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA). Results: BFL measurements were in excellent agreement with the manufacturer-reported values (r = 0.999). The MTF specification exceeded what is required for achieving 20/20 visual acuity. Astigmatism and field curvature, correctable in simulations, were the primary aberrations limiting imaging performance. Profilometry of the anterior surface revealed nanoscale roughness (root-mean-square amplitude, 30-50 nm), contributing negligibly to optical scattering. Images of natural scenes obtained with a simulated B-KPro eye demonstrated good central vision, with 10/10 visual acuity (equivalent to 20/20). Full restoration of 20/20 BCVA was obtainable for over 9 years in some patients. Conclusions: Theoretical and experimental considerations demonstrate that B-KPro has the optical capacity to restore 20/20 BCVA in patients. Further image quality improvement can be anticipated through correction of HOAs. Translational Relevance: We establish an objective benchmark to characterize the optics of the B-KPro and other keratoprosthesis and propose design changes to allow improved vision in B-KPro patients.
Kempen JH, Abashawl A, Suga HK, Nigussie Difabachew M, Kempen CJ, Tesfaye Debele M, Menkir AA, Assefa MT, Asfaw EH, Habtegabriel LB, Sitotaw Addisie Y, Nilles EJ, Longenecker JC. SARS-CoV-2 Serosurvey in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2020;103(5):2022-2023.Abstract
In a serosurvey of asymptomatic people from the general population recruited from a clinical laboratory in May 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, three of 99 persons tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 IgG (3.0%, 95% binomial exact confidence interval: 0.6-8.6%). Taking into account pretest probability and the sampling scheme, the range of plausible population prevalence values was approximately 1.0-8.4%. These results suggest that a larger number of people have been infected than the counts detected by surveillance to date; nevertheless, the results suggest the large majority of the general population in Addis Ababa currently is susceptible to COVID-19.
PURPOSE: To evaluate long-term risk and outcomes of glaucoma in eyes with intermediate, posterior, and panuveitis managed with systemic or fluocinolone acetonide (0.59 mg, "implant") therapy. DESIGN: Prospective Follow-up of the Multicenter Uveitis Steroid Treatment (MUST) Clinical Trial Cohort. METHODS: Patients with intermediate, posterior, or panuveitis randomized to implant or systemic therapy (corticosteroid plus immunosuppression in >90%) were followed prospectively for glaucoma incidence and outcome. RESULTS: Among 405 uveitic at-risk eyes of 232 patients (median follow-up = 6.9 years), 40% (79/196) of eyes assigned and treated with implant and 8% (17/209) of eyes assigned and treated with systemic therapy (censoring eyes receiving an implant on implantation) developed glaucoma (hazard ratio [HR] = 5.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.2, 10.8; P < .001). Adjustment for intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation during follow-up only partially mitigated the association of implant treatment with glaucoma incidence: HR = 3.1 (95% CI 1.6, 6.0); P = .001. Among 112 eyes of 83 patients developing glaucoma, the 5-year cumulative incidence following diagnosis of sustained (2 or more consecutive visits) worsening of mean deviation by ≥6 dB was 20% (95% CI 12%, 33%); 5-year cumulative incidence of sustained worsening of cup-to-disc ratio by ≥0.2 was 26% (95% CI 17%, 39%). CONCLUSIONS: The implant has substantially higher risk of glaucoma than systemic therapy, a difference not entirely explained by posttreatment IOP elevation. Management of IOP elevation was effective in preventing worsening of glaucoma for the large majority of cases, but even under expert clinical management, some glaucoma worsened. Uveitis cases should be monitored carefully for IOP elevation and glaucoma indefinitely.
Spinal cord injury in mammals is thought to trigger scar formation with little regeneration of axons. Here we show that a crush injury to the spinal cord in neonatal mice leads to scar-free healing that permits the growth of long projecting axons through the lesion. Depletion of microglia in neonatal mice disrupts this healing process and stalls the regrowth of axons, suggesting that microglia are critical for orchestrating the injury response. Using single-cell RNA sequencing and functional analyses, we find that neonatal microglia are transiently activated and have at least two key roles in scar-free healing. First, they transiently secrete fibronectin and its binding proteins to form bridges of extracellular matrix that ligate the severed ends of the spinal cord. Second, neonatal-but not adult-microglia express several extracellular and intracellular peptidase inhibitors, as well as other molecules that are involved in resolving inflammation. We transplanted either neonatal microglia or adult microglia treated with peptidase inhibitors into spinal cord lesions of adult mice, and found that both types of microglia significantly improved healing and axon regrowth. Together, our results reveal the cellular and molecular basis of the nearly complete recovery of neonatal mice after spinal cord injury, and suggest strategies that could be used to facilitate scar-free healing in the adult mammalian nervous system.
PURPOSE: To quantify the resident learning curve for cataract surgery using operative time as an indicator of surgical competency, to identify the case threshold at which marginal additional educational benefit became equivocal, and to characterize heterogeneity in residents' pathways to surgical competency. SETTING: Academic medical center. DESIGN: Large-scale retrospective consecutive case series. METHODS: All cataract surgery cases performed by resident physicians as primary surgeon at Massachusetts Eye and Ear from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2015, were reviewed. Data were abstracted from Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education case logs and operative time measurements. A linear mixed-methods analysis was conducted to model changes in residents' cataract surgery operative times as a function of sequential case number, with resident identity included as a random effect in the model to normalize between-resident variability. RESULTS: A total of 2096 cases were analyzed. A marked progressive decrease in operative time was noted for resident cases 1 to 39 (mean change -0.17 minutes per additional case, 95% CI, -0.21 to -0.12; P < .001). A modest, steady reduction in operative time was subsequently noted for case numbers 40 to 149 (mean change -0.05 minutes per additional case, 95% CI, -0.07 to -0.04; P < .001). No statistically significant improvement was found in operative times beyond the 150th case. CONCLUSIONS: Residents derived educational benefit from performing a greater number of cataract procedures than current minimum requirements. However, cases far in excess of this threshold might have diminishing educational return in residency. Educational resources currently used for these cases might be more appropriately devoted to other training priorities.