The current severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has had an enormous impact on society worldwide, threatening the lives and livelihoods of many. The effects will continue to grow and worsen if economies begin to open without the proper precautions, including expanded diagnostic capabilities. To address this need for increased testing, we have developed a sensitive reverse-transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay compatible with current reagents, which utilizes a colorimetric readout in as little as 30 min. A rapid inactivation protocol capable of inactivating virions, as well as endogenous nucleases, was optimized to increase sensitivity and sample stability. This protocol, combined with the RT-LAMP assay, has a sensitivity of at least 50 viral RNA copies per microliter in a sample. To further increase the sensitivity, a purification protocol compatible with this inactivation method was developed. The inactivation and purification protocol, combined with the RT-LAMP assay, brings the sensitivity to at least 1 viral RNA copy per microliter in a sample. This simple inactivation and purification pipeline is inexpensive and compatible with other downstream RNA detection platforms and uses readily available reagents. It should increase the availability of SARS-CoV-2 testing as well as expand the settings in which this testing can be performed.
Corneal stiffness plays a critical role in shaping the cornea with respect to intraocular pressure and physical interventions. However, it remains difficult to measure the mechanical properties noninvasively. Here, we report the first measurement of shear modulus in human corneas in vivo using optical coherence elastography (OCE) based on surface elastic waves. In a pilot study of 12 healthy subjects aged between 25 and 67, the Rayleigh-wave speed was 7.86 ± 0.75 m/s, corresponding to a shear modulus of 72 ± 14 kPa. Our data reveal two unexpected trends: no correlation was found between the wave speed and IOP between 13-18 mmHg, and shear modulus decreases with age (- 0.32 ± 0.17 m/s per decade). We propose that shear stiffness is governed by the interfibrillar matrix, whereas tensile strength is dominated by collagen fibrils. Rayleigh-wave OCE may prove useful for clinical diagnosis, refractive surgeries, and treatment monitoring.
PURPOSE: To describe the etiology and clinical characteristics of macular edema (ME) in patients with familial exudative vitreoretinopathy. METHODS: Observational, retrospective case series of 30 patients (34 eyes) with ME and familial exudative vitreoretinopathy who underwent spectral-domain optical coherence tomography imaging between 2009 and 2016. Baseline and follow-up optical coherence tomographies were correlated with color fundus photography and fluorescein angiography. RESULTS: The average age was 20.6 years (6.6-68.7). Eighteen eyes exhibited cystoid ME (52.9%), 14 noncystoid ME (41.2%), and 2 eyes (5.9%) with both. Macular edema was foveal in 52.9% (n = 18). Eighteen of 24 eyes (64.3%) with an available fluorescein angiography showed leakage from ME. The most common structural feature was posterior hyaloidal organization/contraction (n = 15). Sixteen eyes were treated with topical or intravitreal steroids (n = 6), intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (n = 3), or pars plana vitrectomy with membrane stripping (n = 7). There was no difference between mean preoperative and postoperative LogMAR visual acuity (0.63 [20/85] vs. 0.87 [20/148], P = 0.35) after vitrectomy despite a statistical improvement in the mean central foveal thickness (596 mm vs. 303 mm, P = 0.04). CONCLUSION: Macular edema in familial exudative vitreoretinopathy occurs most commonly because of traction. Vitrectomy is effective for relieving tractional forces with anatomical improvement.
Ocular trauma is a significant cause of blindness worldwide, particularly if associated with glaucoma. Direct damage from blunt or penetrating trauma, bleeding, inflammation, lens-related problems, orbital and brain vascular pathologies related to trauma, and chemical injuries may increase intraocular pressure and lead to traumatic glaucoma. Treatment may be as simple as eliminating the underlying cause in some conditions or management can be challenging, depending on the mechanism of damage. If proper management is not undertaken, visual outcomes can be poor. We discuss a broad spectrum of trauma-related mechanisms of intraocular pressure elevation, as well as their management.
Optic neuritis (ON) is an inflammatory attack of the optic nerve that leads to visual disability. It is the most common optic neuropathy affecting healthy young adults, most commonly women aged 20-45 years. It can be idiopathic and monophasic or as part of a neurologic disease such as multiple sclerosis with recurrence and cumulative damage. Currently, there is no therapy to repair the damage from optic neuritis. Animal models are an essential tool for the understanding of the pathogenesis of optic neuritis and for the development of potential treatment strategies. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is the most commonly used experimental rodent model for human autoimmune inflammatory demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). In this review, we discuss the latest rodent models regarding optic neuritis, focusing on EAE model, and on its recent achievements and developments.
The majority of clinical corneal prostheses (KPros) adopt a core-skirt configuration. This configuration is favored owing to the optic core (generally a cylindrical, acrylic-based material, such as PMMA), that not only provides a clear window for the patients' vision, but also confers resistance to biodegradability. The surrounding skirt (typically a biological material, such as corneal tissue) allows for host tissue integration. However, due to poor biointegration between the dissimilar core and skirt materials, it results in a weak adhesion at the interface, giving rise to clinical complications, such as bacterial infections in the tissue-PMMA interface and device extrusion. Here, we physically immobilized nano-hydroxyapatite (nHAp) on a PMMA cylinder via a dip-coating technique, to create a bioactive surface that improved biointegration in vivo. We established that the nHAp coating was safe and stable in the rabbit cornea over five weeks. More importantly, we found that apoptotic, wound healing and inflammatory responses to nHAp-coated PMMA were substantially milder than to non-coated PMMA. More mature collagen, similar to the non-operated cornea, was maintained in the corneal stroma adjacent to the nHAp-coated implant edge. However, around the non-coated cylinder, an abundant new and loose connective tissue formed, similar to bone tissue response to bioinert scaffolds. As a result of superior biointegration, tissue adhesion with nHAp-coated PMMA cylinders was also significantly enhanced compared to non-coated cylinders. This study set a precedent for the future application of the nHAp coating on clinical KPros. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Currently, all clinical corneal prostheses utilize as-manufactured, non-surface modified PMMA optic cylinder. The bioinert cylinder, however, has poor biointegration and adhesion with the surrounding biological tissue, which can give rise to postoperative complications, such as microbial invasion in the tissue-PMMA loose interface and PMMA optic cylinder extrusion. In the current study, we showed that surface modification of the PMMA cylinder with bioactive nano-hydroxyapatite (nHAp) significantly enhanced its biointegration with corneal stromal tissue in vivo. The superior biointegration of the nHAp-coated PMMA was signified by a more attenuated corneal wound healing, inflammatory and fibrotic response, and better tissue apposition, as well as a significantly improved corneal stromal tissue adhesion when compared to the non-coated PMMA.
The human cerebral cortex is asymmetrically organized with hemispheric lateralization pervading nearly all neural systems of the brain. Whether the lack of normal visual development affects hemispheric specialization subserving the deployment of visuospatial attention asymmetries is controversial. In principle, indeed, the lack of early visual experience may affect the lateralization of spatial functions, and the blind may rely on a different sensory input compared to the sighted. In this review article, we thus present a current state-of-the-art synthesis of empirical evidence concerning the effects of visual deprivation on the lateralization of various spatial processes (i.e., including line bisection, mirror symmetry, and localization tasks). Overall, the evidence reviewed indicates that spatial processes are supported by a right hemispheric network in the blind, hence, analogously to the sighted. Such a right-hemisphere dominance, however, seems more accentuated in the blind as compared to the sighted as indexed by the greater leftward bias shown in different spatial tasks. This is possibly the result of the more pronounced involvement of the right parietal cortex during spatial tasks in blind individuals compared to the sighted, as well as of the additional recruitment of the right occipital cortex, which would reflect the cross-modal plastic phenomena that largely characterize the blind brain.
Purpose: This article describes the clinical and multimodal imaging characteristics of subthreshold exudative choroidal neovascularization (CNV) associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Methods: Among 3773 patients with AMD, 8 eyes (6 patients) were identified with the clinical phenotype of interest. Dilated fundus examinations, color fundus photography, fluorescein angiography (FA), indocyanine green angiography (ICGA), optical coherence tomography (OCT), and OCT angiography (OCTA) were performed. Results: OCT typically showed a moderately reflective irregular pigment epithelial detachment with overlying subretinal fluid (SRF). Traditional FA did not show leakage and ICGA showed no definitive neovascular network or hot spots. However, OCTA clearly demonstrated a CNV within the pigment epithelial detachment. The majority of our cases (7 of 8) did not receive antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections, and visual acuity remained stable over the available follow-up period of I to 10 years. Conclusions: CNV is often associated with SRF and vision loss in AMD, usually requiring frequent anti-VEGF injections. OCTA allowed us to better identify CNV not readily detected on FA and ICGA. Although some have suggested early clinical intervention with anti-VEGF injections in any case with fluid and confirmed CNV on OCTA, we describe a subset of AMD patients with SRF who may be better managed by observation. These cases may represent a more indolent, mature, and stable vascular network.
Many patients with wet age-related macular degeneration do not respond well to anti- vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) therapy for choroidal neovascularization (CNV), and the efficacy of anti-VEGFA decreases over time. We investigated the hypothesis that fibrotic changes, in particular via endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndoMT), play a role in CNV and alter the therapeutic effects of VEGFA pathway blockage. Induction of EndoMT of primary human retinal endothelial cells led to a significantly reduced response to VEGFA at the level of gene expression, cellular proliferation, migration, and tube formation. Suppression of EndoMT restored cell responsiveness to VEGFA. In a mouse model of spontaneous CNV, fibrotic changes and EndoMT persisted as the CNV lesions became more established over time. VEGFA receptor-2 (VEGFR2) antagonism further induced fibrosis and EndoMT in the CNV. The combination of VEGFR2 antagonism and fibrosis/EndoMT inhibition was more effective than either individual treatment in reducing CNV. Our data indicate that fibrosis and EndoMT are involved in the progression of CNV, are exacerbated by VEGFR2 inhibition, and could provide an explanation for the reduced efficacy of anti-VEGFA treatment over time.
PURPOSE: To determine whether a quantitative approach to assessment of the severity of diabetic retinopathy (DR) lesions on ultrawide field (UWF) images can provide new parameters to predict progression to proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). METHODS: One hundred forty six eyes from 73 participants with DR and 4 years of follow-up data were included in this post hoc analysis, which was based on a cohort of 100 diabetic patients enrolled in a previously published prospective, comparative study of UWF imaging at the Joslin Diabetes Center. Diabetic Retinopathy Severity Score level was determined at baseline and 4-year follow-up visits using mydriatic 7-standard field Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) photographs. All individual DR lesions (hemorrhage [H], microaneurysm [ma], cotton wool spot [CWS], intraretinal microvascular abnormality [IRMA]) were manually segmented on stereographic projected UWF. For each lesion type, the frequency/number, surface area, and distances from the optic nerve head (ONH) were computed. These quantitative parameters were compared between eyes that progressed to PDR in 4 years and eyes that did not progress. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to identify parameters that were associated with an increased risk for progression to PDR. RESULTS: A total of 146 eyes of 73 subjects were included in the final analysis. The mean age of the study cohort was 53.1 years, and 42 (56.8%) subjects were female. The number and surface area of H/ma's and CWSs were significantly (P ≤ .05) higher in eyes that progressed to PDR compared with eyes that did not progress by 4 years. Similarly, H/ma's and CWSs were located further away from the ONH (ie, more peripheral) in eyes that progressed (P < .05). DR lesion parameters that conferred a statistically significant increased risk for proliferative diabetic retinopathy in the multivariate model included hemorrhage area (odds ratio [OR], 2.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.25-5.53), and greater distance of hemorrhages from the ONH (OR, 1.24; 95% CI, 0.97-1.59). CONCLUSIONS: Quantitative analysis of DR lesions on UWF images identifies new risk parameters for progression to PDR including the surface area of hemorrhages and the distance of hemorrhages from the ONH. Although these risk factors will need to be confirmed in larger, prospective studies, they highlight the potential for quantitative lesion analysis to inform the design of a more precise and complete staging system for diabetic retinopathy severity in the future. NOTE: Publication of this article is sponsored by the American Ophthalmological Society.
PURPOSE: We discovered that dihydrotestosterone (DHT) decreases the ability of lipopolysaccharide, a bacterial toxin, to stimulate the secretion of leukotriene B4, a potent proinflammatory mediator, by immortalized human meibomian gland epithelial cells (IHMGECs). We hypothesize that this hormone action reflects an androgen suppression of proinflammatory gene activity in these cells. Our goal was to test this hypothesis. For comparison, we also examined whether DHT treatment elicits the same effect in immortalized human corneal (IHC) and conjunctival (IHConj) ECs. METHODS: Differentiated cells were cultured in media containing vehicle or 10 nM DHT. Cells (n = 3 wells/treatment group) were then processed for RNA isolation and the analysis of gene expression by using Illumina BeadChips, background subtraction, cubic spline normalization and Geospiza software. RESULTS: Our results demonstrate that DHT significantly suppressed the expression of numerous immune-related genes in HMGECs, such as those associated with antigen processing and presentation, innate and adaptive immune responses, chemotaxis, and cytokine production. DHT also enhanced the expression of genes for defensin β1, IL-1 receptor antagonist, and the anti-inflammatory serine peptidase inhibitor, Kazal type 5. In contrast, DHT had no effect on proinflammatory gene expression in HCECs, and significantly increased 33 gene ontologies linked to the immune system in HConjECs. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support our hypothesis that androgens suppress proinflammatory gene expression in IHMGECs. This hormone effect may contribute to the typical absence of inflammation within the human meibomian gland.
PURPOSE: To use swept-source optical coherence tomography and swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography to investigate potential relationships between choroidal vascular hyperpermeability (CVH) seen with indocyanine green angiography (ICGA), choriocapillaris flow density, and choroidal thickness in eyes with pachychoroid pigment epitheliopathy. METHODS: Patients with pachychoroid pigment epitheliopathy were prospectively imaged with 12-mm × 12-mm swept-source optical coherence tomography, 12-mm × 12-mm swept-source optical coherence tomography angiographyA, and ICGA. Binarized choriocapillaris OCTA images were superimposed with ICGA images in which CVH area had been isolated. Choriocapillaris flow density within or outside the quadrants of CVH was calculated and the ratio of these two values was determined. The presence of CVH and choroidal thickness was evaluated at 9 locations within a central 3-mm × 3-mm area to explore the relationship between these 2 factors. RESULTS: Ten eyes from 10 patients were enrolled in the present study. Choriocapillaris flow density within quadrants of CVH area was significantly lower compared with quadrants without CVH (P < 0.001). The mean choriocapillaris flow density ratio was 0.86 ± 0.10 (range: 0.65-0.99). From among the 90 locations in 10 study eyes, 48 were within areas of CVH. Choroidal thickness was greater in quadrants of CVH compared with areas without CVH (P < 0.001, 455 ± 122 µm vs. 297 ± 93 µm). CONCLUSION: Reduced choriocapillaris flow density, increased choroidal thickness, and CVH appear to co-localize in eyes with pachychoroid pigment epitheliopathy.
The current study was aimed at evaluating the effects of age on the contributions of head and eye movements to scanning behavior at intersections. When approaching intersections, a wide area has to be scanned requiring large lateral head rotations as well as eye movements. Prior research suggests older drivers scan less extensively. However, due to the wide-ranging differences in methodologies and measures used in prior research, the extent to which age-related changes in eye or head movements contribute to these deficits is unclear. Eleven older (mean 67 years) and 18 younger (mean 27 years) current drivers drove in a simulator while their head and eye movements were tracked. Scans, analyzed for 15 four-way intersections in city drives, were split into two categories: (consisting only of eye movements) and (containing both head and eye movements). Older drivers made smaller scans than younger drivers (46.6° vs. 53°), as well as smaller scans (9.2° vs. 10.1°), resulting in overall smaller scans. For scans, older drivers had both a smaller head and a smaller eye movement component. Older drivers made more scans than younger drivers (7 vs. 6) but fewer scans (2.1 vs. 2.7). This resulted in no age effects when considering scans. Our results clarify the contributions of eye and head movements to age-related deficits in scanning at intersections, highlight the importance of analyzing both eye and head movements, and suggest the need for older driver training programs that emphasize the importance of making large scans before entering intersections.
OBJECTIVES: Executive dysfunction is a predominant cognitive symptom in cerebral small vessel disease (SVD). The Institute of Cognitive Neurology Frontal Screening (IFS) is a well-validated screening tool allowing the rapid assessment of multiple components of executive function in Spanish-speaking individuals. In this study, we examined performance on the IFS in subjects with cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL), an inherited condition leading to the early onset of SVD. We further explored associations between performance on the IFS and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) markers of SVD. METHODS: We recruited 24 asymptomatic CADASIL subjects and 23 noncarriers from Colombia. All subjects underwent a research MRI and a neuropsychological evaluation, including the IFS. Structural MRI markers of SVD were quantified in each subject, together with an SVD Sum Score representing the overall burden of cerebrovascular alterations. General linear model, correlation, and receiver operating characteristic curve analyses were used to explore group differences on the IFS and relationships with MRI markers of SVD. RESULTS: CADASIL subjects had a significantly reduced performance on the IFS Total Score. Performance on the IFS correlated with all quantified markers of SVD, except for brain atrophy and perivascular spaces enlargement. Finally, while the IFS Total Score was not able to accurately discriminate between carriers and noncarriers, it showed adequate sensitivity and specificity in detecting the presence of multiple MRI markers of SVD. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the IFS may be a useful screening tool to assess executive function and disease severity in the context of SVD.
Retinol dehydrogenase 12, RDH12, plays a pivotal role in the visual cycle to ensure the maintenance of normal vision. Alterations in activity of this protein result in photoreceptor death and decreased vision beginning at an early age and progressing to substantial vision loss later in life. Here we describe 11 patients with retinal degeneration that underwent next-generation sequencing (NGS) with a targeted panel of all currently known inherited retinal degeneration (IRD) genes and whole-exome sequencing to identify the genetic causality of their retinal disease. These patients display a range of phenotypic severity prompting clinical diagnoses of macular dystrophy, cone-rod dystrophy, retinitis pigmentosa, and early-onset severe retinal dystrophy all attributed to biallelic recessive mutations in We report 15 causal alleles and expand the repertoire of known mutations with four novel variants: c.215A > G (p.Asp72Gly); c.362T > C (p.Ile121Thr); c.440A > C (p.Asn147Thr); and c.697G > A (p.Val233Ille). The broad phenotypic spectrum observed with biallelic mutations has been observed in other genetic forms of IRDs, but the diversity is particularly notable here given the prior association of primarily with severe early-onset disease. This breadth emphasizes the importance of broad genetic testing for inherited retinal disorders and extends the pool of individuals who may benefit from imminent gene-targeted therapies.
Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) are life-threatening conditions with high morbidity and mortality. Supportive care management of SJS/TEN is highly variable. A systematic review of the literature was performed by dermatologists, ophthalmologists, intensivists, and gynecologists with expertise in SJS/TEN to generate statements for supportive care guideline development. Members of the Society of Dermatology Hospitalists with expertise in SJS/TEN were invited to participate in a modified, online Delphi-consensus. Participants were administered 9-point Likert scale questionnaires regarding 135 statements. The RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method was used to evaluate and select proposed statements for guideline inclusion; statements with median ratings of 6.5 to 9 and a disagreement index of ≤1 were included in the guideline. For the final round, the guidelines were appraised by all of the participants. Included are an evidence-based discussion and recommendations for hospital setting and care team, wound care, ocular care, oral care, urogenital care, pain management, infection surveillance, fluid and electrolyte management, nutrition and stress ulcer prophylaxis, airway management, and anticoagulation in adult patients with SJS/TEN.
PURPOSE: This study evaluated the risk and risk factors for exudative retinal detachment (ERD) in ocular inflammatory diseases. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. METHODS: Patients with noninfectious ocular inflammation had been followed longitudinally between 1978 and 2007 at 4 US subspecialty uveitis centers. The main outcome measurements were occurrences of ERD and predictive factors. RESULTS: A total of 176 of 14,612 eyes with ocular inflammation presented with ERD. Among uveitis cases, Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome (VKH) (odds ratio [OR] = 109), undifferentiated choroiditis (OR = 9.18), sympathetic ophthalmia (OR = 8.43), primary or secondary panuveitis (OR = 7.09), multifocal choroiditis with panuveitis (OR = 4.51), and "other" forms of posterior uveitis (OR = 16.9) were associated with a higher prevalence of ERD. Among the 9,209 uveitic or scleritic eyes initially free of ERD and followed, 137 incident ERD cases were observed over 28,949 eye-years at risk (incidence rate = 0.47% [0.40%-0.56%/eye-year]). VKH (HR = 13.2), sympathetic ophthalmia (HR = 5.82), undifferentiated choroiditis (HR = 6.03), primary or secondary panuveitis (HR = 4.21), and rheumatoid arthritis (HR = 3.30) were significantly associated with incident ERD. A significant dose-response relationship with the prevalence and incidence of ERD were observed for AC cells and vitreous cell activity. African Americans had significantly higher prevalence and incidence of ERD. CONCLUSIONS: Other ocular inflammatory conditions in addition to VKH syndrome and posterior scleritis were associated with increased risk of ERD, indicating that ERD does not necessarily dictate a diagnosis of VKH or posterior scleritis. In addition, the relationship between ERD and inflammatory severity factors implies that inflammation is a key predictive factor associated with developing ERD and requires early and vigorous control.
Circadian clocks regulate multiple physiological processes in the eye, but their requirement for retinal health remains unclear. We previously showed that Drosophila homologs of spliceosome proteins implicated in human retinitis pigmentosa (RP), the most common genetically inherited cause of blindness, have a role in the brain circadian clock. In this study, we report circadian phenotypes in murine models of RP. We found that mice carrying a homozygous H2309P mutation in () display a lengthened period of the circadian wheel-running activity rhythm. We show also that the daily cycling of circadian gene expression is dampened in the retina of H2309P mice. Surprisingly, molecular rhythms are intact in the eye cup, which includes the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), even though the RPE is thought to be the primary tissue affected in this form of RP. Downregulation of , another RNA splicing factor implicated in RP, leads to period lengthening in a human cell culture model. The period of circadian bioluminescence in primary fibroblasts of human RP patients is not significantly altered. Together, these studies link a prominent retinal disorder to circadian deficits, which could contribute to disease pathology.