PURPOSE: To evaluate the role of substance P (SP)/neurokinin-1 receptor (NK1R) system in the regulation of pathologic corneal lymphangiogenesis in dry eye disease (DED). METHODS: Immunocytochemistry, angiogenesis assay, and Western blot analysis of human dermal lymphatic endothelial cells (HDLECs) were conducted to assess the involvement of SP/NK1R system in lymphangiogenesis. DED was induced in wild-type C57BL/6 J mice using controlled-environment chamber without scopolamine. Immunohistochemistry, corneal fluorescein staining, and phenol red thread test were used to evaluate the effect of SP signaling blockade in the corneal lymphangiogenesis. The expression of lymphangiogenic factors in the corneal and conjunctival tissues of DED mouse model was quantified by real-time polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: NK1R expression and pro-lymphangiogenic property of SP/NK1R system in HDLECs were confirmed by Western blot analysis and angiogenesis assay. Blockade of SP signaling with L733,060, an antagonist of NK1R, or NK1R-targeted siRNA significantly inhibited lymphangiogenesis and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor 3 stimulated by SP in HDLECs. NK1R antagonist also suppressed pathological corneal lymphangiogenesis and ameliorated the clinical signs of dry eye in vivo. Furthermore, NK1R antagonist effectively suppressed the lymphangiogenic factors, including VEGF-C, VEGF-D, and VEGF receptor 3 in the corneal and conjunctival tissues of DED. CONCLUSIONS: SP/NK1R system promotes lymphangiogenesis in vitro and NK1R antagonism suppresses pathologic corneal lymphangiogenesis in DED in vivo.
INTRODUCTION: Congenital facial weakness (CFW) can result from facial nerve paresis with or without other cranial nerve and systemic involvement, or generalized neuropathic and myopathic disorders. Moebius syndrome is one type of CFW. In this study we explored the utility of electrodiagnostic studies (EDx) in the evaluation of individuals with CFW. METHODS: Forty-three subjects enrolled prospectively into a dedicated clinical protocol and had EDx evaluations, including blink reflex and facial and peripheral nerve conduction studies, with optional needle electromyography. RESULTS: MBS and hereditary congenital facial paresis (HCFP) subjects had low-amplitude cranial nerve 7 responses without other neuropathic or myopathic findings. Carriers of specific pathogenic variants in TUBB3 had, in addition, a generalized sensorimotor axonal polyneuropathy with demyelinating features. Myopathic findings were detected in individuals with Carey-Fineman-Ziter syndrome, myotonic dystrophy, other undefined myopathies, or CFW with arthrogryposis, ophthalmoplegia, and other system involvement. DISCUSSION: EDx in CFW subjects can assist in characterizing the underlying pathogenesis, as well as guide diagnosis and genetic counseling.
BACKGROUND: Community-genotype methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CG-MRSA) emerged in the 1990s as a global community pathogen primarily involved in skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) and pneumonia. To date, the CG-MRSA SSTI burden in Latin America (LA) has not been assessed. OBJECTIVE: The main objective of this study was to report the rate and genotypes of community-genotype methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CG-MRSA) causing community-onset skin and soft tissue infections (CO-SSTIs) in LA over the last two decades. In addition, this research determined relevant data related to SSTIs due to CG-MRSA, including risk factors, other invasive diseases, and mortality. DATA SOURCES: Relevant literature was searched and extracted from five major databases: Embase, PubMed, LILACS, SciELO, and Web of Science. METHODS: A systematic review was performed, and a narrative review was constructed. RESULTS: An analysis of 11 studies identified epidemiological data across LA, with Argentina presenting the highest percentage of SSTIs caused by CG-MRSA (88%). Other countries had rates of CG-MRSA infection ranging from 0 to 51%. Brazil had one of the lowest rates of CG-MRSA SSTI (4.5-25%). In Argentina, being younger than 50 years of age and having purulent lesions were predictive factors for CG-MRSA CO-SSTIs. In addition, the predominant genetic lineages in LA belonged to sequence types 8, 30, and 5 (ST8, ST30, and ST5). CONCLUSION: There are significant regional differences in the rates of CG-MRSA causing CO-SSTIs. It is not possible to conclude whether or not CG-MRSA CO-SSTIs resulted in more severe SSTI presentations or in a higher mortality rate.
Recent advances in viral vector engineering, as well as an increased understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanism of retinal diseases, have led to the development of novel gene therapy approaches. Furthermore, ease of accessibility and ocular immune privilege makes the retina an ideal target for gene therapies. In this study, the nuclear hormone receptor gene Nr2e3 was evaluated for efficacy as broad-spectrum therapy to attenuate early to intermediate stages of retinal degeneration in five unique mouse models of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). RP is a group of heterogenic inherited retinal diseases associated with over 150 gene mutations, affecting over 1.5 million individuals worldwide. RP varies in age of onset, severity, and rate of progression. In addition, ~40% of RP patients cannot be genetically diagnosed, confounding the ability to develop personalized RP therapies. Remarkably, Nr2e3 administered therapy resulted in reduced retinal degeneration as observed by increase in photoreceptor cells, improved electroretinogram, and a dramatic molecular reset of key transcription factors and associated gene networks. These therapeutic effects improved retinal homeostasis in diseased tissue. Results of this study provide evidence that Nr2e3 can serve as a broad-spectrum therapy to treat multiple forms of RP.
PURPOSE: Retinal vascular occlusion is a leading cause of profound irreversible visual loss, but the understanding of the disease is insufficient. We systematically investigated the age, gender, and laterality at the onset of retinal artery occlusion (RAO) and retinal vein occlusion (RVO) in the IRIS® Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight). DESIGN: A retrospective registry cohort. PARTICIPANTS: Retinal vascular occlusion cases participating in the IRIS Registry. METHODS: All cases diagnosed as retinal vascular occlusion in the IRIS Registry between 2013 and 2017 were included. Cases with unspecified gender or laterality were excluded when conducting the relevant analyses. Cases were categorized based on diagnosis codes into RAO, with subtypes transient retinal artery occlusion (TRAO), partial retinal artery occlusion (PRAO), branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO), and central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO), and into RVO, with subtypes venous engorgement (VE), branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO), and central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO). Age was evaluated as a categorical variable (5-year increments). We investigated the association of age, gender, and laterality with the onset frequency of retinal vascular occlusion subtypes. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The frequency of onset of RAO and RVO subtypes by age, gender and laterality. RESULTS: A total of 1,251,476 retinal vascular occlusion cases were included, 23.8% of which were RAO, while 76.2% were RVO. 1,248,656 and 798,089 cases were selected for analysis relevant to gender and laterality, respectively. The onset frequency of all subtypes increased with age. PRAO, BRAO, CRAO, and CRVO presented more frequently in men (53.5%, 51.3%, 52.6%, 50.4%), while TRAO, VE, and BRVO presented more frequently in women (54.9%, 56.0%, 54.5%). BRVO and all RAO subtypes showed a right-eye onset preference (BRVO 51.0%, TRAO 51.7%, PRAO 54.4%, BRAO 53.5%, CRAO 53.4%), while VE and CRVO exhibited a left-eye onset preference (VE 53.3%, CRVO 50.9%). CONCLUSIONS: While retinal vascular occlusion incidence increases with age regardless of subtypes, we found various subtype-specific disease onset differences related to gender and, in particular, ocular laterality. These findings may improve understanding of the specific etiology of retinal vascular occlusions of different subtypes and their relationship with structural and anatomic asymmetries of the vascular system.
PURPOSES: To evaluate the effect of YAG laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) on corneal endothelial cell density (ECD) and morphology in primary angle closure suspects (PACS) over 72 months. METHODS: The Zhongshan Angle Closure Prevention Trial is a single-centre randomised controlled trial. Subjects with bilateral PACS received YAG LPI prophylactic treatment in one eye randomly, while the fellow eye served as control. Central corneal ECD and morphology were assessed using non-contact specular microscopy (SP-2000P, Topcon) at baseline, 6, 18, 36, 54 and 72 months postoperatively. Mixed model analysis was conducted to compare the difference between treated and fellow eyes. RESULTS: A total of 875 participants were included, with a mean age of 59.3±5.0 years and 83.5% female. The ECD declined significantly (p<0.001) over time in both treated and fellow eyes, but the treated eyes showed more progressive cell loss with increasing time (p<0.001). The difference in ECD loss between LPI-treated and fellow eyes was not significant at each follow-up until 72 months (4.9% in LPI eyes vs 4.2% in non-LPI eyes, p=0.003). Mean cell areas increased significantly over time in both treated and fellow eyes (p<0.001), but no longitudinal change was observed for hexagonality. In LPI-treated eyes, no significant correlation was found between age, gender, ocular biometrics, intraocular pressure and laser settings with endothelium change, except for time effect (p<0.01). CONCLUSION: ECD decreases over time primarily due to ageing effect. YAG LPI does not appear to cause clinically significant corneal endothelial damage over 72 months after treatment. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN45213099.
BACKGROUND: Pragmatic and comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trials (RCTs) aim to be highly generalizable studies, with broad applicability and flexibility in methods. These trials also address recruitment issues by minimizing exclusions. The trials may also appeal to potential subjects because of lower risk and lower burdens of participation. We sought to examine rates of refusal and uses of waivers of informed consent in pragmatic and comparative effectiveness RCTs. METHODS: A systematic review of pragmatic and comparative effectiveness RCTs performed wholely or in part in the United States and first published in 2014 and 2017. RESULTS: 103 studies involving 105 discrete populations were included for review. Refusal data was collected for 71 RCTs. Overall, studies reported an average rate of 31.9% of potential subjects refused participation; on an individual basis, 38.4% of people asked to take part refused at some point during recruitment. 23 trials (22%) were performed, at least in part, with a waiver of informed consent, 7 (30%) of which provided any form of notice to subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Overall refusal rates for pragmatic and comparative effectiveness RCTs appear roughly the same as other types of research, with studies reporting about a third of people solicited for participation refuse. Moreover, informed consent was waived in 22% (95% Binomial exact Confidence Interval 13.9-30.5%) of the trials, and further study is needed to understand when waivers are justified and when notice should be provided.
The vertebrate retina is generated by retinal progenitor cells (RPCs), which produce >100 cell types. Although some RPCs produce many cell types, other RPCs produce restricted types of daughter cells, such as a cone photoreceptor and a horizontal cell (HC). We used genome-wide assays of chromatin structure to compare the profiles of a restricted cone/HC RPC and those of other RPCs in chicks. These data nominated regions of regulatory activity, which were tested in tissue, leading to the identification of many cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) active in cone/HC RPCs and developing cones. Two transcription factors, Otx2 and Oc1, were found to bind to many of these CRMs, including those near genes important for cone development and function, and their binding sites were required for activity. We also found that Otx2 has a predicted autoregulatory CRM. These results suggest that Otx2, Oc1 and possibly other Onecut proteins have a broad role in coordinating cone development and function. The many newly discovered CRMs for cones are potentially useful reagents for gene therapy of cone diseases.
Belantamab mafodotin (belamaf) demonstrated deep and durable responses in patients with heavily pretreated relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) in DREAMM-2 (NCT03525678). Corneal events, specifically keratopathy (including superficial punctate keratopathy and/or microcyst-like epithelial changes (MECs), eye examination findings with/without symptoms), were common, consistent with reports from other antibody-drug conjugates. Given the novel nature of corneal events in RRMM management, guidelines are required for their prompt identification and appropriate management. Eye examination findings from DREAMM-2 and insights from hematology/oncology investigators and ophthalmologists, including corneal specialists, were collated and used to develop corneal event management guidelines. The following recommendations were formulated: close collaboration among hematologist/oncologists and eye care professionals is needed, in part, to provide optimal care in relation to the belamaf benefit-risk profile. Patients receiving belamaf should undergo eye examinations before and during every treatment cycle and promptly upon worsening of symptoms. Severity of corneal events should be determined based on corneal examination findings and changes in best-corrected visual acuity. Treatment decisions, including dose modifications, should be based on the most severe finding present. These guidelines are recommended for the assessment and management of belamaf-associated ocular events to help mitigate ocular risk and enable patients to continue to experience a clinical benefit with belamaf.
PURPOSE: To assess the prevalence of autoimmune diseases (AiD) in patients with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) undergoing ophthalmic surgery. DESIGN: Retrospective cross-sectional study. PARTICIPANTS: POAG patients undergoing any ophthalmic surgery and control subjects undergoing cataract surgery at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear from March 2019 to April 2020. METHODS: All available medical records with patient demographics, ocular and medical conditions were reviewed. Differences in AiD prevalence were assessed and adjusted for covariates using multiple logistic regression. Additionally, a subgroup analysis comparing the POAG patients with and without AiD was performed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: To assess prevalence of AiD based on the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association list. RESULTS: 172 POAG patients and 179 controls were included. The overall prevalence of AiD was 17.4% in the POAG group and 10.1% in the controls (p=0.044). 6.4% of POAG patients and 3.4% of controls had more than one AiD (p = 0.18). The most prevalent AiDs in POAG group were rheumatoid arthritis (4.6%) and psoriasis (4.1%), which were also the most common in controls (2.8% each). In a fully adjusted multiple logistic regression analysis accounting for steroid use, having an AiD was associated with 2.62-fold increased odds of POAG relative to controls (95% confidence interval: 1.27-5.36, p = 0.009); other risk factors for POAG derived from the analysis included age (odds ratio [OR] = 1.04, p = 0.006), diabetes mellitus (OR = 2.31, p = 0.008) and non-White ethnicity (OR = 4.75, p < 0.001). In a case-only analysis involving the eye with worse glaucoma, there were no statistical difference in visual field mean deviation or retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT) in POAG patients with (n = 30) and without AiD (n = 142, p > 0.13, for both). CONCLUSIONS: A higher prevalence of AiD was found in POAG patients compared to control patients undergoing ophthalmic surgery. The presence of AiD was associated with increased risk for POAG after adjusting for covariates. Additional factors may have prevented a difference in RNFLT in POAG patients with and without AiD. Autoimmunity should be explored further in the pathogenesis of POAG.
PURPOSE: Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) is a novel imaging modality for the diagnosis of chorioretinal diseases. A number of FDA-approved OCT-A devices are currently commercially available, each with unique algorithms and scanning protocols. Although several published studies have compared different combinations of OCT-A machines, there is a lack of agreement on the consistency of measurements across OCT-A devices. Therefore, we conducted a prospective quantitative comparison of four available OCT-A platforms. METHODS: Subjects were scanned on four devices: Optovue RTVue-XR, Heidelberg Spectralis OCT2 module, Zeiss Plex Elite 9000 Swept-Source OCT, and Topcon DRI-OCT Triton Swept-Source OCT. 3 mm × 3 mm images were utilized for analysis. Foveal avascular zone (FAZ) area was separately and independently measured by two investigators. Fractal dimension (FD), superficial capillary plexus (SCP), and deep capillary plexus (DCP) vessel densities (VD) were calculated from binarized images using the Fiji image processing software. SCP and DCP VD were further calculated after images were skeletonized. Repeated measures ANOVA, post hoc tests, and interclass correlation coefficient (ICC) were performed for statistical analysis. RESULTS: Sixteen healthy eyes from sixteen patients were scanned on the four devices. Images of five eyes from the Triton device were excluded due to poor image quality; thus, the authors performed two sets comparisons, one with and one without the Triton machine. FAZ area showed no significant difference across devices with an ICC of > 95%. However, there were statistically significant differences for SCP and DCP VD both before and after skeletonization (p < 0.05). Fractal analysis revealed no significant difference of FD at the SCP; however, a statistically significant difference was found for FD at the DCP layer (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The results showed that FAZ measurements were consistent across all four devices, while significant differences in VD and FD measurements existed. Therefore, we suggest that for both clinical follow-up and research studies, FAZ area is a useful parameter for OCT-A image analysis when measurements are made on different machines, while VD and FD show significant variability when measured across devices.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: To determine whether timing of ophthalmic screening influences prevalence of neonatal fundus haemorrhages. We compared the prevalence of fundus haemorrhages in two populations: term newborns screened early (less than 72 hours) and preterm newborns screened late (4-11 weeks). Additionally, we reviewed the literature on timing and prevalence of newborn haemorrhages. METHODS: Retrospective observational cohort study. Infants who underwent wide-angle ophthalmic digital imaging over one overlapping year in the Newborn Eye Screen Testing (NEST) or Stanford University Network for Diagnosis of Retinopathy of Prematurity (SUNDROP) programme were included. The PubMed database was filtered to include English-language articles dating back to 1950. Nine articles were selected for review based on inclusion of the prevalence of newborn fundus haemorrhages at multiple time points. RESULTS: A total of 202 patients received early imaging in the NEST cohort and 73 patients received late imaging in the SUNDROP cohort. In the NEST cohort, 20.2% of newborns had haemorrhages. In contrast, we found haemorrhages in only one case or 1.4% of the SUNDROP cohort. Using prevalence data from nine additional studies, we developed a predicted probabilities model of newborn haemorrhages. Per this model, the probability of seeing a haemorrhage if you screen an infant at 1 hour is 18.8%, at 2 weeks is 2.9% and at 1 month is 0.28%. CONCLUSION: We found a significant difference in the prevalence of fundus haemorrhages between the early-screened NEST cohort and the late-screened, preterm SUNDROP cohort. Likely, this difference is due to the transient nature of most newborn haemorrhages.
Topic : Ultra-widefield (UWF) imaging of the myopic eye. Clinical Relevance : Myopes, and particularly high and pathologic myopes, present a unique challenge in fundoscopic imaging. Critical pathology is often located in the anteriormost portion of the retina, variations in posterior segment contour are difficult to capture in two-dimensional images, and extremes in axial length make simply focusing imaging devices difficult. Methods: We review the evolution of modalities for ophthalmic imaging (color fundus photography [CFP], optical coherence topography [OCT], angiography, artificial intelligence [AI]) to present day UWF technology and its impact on our understanding of myopia. Results: Advances in UWF technology address many of the challenges in fundoscopic imaging of myopes, providing new insights into the structure and function of the myopic eye. UWF CFP improves our ability to detect and document anterior peripheral pathology prevalent in approximately half of all high myopes. UWF OCT better captures the staphylomatous contour of the myopic eye, providing enhanced visualization of the vitreoretinal interface and progressive development of myopic traction maculopathy. UWF angiography highlights the posterior vortex veins, thin choriocapillaris, far peripheral avascularity, and peripheral retinal capillary microaneurysms more prevalent in the myopic eye. Researchers have demonstrated the ability of AI algorithms to predict refractive error, and great potential remains in the use of AI technology for the screening and prevention of myopic disease. Conclusion: We note significant progress in our ability to capture anterior pathology and improved image quality of the posterior segment of high and pathologic myopes. The next jump forward for UWF imaging will be the ability to capture a high quality ora to ora multimodal fundoscopic image in a single scan that will allow for sensitive AI-assisted screening of myopic disease.
PURPOSE: To study the effect of statin exposure on the progression from non-exudative to exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of commercially insured patients diagnosed with non-exudative AMD (n = 231,888) from 2007 to 2015. Time-to-event analysis of the association between exposure to lipid-lowering medications and time from non-exudative AMD to exudative AMD diagnosis was conducted. Outcome measures included progression to exudative AMD, indicated by diagnosis codes for exudative AMD or procedural codes for intravitreal injections. RESULTS: In the year before and after first AMD diagnosis, 11,330 patients were continuously prescribed lipid-lowering medications and 31,627 patients did not take any lipid-lowering medication. Of those taking statins, 21 (1.6%) patients were on very-high-dose lipophilic statins, 644 (47.6%) on high-dose lipophilic statins, and 689 (50.9%) on low-dose lipophilic statins. We found no statistically significant relationship between exposure to low (HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.83 to 1.38) or high-dose lipophilic statins (HR 1.12, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.45) and progression to exudative AMD. No patients taking very-high-dose lipophilic statins converted from non-exudative to exudative AMD, though this difference was not statistically significant due to the subgroup size (p = .23, log-rank test). CONCLUSIONS: No statistically significant relationship was found between statin exposure and risk of AMD progression. Interestingly, no patients taking very-high-dose lipophilic statins progressed to exudative AMD, a finding that warrants further exploration.
There is no Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for ocular chronic graft-versus-host disease (oGVHD) to date, and current therapeutic options are limited. Forehead application of 1% progesterone gel provides corneal antinociception in preclinical models, suggesting it may be useful in alleviating ocular irritations. This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of 1% progesterone gel in treating moderate to severe symptomatic oGVHD. Thirty-three patients with oGVHD following allogeneic stem cell transplantation were enrolled in this single-center, sponsor-initiated, prospective exploratory randomized double-masked placebo-controlled phase II clinical trial. The inclusion criteria included a National Institutes of Health consensus score of ≥2, moderate to severe ocular discomfort level, and receipt of a stable immunosuppression regimen. Twenty-one of the 22 patients in the progesterone arm and all 11 patients in the placebo arm completed the course of twice-daily forehead drug application for 10 weeks. The changes from baseline of self-reported ocular symptom scores and physician-recorded cornea fluorescein staining scores were analyzed using mixed-model repeated-measures regression model in an intention-to-treat population. The 33 patients included 12 women and 21 men, with a median age of 66 years (range, 24 to 75 years). At 10 weeks, there was a significant reduction in ocular symptoms from baseline in the progesterone group compared with the placebo group in symptom frequency (-30.7 versus -2.2; P < .001) and severity (-19.8 versus +1.6; P = .005). At 10 weeks, there was also greater reduction of cornea fluorescein staining centrally (-1.2 versus +.1; P = .001) and inferiorly (-1.4 versus -0.2; P = .005). No difference was noted in superior cornea staining. There were no severe adverse events in the progesterone group. Forehead application of 1% progesterone gel significantly improved ocular signs and symptoms within 10 weeks. It appears to be a safe and effective new therapy for oGVHD, and a novel mechanism for neuroaxis drug delivery. A multicenter phase III clinical trial is planned for further validation.