2021

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Starr CE, Dana R, Pflugfelder SC, Holland EJ, Zhang S, Owen D, Brazzell K. Dry eye disease flares: A rapid evidence assessment. Ocul Surf 2021;22:51-59.Abstract
PURPOSE: Characteristics of periodic flares of dry eye disease (DED) are not well understood. We conducted a rapid evidence assessment to identify evidence for and characteristics of DED flares. METHODS: Literature searches were performed in Embase® via Ovid®, MEDLINE®, and PubMed®. Clinical trials and observational studies published 2009-2019 were included if they investigated patients aged ≥18 years with clinically diagnosed DED who experienced a flare, defined as a temporary or transient episode of increased ocular discomfort, typically lasting days to a few weeks. Triggers of flares, patient-reported outcomes (symptoms), clinician-measured outcomes (signs), and changes in tear molecules were captured. RESULTS: Twenty-one publications that included 22 studies met inclusion criteria. Five observational studies described evidence of DED flares in daily life, 5 studies reported changes following cataract/refractive surgery in patients with preoperative DED, and 12 studies employed controlled environment (CE) models. Real-world triggers of DED flares included air conditioning, wind, reading, low humidity, watching television, and pollution. CE chambers (dry, moving air) and surgery also triggered DED flares. Exacerbations of symptoms and signs of DED, assessed through varied measures, were reported during flares. Across studies, matrix metalloproteinase-9 and interleukin-6 increased and epidermal growth factor decreased during DED flares. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence from 22 studies identified triggers and characteristics of DED flares. Further research is needed to assist clinicians in early diagnosis and treatment of patients experiencing flares.
Stern-Ascher CN, North VS, Garg A, Ananth CV, Wapner RJ, Bearelly S. Subfoveal Choroidal Thickness and Associated Changes of Angiogenic Factors in Women with Severe Preeclampsia. Am J Perinatol 2021;38(5):482-489.Abstract
OBJECTIVE:  Severe preeclampsia complicates roughly 1% of all pregnancies. One defining feature of severe preeclampsia is new onset visual disturbance. The accessibility of the choroid to high-resolution, noninvasive imaging makes it a reasonable target of investigation for disease prediction, stratification, or monitoring in preeclampsia. This study aimed to compare subfoveal choroidal thickness between women with severe preeclampsia and those with normotensive pregnancies, and to investigate associations between such findings and other indicators of disease severity, including gestational age and serum angiogenic factors. STUDY DESIGN:  We designed a case-control study comprised of 36 women diagnosed with severe preeclampsia (cases) matched to 37 normotensive women (controls) by race/ethnicity and parity, all diagnosed in the postpartum period. All patients underwent enhanced depth imaging spectral-domain optical coherence tomography and serum analysis. RESULTS:  Cases showed no difference in subfoveal choroidal thickness compared with controls ( = 0.65). Amongst cases, subfoveal choroidal thickness and gestational age at delivery were inversely related ( = 0.86,  < .001). There was a positive association of placental growth factor with subfoveal choroidal thickness amongst cases ( = 0.54,  = 0.002). CONCLUSION:  This study suggests a relationship between the degree of disease severity and the magnitude of choroidal thickening. We also show an association between this index and placental growth factor level in the postpartum period.
Styliadis C, Leung R, Özcan S, Moulton EA, Pang E, Taylor MJ, Papadelis C. Atypical spatiotemporal activation of cerebellar lobules during emotional face processing in adolescents with autism. Hum Brain Mapp 2021;42(7):2099-2114.Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by social deficits and atypical facial processing of emotional expressions. The underlying neuropathology of these abnormalities is still unclear. Recent studies implicate cerebellum in emotional processing; other studies show cerebellar abnormalities in ASD. Here, we elucidate the spatiotemporal activation of cerebellar lobules in ASD during emotional processing of happy and angry faces in adolescents with ASD and typically developing (TD) controls. Using magnetoencephalography, we calculated dynamic statistical parametric maps across a period of 500 ms after emotional stimuli onset and determined differences between group activity to happy and angry emotions. Following happy face presentation, adolescents with ASD exhibited only left-hemispheric cerebellar activation in a cluster extending from lobule VI to lobule V (compared to TD controls). Following angry face presentation, adolescents with ASD exhibited only midline cerebellar activation (posterior IX vermis). Our findings indicate an early (125-175 ms) overactivation in cerebellar activity only for happy faces and a later overactivation for both happy (250-450 ms) and angry (250-350 ms) faces in adolescents with ASD. The prioritized hemispheric activity (happy faces) could reflect the promotion of a more flexible and adaptive social behavior, while the latter midline activity (angry faces) may guide conforming behavior.
Subburaman G-BB, Kempen JH, Duraisamy S, Vijayakumar B, Valaguru V, Namperumalsamy VP, Ravilla TD, Gupta S. Response to comments: Making the decision to donate eye organs: Perspectives from the families of the deceased in Madurai, India. Indian J Ophthalmol 2021;69(4):1020-1021.
Succar T, Beaver HA, Lee AG. Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Ophthalmology Medical Student Teaching: Educational Innovations, Challenges, and Future Directions. Surv Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
Graduate medical education (GME) in ophthalmology has faced and overcome many challenges over the past years and 2020 has been a game-changing year. Although the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) pandemic disrupted medical education globally, ophthalmic educators rapidly transformed their curricula to novel and effective virtual learning formats. Thus, while the COVID-19 outbreak has been one of the most significant challenges faced in the history of medical education, it has also provided an impetus to develop innovative teaching practices, bringing with it unprecedented success in allowing medical students to continue their education in ophthalmology despite these challenges. We review and appraise novel educational interventions implemented by various institutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting their effectiveness, challenges and proposing future directions beyond the pandemic. Many of these innovations will persist even after the end of the pandemic because they have proven that face-to-face learning is not required for all aspects of the ophthalmic GME curriculum. As ophthalmic educators harness the power of educational technology it is critical that their novel educational initiatives are incorporated into competency-based curricula with assessments mapped to the competencies. Future research should focus on evaluating the impact of this transformation to virtual learning environments on student performances as well as implementing longitudinal assessment strategies for clinical competence in workplace-based practice.
Susanna FN, Melchior B, Paula JS, Boland MV, Myers JS, Wellik SR, Elze T, Pasquale LR, Shen LQ, Ritch R, Susanna R, Hood DC, Liebmann JM, De Moraes CG. Variability and Power to Detect Progression of Different Visual Field Patterns. Ophthalmol Glaucoma 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare the variability and ability to detect visual field progression of 24-2, central 12 locations of the 24-2 and 10-2 visual field (VF) tests in eyes with abnormal VFs. DESIGN: Retrospective, multisite cohort. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 52,806 24-2 and 11,966 10-2 VF tests from 7,307 eyes from the Glaucoma Research Network database were analyzed. Only eyes with ≥ 5 visits and ≥ 2 years of follow-up were included. METHODS: Linear regression models were used to calculate the rates of MD (Mean Deviation) change (slopes) while their residuals were used to assess variability across the entire MD range. Computer simulations (n=10,000) based upon real MD residuals of our sample were performed to estimate power to detect significant progression (P < 5%) at various rates of MD change. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Time required to detect progression. RESULTS: For all 3 patterns, the MD variability was highest within the -5 to -20 dB range and consistently lower with the 10-2 compared to 24-2 or Central 24-2. Overall, time to detect confirmed significant progression at 80% power was the lowest with 10-2 VF, with a decrease of 14.6% to 18.5% when compared to 24-2 and a decrease of 22.9% to 26.5% when compared to Central 24-2. CONCLUSION: Time to detect central VF progression was reduced with 10-2 MD compared with 24-2 and C24-2 MD in glaucoma eyes in this large dataset, in part because 10-2 tests had lower variability. These findings contribute to current evidence of the potential value of 10-2 testing in the clinical management of glaucoma patients and in clinical trial design.
Swan G, Goldstein RB, Savage SW, Zhang L, Ahmadi A, Bowers AR. Automatic processing of gaze movements to quantify gaze scanning behaviors in a driving simulator. Behav Res Methods 2021;53(2):487-506.Abstract
Eye and head movements are used to scan the environment when driving. In particular, when approaching an intersection, large gaze scans to the left and right, comprising head and multiple eye movements, are made. We detail an algorithm called the gaze scan algorithm that automatically quantifies the magnitude, duration, and composition of such large lateral gaze scans. The algorithm works by first detecting lateral saccades, then merging these lateral saccades into gaze scans, with the start and end points of each gaze scan marked in time and eccentricity. We evaluated the algorithm by comparing gaze scans generated by the algorithm to manually marked "consensus ground truth" gaze scans taken from gaze data collected in a high-fidelity driving simulator. We found that the gaze scan algorithm successfully marked 96% of gaze scans and produced magnitudes and durations close to ground truth. Furthermore, the differences between the algorithm and ground truth were similar to the differences found between expert coders. Therefore, the algorithm may be used in lieu of manual marking of gaze data, significantly accelerating the time-consuming marking of gaze movement data in driving simulator studies. The algorithm also complements existing eye tracking and mobility research by quantifying the number, direction, magnitude, and timing of gaze scans and can be used to better understand how individuals scan their environment.
Swan G, Savage SW, Zhang L, Bowers AR. Driving With Hemianopia VII: Predicting Hazard Detection With Gaze and Head Scan Magnitude. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2021;10(1):20.Abstract
Purpose: One rehabilitation strategy taught to individuals with hemianopic field loss (HFL) is to make a large blind side scan to quickly identify hazards. However, it is not clear what the minimum threshold is for how large the scan should be. Using driving simulation, we evaluated thresholds (criteria) for gaze and head scan magnitudes that best predict detection safety. Methods: Seventeen participants with complete HFL and 15 with normal vision (NV) drove through 4 routes in a virtual city while their eyes and head were tracked. Participants pressed the horn as soon as they detected a motorcycle (10 per drive) that appeared 54 degrees eccentricity on cross-streets and approached toward the driver. Results: Those with HFL detected fewer motorcycles than those with NV and had worse detection on the blind side than the seeing side. On the blind side, both safe detections and early detections (detections before the hazard entered the intersection) could be predicted with both gaze (safe 18.5 degrees and early 33.8 degrees) and head (safe 19.3 degrees and early 27 degrees) scans. However, on the seeing side, only early detections could be classified with gaze (25.3 degrees) and head (9.0 degrees). Conclusions: Both head and gaze scan magnitude were significant predictors of detection on the blind side, but less predictive on the seeing side, which was likely driven by the ability to use peripheral vision. Interestingly, head scans were as predictive as gaze scans. Translational Relevance: The minimum scan magnitude could be a useful criterion for scanning training or for developing assistive technologies to improve scanning.
Szczotka-Flynn LB, Shovlin JP, Schnider CM, Caffery BE, Alfonso EC, Carnt NA, Chalmers RL, Collier S, Jacobs DS, Joslin CE, Kroken AR, Lakkis C, Pearlman E, Schein OD, Stapleton F, Tu E, Willcox MDP. American Academy of Optometry Microbial Keratitis Think Tank. Optom Vis Sci 2021;98(3):182-198.Abstract
SIGNIFICANCE: Think Tank 2019 affirmed that the rate of infection associated with contact lenses has not changed in several decades. Also, there is a trend toward more serious infections associated with Acanthamoeba and fungi. The growing use of contact lenses in children demands our attention with surveillance and case-control studies. PURPOSE: The American Academy of Optometry (AAO) gathered researchers and key opinion leaders from around the world to discuss contact lens-associated microbial keratitis at the 2019 AAO Annual Meeting. METHODS: Experts presented within four sessions. Session 1 covered the epidemiology of microbial keratitis, pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and the role of lens care systems and storage cases in corneal disease. Session 2 covered nonbacterial forms of keratitis in contact lens wearers. Session 3 covered future needs, challenges, and research questions in relation to microbial keratitis in youth and myopia control, microbiome, antimicrobial surfaces, and genetic susceptibility. Session 4 covered compliance and communication imperatives. RESULTS: The absolute rate of microbial keratitis has remained very consistent for three decades despite new technologies, and extended wear significantly increases the risk. Improved oxygen delivery afforded by silicone hydrogel lenses has not impacted the rates, and although the introduction of daily disposable lenses has minimized the risk of severe disease, there is no consistent evidence that they have altered the overall rate of microbial keratitis. Overnight orthokeratology lenses may increase the risk of microbial keratitis, especially secondary to Acanthamoeba, in children. Compliance remains a concern and a significant risk factor for disease. New insights into host microbiome and genetic susceptibility may uncover new theories. More studies such as case-control designs suited for rare diseases and registries are needed. CONCLUSIONS: The first annual AAO Think Tank acknowledged that the risk of microbial keratitis has not decreased over decades, despite innovation. Important questions and research directions remain.
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Tahvildari M, Singh RB, Saeed HN. Application of Artificial Intelligence in the Diagnosis and Management of Corneal Diseases. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;:1-8.Abstract
Diagnosis and treatment planning in ophthalmology heavily depend on clinical examination and advanced imaging modalities, which can be time-consuming and carry the risk of human error. Artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning (DL) are being used in different fields of ophthalmology and in particular, when running diagnostics and predicting outcomes of anterior segment surgeries. This review will evaluate the recent developments in AI for diagnostics, surgical interventions, and prognosis of corneal diseases. It also provides a brief overview of the newer AI dependent modalities in corneal diseases.
Tam EK, Ness S, Peeler CE. Exudative hemorrhagic retinopathy related to all-trans retinoic acid differentiation syndrome in a patient with acute promyelocytic leukemia. Int J Ophthalmol 2021;14(2):323-325.
Tao JP, Aakalu VK, Freitag SK, Sobel RK, Foster JA, Wladis EJ, McCulley TJ, Yen MT. Homeopathic Agents or Vitamins in Reducing Ecchymosis after Oculofacial Surgery: A Report by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Ophthalmology 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: To review the published literature to determine the efficacy and safety of homeopathic agents or vitamins in reducing ecchymosis after oculofacial surgery or laser surgery. METHODS: A literature search was conducted in the PubMed database initially in December 2019 and updated in March 2020 to identify all studies in the English language literature on the use of homeopathic agents or vitamins in oculofacial procedures, including laser surgery. The search yielded 124 citations, and 11 articles met all inclusion criteria for this assessment. A panel methodologist then assigned a level of evidence rating for each study. Eleven studies met inclusion criteria; 9 were rated level I, and 2 were rated level III. RESULTS: The agents studied in the articles identified included oral or topical Arnica montana (AM), oral Melilotus extract, topical vitamin K oxide, and topical AM combined with Rhododendron tomentosum. Metrics to describe ecchymosis varied. In 7 controlled studies, perioperative AM provided no or negligible benefit versus placebo. In 2 studies, vitamin K cream was equivalent to placebo. One study of oral Melilotus extract had less ecchymosis compared with controls in paranasal and eyelid ecchymosis at postoperative day (POD) 7, but not at PODs 1 and 4. A lone cohort study of combined topical AM and R. tomentosum lacked objective metrics and adequate controls. No serious side effects from administration of homeopathic agents or vitamins were identified. CONCLUSIONS: The current literature does not support the use of AM, vitamin K oxide, R. tomentosum, or Melilotus extract for reducing ecchymosis after oculofacial surgery or pulsed dye laser surgery.
Than T, Morettin CE, Harthan JS, Hartwick ATE, Huecker JB, Johnson SD, Migneco MK, Shorter E, Whiteside M, Margolis MS, Olson CK, Alferez CS, van Zyl T, Rodic-Polic B, Storch GA, Gordon MO. Efficacy of a Single Administration of 5% Povidone-Iodine in the Treatment of Adenoviral Conjunctivitis. Am J Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of a single, in-office administration of 5% povidone-iodine (PVP-I) compared to artificial tears (AT) for adenoviral conjunctivitis (Ad-Cs). DESIGN: Double-masked pilot randomized trial METHODS: Patients presenting with presumed adenoviral conjunctivitis were screened at 9 U.S. clinics. INCLUSION CRITERIA: ≥ 18 years of age, symptoms ≤ 4 days and a positive AdenoPlus® test. EXCLUSION CRITERIA: thyroid disease, iodine allergy, recent ocular surgery, and ocular findings inconsistent with early-stage Ad-Cs. Randomization was to a single administration of 5% PVP-I or AT in one eye and examinations on days 1-2, 4, 7, 14 and 21 with conjunctival swabs taken each visit for quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Primary outcome was percent reduction from peak viral load. Secondary outcomes were improvement in clinical signs and symptoms. RESULTS: Of 56 patients randomized, 28 had detectable viral titers at baseline. Day 4 post-treatment, viral titers in the 5% PVP-I and AT groups were 2.5% ± 2.7% and 14.4% ± 10.5% of peak respectively (p=0.020). Severity of participant-reported tearing, lid swelling and redness as well as clinician-graded mucoid discharge, bulbar redness and bulbar edema were lower in the 5% PVP-I group than AT group on Day 4 (p< 0.05). After Day 4, viral titers, severity of signs and symptoms decreased markedly in both groups and no differences between groups were detected. CONCLUSIONS: Pilot data suggest a single, in-office administration of 5% PVP-I could reduce viral load and hasten improvement of clinical signs and symptoms in patients with Ad-Cs.
Thng ZX, De Smet MD, Lee CS, Gupta V, Smith JR, McCluskey PJ, Thorne JE, Kempen JH, Zierhut M, Nguyen QD, Pavesio C, Agrawal R. COVID-19 and immunosuppression: a review of current clinical experiences and implications for ophthalmology patients taking immunosuppressive drugs. Br J Ophthalmol 2021;105(3):306-310.Abstract
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in December 2019 in Wuhan city, Hubei province, China. This is the third and largest coronavirus outbreak since the new millennium after SARS in 2002 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 2012. Over 3 million people have been infected and the COVID-19 has caused more than 217 000 deaths. A concern exists regarding the vulnerability of patients who have been treated with immunosuppressive drugs prior or during this pandemic. Would they be more susceptible to infection by the SARS-CoV-2 and how would their clinical course be altered by their immunosuppressed state? This is a question the wider medical fraternity-including ophthalmologists, rheumatologists, gastroenterologist and transplant physicians among others-must answer. The evidence from the SARS and MERS outbreak offer some degree of confidence that immunosuppression is largely safe in the current COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary clinical experiences based on case reports, small series and observational studies show the morbidity and mortality rates in immunosuppressed patients may not differ largely from the general population. Overwhelmingly, current best practice guidelines worldwide recommended the continuation of immunosuppression treatment in patients who require them except for perhaps high-dose corticosteroid therapy and in patients with associated risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease.
Thulasi P, Saeed HN, Rapuano CJ, Hou JH, Appenheimer AB, Chodosh J, Kang JJ, Morrill AM, Vyas N, Zegans ME, Zuckerman R, Tu EY. Oral Miltefosine as Salvage Therapy for Refractory Acanthamoeba Keratitis. Am J Ophthalmol 2021;223:75-82.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report a case series of patients with treatment-resistant Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) using oral miltefosine, often as salvage therapy. DESIGN: Descriptive, retrospective multicenter case series. METHODS: We reviewed 15 patients with AK unresponsive to therapy who were subsequently given adjuvant systemic miltefosine between 2011 and 2017. The main outcome measures were resolution of infection, final visual acuity, tolerance of miltefosine, and clinical course of disease. RESULTS: All patients were treated with biguanides and/or diamidines or azoles without resolution of disease before starting miltefosine. Eleven of 15 patients retained count fingers or better vision, and all were considered disease free at last follow-up. Eleven of 15 patients had worsening inflammation with miltefosine, with 10 of them improving with steroids. Six patients received multiple courses of miltefosine. Most tolerated oral miltefosine well, with mild gastrointestinal symptoms as the most common systemic side effect. CONCLUSIONS: Oral miltefosine is a generally well-tolerated treatment adjuvant in patients with refractory AK. The clinician should be prepared for a steroid-responsive inflammatory response frequently encountered during the treatment course.
Tieger MG, Miller JB, Gaier ED. Microvasculopathy in Lyme-Associated Papillitis Revealed by Optical Coherence Tomographic Angiography. J Neuroophthalmol 2021;
Tieger MG, Rodriguez M, Wang JC, Obeid A, Ryan C, Gao X, Kakulavarapu S, Mardis PJ, Madhava ML, Maloney SM, Adika AZ, Peddada KV, Sioufi K, Stefater JA, Forbes NJ, Capone A, Emerson GG, Joseph DP, Regillo C, Hsu J, Gupta O, Eliott D, Ryan EH, Yonekawa Y. Impact of contact versus non-contact wide-angle viewing systems on outcomes of primary retinal detachment repair (PRO study report number 5). Br J Ophthalmol 2021;105(3):410-413.Abstract
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Vitrectomy to repair retinal detachment is often performed with either non-contact wide-angle viewing systems or wide-angle contact viewing systems. The purpose of this study is to assess whether the viewing system used is associated with any differences in surgical outcomes of vitrectomy for primary non-complex retinal detachment repair. METHODS: This is a multicenter, interventional, retrospective, comparative study. Eyes that underwent non-complex primary retinal detachment repair by either pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) alone or in combination with scleral buckle/PPV in 2015 were evaluated. The viewing system at the time of the retinal detachment repair was identified and preoperative patient characteristics, intraoperative findings and postoperative outcomes were recorded. RESULTS: A total of 2256 eyes were included in our analysis. Of those, 1893 surgeries used a non-contact viewing system, while 363 used a contact lens system. There was no statistically significant difference in single surgery anatomic success at 3 months (p=0.72), or final anatomic success (p=0.40). Average postoperative visual acuity for the contact-based cases was logMAR 0.345 (20/44 Snellen equivalent) compared with 0.475 (20/60 Snellen equivalent) for non-contact (p=0.001). After controlling for numerous confounding variables in multivariable analysis, viewing system choice was no longer statistically significant (p=0.097). CONCLUSION: There was no statistically significant difference in anatomic success achieved for primary retinal detachment repair when comparing non-contact viewing systems to contact lens systems. Postoperative visual acuity was better in the contact-based group but this was not statistically significant when confounding factors were controlled for.
Ting DSJ, Foo VH, Yang LWY, Sia JT, Ang M, Lin H, Chodosh J, Mehta JS, Ting DSW. Artificial intelligence for anterior segment diseases: Emerging applications in ophthalmology. Br J Ophthalmol 2021;105(2):158-168.Abstract
With the advancement of computational power, refinement of learning algorithms and architectures, and availability of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) technology, particularly with machine learning and deep learning, is paving the way for 'intelligent' healthcare systems. AI-related research in ophthalmology previously focused on the screening and diagnosis of posterior segment diseases, particularly diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. There is now emerging evidence demonstrating the application of AI to the diagnosis and management of a variety of anterior segment conditions. In this review, we provide an overview of AI applications to the anterior segment addressing keratoconus, infectious keratitis, refractive surgery, corneal transplant, adult and paediatric cataracts, angle-closure glaucoma and iris tumour, and highlight important clinical considerations for adoption of AI technologies, potential integration with telemedicine and future directions.
Tisdale AK, Dinkin M, Chwalisz BK. Afferent and Efferent Neuro-Ophthalmic Complications of Coronavirus Disease 19. J Neuroophthalmol 2021;41(2):154-165.Abstract
PURPOSE: To provide a summary of the neuro-ophthalmic manifestations of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) documented in the literature thus far. METHODS: The PubMed and Google Scholar databases were searched using the keywords: Neuro-Ophthalmology, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and coronavirus. A manual search through reference lists of relevant articles was also performed. RESULTS/CONCLUSIONS: The literature on COVID-associated neuro-ophthalmic disease continues to grow. Afferent neuro-ophthalmic complications associated with COVID-19 include optic neuritis, papillophlebitis, papilledema, visual disturbance associated with posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, and vision loss caused by stroke. Efferent neuro-ophthalmic complications associated with COVID-19 include cranial neuropathies, Miller Fisher syndrome, Adie's pupils, ocular myasthenia gravis, nystagmus and eye movement disorders. Proposed mechanisms of neurologic disease include immunologic upregulation, vasodilation and vascular permeability, endothelial dysfunction, coagulopathy, and direct viral neurotropism. When patients present to medical centers with new onset neuro-ophthalmic conditions during the pandemic, COVID-19 infection should be kept on the differential.
Tomita Y, Cagnone G, Fu Z, Cakir B, Kotoda Y, Asakage M, Wakabayashi Y, Hellström A, Joyal J-S, Talukdar S, Smith LEH, Usui Y. Vitreous metabolomics profiling of proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Diabetologia 2021;64(1):70-82.Abstract
AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) with retinal neovascularisation (NV) is a leading cause of vision loss. This study identified a set of metabolites that were altered in the vitreous humour of PDR patients compared with non-diabetic control participants. We corroborated changes in vitreous metabolites identified in prior studies and identified novel dysregulated metabolites that may lead to treatment strategies for PDR. METHODS: We analysed metabolites in vitreous samples from 43 PDR patients and 21 non-diabetic epiretinal membrane control patients from Japan (age 27-80 years) via ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. We then investigated the association of a novel metabolite (creatine) with retinal NV in mouse oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). Creatine or vehicle was administered from postnatal day (P)12 to P16 (during induced NV) via oral gavage. P17 retinas were quantified for NV and vaso-obliteration. RESULTS: We identified 158 metabolites in vitreous samples that were altered in PDR patients vs control participants. We corroborated increases in pyruvate, lactate, proline and allantoin in PDR, which were identified in prior studies. We also found changes in metabolites not previously identified, including creatine. In human vitreous humour, creatine levels were decreased in PDR patients compared with epiretinal membrane control participants (false-discovery rate <0.001). We validated that lower creatine levels were associated with vascular proliferation in mouse retina in the OIR model (p = 0.027) using retinal metabolomics. Oral creatine supplementation reduced NV compared with vehicle (P12 to P16) in OIR (p = 0.0024). CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: These results suggest that metabolites from vitreous humour may reflect changes in metabolism that can be used to find pathways influencing retinopathy. Creatine supplementation could be useful to suppress NV in PDR. Graphical abstract.

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