PURPOSE: To assess how often non-infectious anterior scleritis remits and identify predictive factors. METHODS: Our retrospective cohort study at four ocular inflammation subspecialty centers collected data for each affected eye/patient at every visit from center inception (1978, 1978, 1984, 2005) until 2010. Remission was defined as inactivity of disease off all suppressive medications at all visits spanning at least three consecutive months or at all visits up to the last visit (to avoid censoring patients stopping follow-up after remission). Factors potentially predictive of remission were assessed using Cox regression models. RESULTS: During 1,906 years' aggregate follow-up of 832 affected eyes, remission occurred in 214 (170 of 584 patients). Median time-to-remission of scleritis = 7.8 years (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.7, 9.5). More remissions occurred earlier than later during follow-up. Factors predictive of less scleritis remission included scleritis bilaterality (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 0.46, 95% CI: 0.32-0.65); and diagnosis with any systemic inflammatory disease (aHR = 0.36, 95% CI: 0.23-0.58), or specifically with Rheumatoid Arthritis (aHR = 0.22), or Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (aHR = 0.08). Statin treatment (aHR = 1.53, 95% CI: 1.03-2.26) within ≤90 days was associated with more remission incidence. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest scleritis remission occurs more slowly in anterior scleritis than in newly diagnosed anterior uveitis or chronic anterior uveitis, suggesting that attempts at tapering suppressive medications is warranted after long intervals of suppression. Remission is less frequently achieved when systemic inflammatory diseases are present. Confirmatory studies of whether adjunctive statin treatment truly can enhance scleritis remission (as suggested here) are needed.
We have previously used the genetic diversity available in common inbred mouse strains to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) responsible for the differences in angiogenic response using the corneal micropocket neovascularization (CoNV) assay. Employing a mouse genome-wide association study (GWAS) approach, the region on chromosome 15 containing Basp1 was identified as being significantly associated with angiogenesis in inbred strains. Here, we developed a unique strategy to determine and verify the role of BASP1 in angiogenic pathways. Basp1 expression in cornea had a strong correlation with a haplotype shared by mouse strains with varied angiogenic phenotypes. In addition, inhibition of BASP1 demonstrated a dosage-dependent effect in both primary mouse brain endothelial and human microvascular endothelial cell (HMVEC) migration. To investigate its role in vivo, we knocked out basp1 in transgenic kdrl:zsGreen zebrafish embryos using a widely adopted CRISPR-Cas9 system. These embryos had severely disrupted vessel formation compared to control siblings. We further show that basp1 promotes angiogenesis by upregulating β-catenin gene and the Dll4/Notch1 signaling pathway. These results, to the best of our knowledge, provide the first in vivo evidence to indicate the role of Basp1 as an angiogenesis-regulating gene and opens the potential therapeutic avenues for a wide variety of systemic angiogenesis-dependent diseases.
PURPOSE: We examined the association of habitual caffeine intake with intraocular pressure (IOP) and glaucoma and whether genetic predisposition to higher IOP modified these associations. We also assessed whether genetic predisposition to higher coffee consumption was related to IOP. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study in the UK Biobank. PARTICIPANTS: We included 121 374 participants (baseline ages, 39-73 years) with data on coffee and tea intake (collected 2006-2010) and corneal-compensated IOP measurements in 2009. In a subset of 77 906 participants with up to 5 web-based 24-hour-recall food frequency questionnaires (2009-2012), we evaluated total caffeine intake. We also assessed the same relationships with glaucoma (9286 cases and 189 763 controls). METHODS: We evaluated multivariable-adjusted associations with IOP using linear regression and with glaucoma using logistic regression. For both outcomes, we examined gene-diet interactions using a polygenic risk score (PRS) that combined the effects of 111 genetic variants associated with IOP. We also performed Mendelian randomization using 8 genetic variants associated with coffee intake to assess potential causal effects of coffee consumption on IOP. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Intraocular pressure and glaucoma. RESULTS: Mendelian randomization analysis did not support a causal effect of coffee drinking on IOP (P > 0.1). Greater caffeine intake was associated weakly with lower IOP: the highest (≥232 mg/day) versus lowest (<87 mg/day) caffeine consumption was associated with a 0.10-mmHg lower IOP (Ptrend = 0.01). However, the IOP PRS modified this association: among those in the highest IOP PRS quartile, consuming > 480 mg/day versus < 80 mg/day was associated with a 0.35-mmHg higher IOP (Pinteraction = 0.01). The relationship between caffeine intake and glaucoma was null (P ≥ 0.1). However, the IOP PRS also modified this relationship: compared with those in the lowest IOP PRS quartile consuming no caffeine, those in the highest IOP PRS quartile consuming ≥ 321 mg/day showed a 3.90-fold higher glaucoma prevalence (Pinteraction = 0.0003). CONCLUSIONS: Habitual caffeine consumption was associated weakly with lower IOP, and the association between caffeine consumption and glaucoma was null. However, among participants with the strongest genetic predisposition to elevated IOP, greater caffeine consumption was associated with higher IOP and higher glaucoma prevalence.
Recognition of the earliest signs and symptoms of chronic graft versus host disease (GVHD) that lead to severe manifestations remains a challenge. The standardization provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2005 and 2014 consensus projects have helped improve diagnostic accuracy and severity scoring for clinical trials, but utilization of these tools in routine clinical practice is variable. Additionally, when patients meet the NIH diagnostic criteria, many already have significant morbidity and possibly irreversible organ damage. The goals of this early diagnosis project are two fold. First, we provide consensus recommendations regarding implementation of the current NIH diagnostic guidelines into routine transplant care, outside of clinical trials, aiming to enhance early clinical recognition of chronic GVHD. Second, we propose directions for future research efforts to enable discovery of new, early laboratory as well as clinical indicators of chronic GVHD, both globally and for highly morbid organ-specific manifestations. Identification of early features of chronic GVHD that have high positive predictive value for progression to more severe manifestations of the disease could potentially allow for future pre-emptive clinical trials.
In 2008, we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, this topic has received increasing attention, and many scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Thus, it is important to formulate on a regular basis updated guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Despite numerous reviews, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to evaluate autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. Here, we present a set of guidelines for investigators to select and interpret methods to examine autophagy and related processes, and for reviewers to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of reports that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a dogmatic set of rules, because the appropriateness of any assay largely depends on the question being asked and the system being used. Moreover, no individual assay is perfect for every situation, calling for the use of multiple techniques to properly monitor autophagy in each experimental setting. Finally, several core components of the autophagy machinery have been implicated in distinct autophagic processes (canonical and noncanonical autophagy), implying that genetic approaches to block autophagy should rely on targeting two or more autophagy-related genes that ideally participate in distinct steps of the pathway. Along similar lines, because multiple proteins involved in autophagy also regulate other cellular pathways including apoptosis, not all of them can be used as a specific marker for bona fide autophagic responses. Here, we critically discuss current methods of assessing autophagy and the information they can, or cannot, provide. Our ultimate goal is to encourage intellectual and technical innovation in the field.
PURPOSE: To report a case of bilateral acute angle-closure glaucoma associated with hyponatremia in the setting of chlorthalidone use and SARS-CoV-2 infection, and to demonstrate the challenges of managing this patient given her infectious status. METHODS: This was a case report. CASE: A 65-year-old woman taking chlorthalidone for hypertension presented to the emergency room with headache, pain, and blurry vision in both eyes and was found to be in bilateral acute angle closure. On laboratory investigation, she was severely hyponatremic and also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. B-scan ultrasound demonstrated an apparent supraciliary effusion in the right eye. Following stabilization of her intraocular pressures with medical management, she ultimately underwent cataract extraction with iridectomies and goniosynechiolysis in both eyes. CONCLUSIONS: We report a rare case of bilateral acute angle-closure glaucoma associated with hyponatremia. Chlorthalidone use and perhaps SARS-CoV-2 infection may have contributed to this electrolyte abnormality and unique clinical presentation. In addition, we discuss the challenges of managing this complex patient with active SARS-CoV-2 infection during the pandemic.
Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease with a structural change of the optic nerve head, leading to visual field defects and ultimately blindness. It has been proposed that glaucoma is associated with increased mortality, but previous studies had methodological limitations (selective study samples, lack of data on potential confounders, self-reported or secondary data on glaucoma diagnoses). We evaluated the association between diagnosed glaucoma and mortality in the population-based National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a representative health survey in the United States. The survey cycles 2005-2006 and 2007-2008 included an extensive ophthalmic examination with fundus photography, which were used to derive standardized glaucoma diagnoses. Risk of all-cause mortality was assessed with multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models accounting for the complex survey design of NHANES. Time to death was calculated from the examination date to date of death or December 31, 2015 whichever came first. 5385 participants (52.5% women) were eligible, of which 138 had glaucoma at baseline, and 833 died during follow-up. Participants with glaucoma were more likely to be older than those without glaucoma (mean age 69.9 vs. 56.0 years). Mean follow-up time was 8.4 years for participants with glaucoma, and 8.6 years for participants without glaucoma. Glaucoma was associated with increased mortality in an unadjusted Cox regression model (hazard ratio 2.06, 95% confidence interval 1.16 to 3.66), but the association was no longer statistically significant after adjusting for age and sex (hazard ratio 0.74, 95% confidence interval 0.46 to 1.17). Additional adjustment for a range of potential confounders did not significantly change the results. In this representative population-based study, we found no evidence of increased mortality risk in glaucoma patients.
PURPOSE: Understanding molecular changes is essential for designing effective treatments for nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (AION), the most common acute optic neuropathy in adults older than 50 years. We investigated changes in the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway after experimental AION and focused on dual specificity phosphatase 14 (Dusp14), an atypical MAPK phosphatase that is downstream of Krüppel-like transcription factor (KLF) 9-mediated inhibition of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) survival and axonal regeneration. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We induced severe AION in a photochemical thrombosis model in adult C57BL/6 wild-type and Dusp14 knockout mice. For comparison, some studies were performed using an optic nerve crush model. We assessed changes in MAPK pathway molecules using Western blot and immunohistochemistry, measured retinal thickness using optical coherence tomography (OCT), and quantified RGCs and axons using histologic methods. RESULTS: Three days after severe AION, there was no change in the retinal protein levels of MAPK ERK1/2, phosphorylated-ERK1/2 (pERK1/2), downstream effector Elk-1 and phosphatase Dusp14 on Western blot. Western blot analysis of purified RGCs after a more severe model using optic nerve crush also showed no change in Dusp14 protein expression. Because of the known importance of the Dusp14 and MAPK pathway in RGCs, we examined changes after AION in Dusp14 knockout mice. Three days after AION, Dusp14 knockout mice had significantly increased pERK1/2+, Brn3A+ RGCs on immunohistochemistry. Three weeks after AION, Dusp14 knockout mice had significantly greater preservation of retinal thickness, increased number of Brn3A+ RGCs on whole mount preparation, and increased number of optic nerve axons compared with wild-type mice. CONCLUSIONS: Genetic deletion of Dusp14, a MAPK phosphatase important in KFL9-mediated inhibition of RGC survival, led to increased activation of MAPK ERK1/2 and greater RGC and axonal survival after experimental AION. Inhibiting Dusp14 or activating the MAPK pathway should be examined further as a potential therapeutic approach to treatment of AION. Abbreviations: AION: anterior ischemic optic neuropathy; Dusp14: dual specific phosphatase 14; ERK1/2: extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2; Elk-1: ETS Like-1 protein; GCC: ganglion cell complex; GCL: ganglion cell layer; inner nuclear layer; KO: knockout; MAPK: mitogen-activated phosphokinase; OCT: optical coherence tomography; RGC: retinal ganglion cell; RNFL: retinal nerve fiber layer.
PURPOSE: To assess the relationship between baseline age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and disease stage, as well as optical coherence tomography (OCT) features seen in AMD, with three-year changes in dark adaptation (DA). METHODS: Prospective longitudinal study including patients with AMD and a comparison group (n=42 eyes, 27 patients). At baseline and three years, we obtained color fundus photographs, spectral-domain OCT and rod-mediated dark adaptation (20 minutes protocol). Multilevel mixed effect models were used for analyses, with changes in rod intercept time (RIT) at three years as the primary outcome. As some eyes (n=11) reached the DA testing ceiling value at baseline, we used three-year changes in area under the DA curve (AUDAC) as an additional outcome. RESULTS: Baseline AMD, AMD stage and hyperreflective foci on OCT were associated with larger changes in RIT at three years. When change in AUDAC was used as an outcome in addition to these features, the presence of retinal atrophy and drusenoid pigment epithelial detachment (PED) had significant associations. New subretinal drusenoid deposits at three years was also associated with more pronounced changes in RIT and AUDAC. CONCLUSIONS: Specific OCT features are associated with DA impairments over time, which supports that structural changes predict functional loss over three years.
PURPOSE: To evaluate corneal subbasal nerve plexus by in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) following punctal occlusion in patients with moderate to severe dry eye disease (DED). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with grade 3 or 4 severity of DED based on Delphi Panel dry eye severity grading scheme were enrolled in the study. Permanent inferior punctal occlusion was performed. A comprehensive ophthalmic evaluation, including Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire, tear break-up time (TBUT), corneal fluorescein staining, conjunctival Rose bengal staining, Schirmer's test, and corneal sensation by Cochet-Bonnet esthesiometry, were performed at baseline, and 1 and 3 months after punctal occlusion. Furthermore, density and number of corneal subbasal nerves were evaluated by IVCM. RESULTS: Forty-one eyes of 23 patients with a mean age of 46.3 ± 9.0 years were enrolled. Corneal fluorescein staining, Rose bengal staining, and TBUT significantly improved at 3 months following punctal occlusion (p < .015). Corneal esthesiometry significantly increased at both postoperative visits (p < .03), and OSDI scores improved only at 3-month follow-up (p < .005). Nerve density and total number significantly increased 3 months after punctal occlusion (p < .045). Baseline nerve density had significant correlations with TBUT, fluorescein staining, Rose bengal staining (p < .012), but not with esthesiometry, Schirmer scores, or OSDI scores (p > .329). CONCLUSIONS: Corneal subbasal nerve density and total number increased following punctal occlusion in patients with moderate to severe DED. These findings were associated with improvements in corneal sensation, and signs and symptoms of DED. This emphasizes the effect of punctal occlusion in regeneration of corneal subbasal nerve plexus.
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.