Glaucoma refers to a heterogenous group of disorders characterised by progressive loss of retinal ganglion cells and associated visual field loss. Both early-onset and adult-onset forms of the disease have a strong genetic component. Here, we summarise the known genetic associations for various forms of glaucoma and the possible functional roles for these genes in disease pathogenesis. We also discuss efforts to translate genetic knowledge into clinical practice, including gene-based tests for disease diagnosis and risk-stratification as well as gene-based therapies.
Importance: Although racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in visual impairment have been described in adults, few studies have focused on the adolescent population, which may provide insight into the emergence of vision health inequities. Objective: To describe visual health disparities among adolescent children in the US. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a cross-sectional study of adolescents from the 2005 to 2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants were aged 12 to 18 years with a completed visual function questionnaire and eye examination. Data analyses were conducted from January 19 to July 20, 2022. Main Outcomes and Measures: Outcomes included subjective (self-reported poor vision) and objective (visual acuity worse than 20/40 in the better-seeing eye) measures of visual function. Multivariable logistic and linear regression analyses were conducted to examine the association between the sociodemographic risk factors and each outcome, adjusting for age, sex, and other covariates. Results: The 2833 included participants (mean [SD] age, 15.5 [2.0] years; 1407 female participants [49%]) represent a survey-weighted 57 million US adolescent children, of whom 14% were non-Hispanic Black participants (876), 11% were Mexican American participants (828), 63% were non-Hispanic White participants (816), and 11% were other race and ethnicity (313). A total of 5% of participants (266) were not US citizens, and 19% (773) had a family income below the poverty threshold. There were increased odds of self-reported poor vision among Black (odds ratio [OR], 2.85; 95% CI, 2.00-4.05; P < .001), Mexican American (OR, 2.83; 95% CI, 1.70-4.73; P < .001), and low-income (OR, 2.44; 95% CI, 1.63-3.65; P < .001) adolescent children. Similarly, there were increased odds of visual acuity worse than 20/40 in the better-seeing eye among Black (OR, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.41-3.24; P = .001), Mexican American (OR, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.39-3.26; P = .001), and non-US citizen (OR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.10-3.49; P = .02) participants. Conclusions and Relevance: In this nationally representative sample from 2005 to 2008, adolescent children identifying as Black, Mexican American, low-income, or non-US citizen were more likely to report poor subjective visual function and perform worse on objective visual acuity testing. A greater understanding of the underlying etiology of these disparities may yield opportunities for improving vision at the population level.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this systematic review is to identify techniques used for quantification of choriocapillaris (CC) flow in eyes with uveitis using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA), report reliability and level of correlation with techniques such as indocyanine green angiography (ICGA). METHODS: A systematic search of several databases was done. The studies were analyzed for techniques of measurement, reliability, and correlation with other modalities. Risk of bias assessment was performed. RESULTS: Thirteen studies were included. CC vessel density (7 studies) and flow deficit area (4 studies) were the most used indices. There was significant heterogeneity in the studies due to differences in the scan protocol, thresholding strategy, and analysis. Comparison with ICGA was performed by only one study, and reliability indices were reported by only two studies. CONCLUSION: OCTA is a useful tool to measure the CC vascularity in eyes with uveitis. However, standardized acquisition and analysis protocols are needed.
OBJECTIVE: To introduce the Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS) Calculator, an online clinical scoring system for initiating antitubercular therapy (ATT) in patients with ocular tuberculosis (TB). METHOD: The COTS Calculator was derived from COTS Consensus (COTS CON) data, which has previously published consensus guidelines. Using a two-step Delphi method, 81 experts evaluated 486 clinical scenario-based questions, ranking their likelihood of initiating ATT in each specific scenario. Each scenario was a permutation of the results and/or availability of five following components-clinical phenotype, endemicity, two immunological (tuberculin skin test, interferon-γ release assay) and one radiological (chest X-Ray) test results-and a sixth component further stratifying three of the clinical phenotypes. The median scores and interquartile ranges (IQR) of each scenario were tabulated, representing the expert consensus on whether to initiate ATT in that scenario. The consensus table was encoded to develop the COTS Calculator. RESULTS: The COTS Calculator can be accessed online at: https://www.oculartb.net/cots-calc . The attending physician can select the conditions present in the patient, which will generate a median score from 1 to 5. 114 out of 486 scenarios (24%) deliberated had a median score of 5 indicating expert consensus to initiate ATT. CONCLUSION: The COTS Calculator is an efficient, low-cost, evidence and experience-based clinical tool to guide ATT initiation. While it holds substantial promise in improving standard-of-care for ocular-TB patients, future validation studies can help to as certain its clinical utility and reliability.
PURPOSE: To assess the safety of the subretinal delivery of a recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (AAV2) vector carrying a human CHM-encoding cDNA in choroideremia (CHM). DESIGN: Prospective, open-label, non-randomized, dose-escalation, phase 1/2 clinical trial. SUBJECTS, PARTICIPANTS, AND/OR CONTROLS: Fifteen CHM patients (ages 20-57 years at dosing). METHODS, INTERVENTION, OR TESTING: Patients received uniocular subfoveal injections of low dose (up to 5x1010 vector genome (vg) per eye, n=5) or high dose (up to 1x1011 vg per eye, n=10) AAV2-hCHM. Patients were evaluated pre- and post-operatively for two years with ophthalmic examinations, multimodal retinal imaging and psychophysical testing. MAIN OUTCOME: Measures: visual acuity (VA), perimetry (10-2 protocol), spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and short-wavelength fundus autofluorescence (SW-FAF). RESULTS: We detected no vector-related or systemic toxicities. VA returned to within 15 letters of baseline in all but two patients (one developed acute foveal thinning, another patient, a macular hole); the rest showed no gross changes in foveal structure at two years. There were no significant differences between intervention and control eyes in mean light-adapted sensitivity by perimetry, or in the lateral extent of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) relative preservation by SD-OCT and SW-FAF. Microperimetry showed non-significant (<3SD of the intervisit variability) gains in sensitivity in some locations and participants in the intervention eye. There were no obvious dose-dependent relationships. CONCLUSIONS: VA was within 15 letters of baseline after the subfoveal AAV2-hCHM injections in 13/15 (87%) of the patients. Acute foveal thinning with unchanged perifoveal function in one patient and macular hole in a second suggests foveal vulnerability to the subretinal injections. Longer observation intervals will help establish the significance of the minor differences in sensitivities and rate of disease progression observed between intervention and control eyes.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is now known to be associated with several ocular manifestations. The literature thoroughly discussed those that affect adults, with a lesser focus in the pediatric age group. We aim to outline the various pediatric ocular manifestations described in the literature. The manifestations may be divided into isolated events attributed to COVID-19 or occurring in the new multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a novel entity associated by COVID-19 infection. Ocular manifestations have virtually affected all ages. They manifested in neonates, infants, children, and adolescents. Episcleritis, conjunctivitis, optic neuritis, cranial nerve palsies, retinal vein occlusion, retinal vasculitis, retinal changes, orbital myositis, orbital cellulitis were reported in the literature with this emerging viral illness. Conjunctivitis was the most common ocular manifestation in MIS-C in nearly half of the patients. Other ocular manifestations in MIS-C were anterior uveitis, corneal epitheliopathy, optic neuritis, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, and retinitis. The clinical outcome was favorable, and children regain their visual ability with minimal or no deficits in most of the cases. Further follow-up may be warranted to better understand the long-term effects and visual prognosis.
Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a progressive, debilitating visual disorder caused by mutations in a diverse set of genes. In both humans with RP and mouse models of RP, rod photoreceptor dysfunction leads to loss of night vision, and is followed by secondary cone photoreceptor dysfunction and degeneration, leading to loss of daylight color vision. A strategy to prevent secondary cone death could provide a general RP therapy to preserve daylight color vision regardless of the underlying mutation. In mouse models of RP, cones in the peripheral retina survive long-term, despite complete rod loss. The mechanism for such peripheral cone survival had not been explored. Here, we found that active retinoic acid (RA) signaling in peripheral Muller glia is necessary for the abnormally long survival of these peripheral cones. RA depletion by conditional knockout of RA synthesis enzymes, or overexpression of an RA degradation enzyme, abrogated the extended survival of peripheral cones. Conversely, constitutive activation of RA signaling in the central retina promoted long-term cone survival. These results indicate that RA signaling mediates the prolonged peripheral cone survival in the rd1 mouse model of retinal degeneration, and provide a basis for a generic strategy for cone survival in the many diseases that lead to loss of cone-mediated vision.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading cause of ocular infections including serious and sight-threatening conditions. The use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) has substantially reduced the incidence of pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal diseases, but has had limited impact on ocular infections. Additionally, widespread vaccine use has resulted in ongoing selective pressure and serotype replacement in carriage and disease. To gain insight into the population structure of pneumococcal isolates causing ocular infections in a post-PCV-13 time period, we investigated the genomic epidemiology of ocular S. pneumoniae isolates (n=45) collected at Massachusetts Eye and Ear between 2014 and 2017. By performing a series of molecular typing methods from draft genomes, we found that the population structure of ocular S. pneumoniae is highly diverse with 27 sequence types (grouped into 18 clonal complexes) and 17 serotypes being identified. Distribution of these lineages diverged according to the site of isolation, with conjunctivitis being commonly caused by isolates grouped in the Epidemic Conjunctivitis Cluster-ECC (60 %), and ST448 (53.3 %) being most frequently identified. Conversely, S. pneumoniae keratitis cases were caused by a highly diverse population of isolates grouping within 15 different clonal complexes. Serotyping inference demonstrated that 95.5 % of the isolates were non-PCV-13 vaccine types. Most of the conjunctivitis isolates (80 %) were unencapsulated, with the remaining belonging to serotypes 15B, 3 and 23B. On the other hand, S. pneumoniae causing keratitis were predominantly encapsulated (95.2 %) with 13 different serotypes identified, mostly being non-vaccine types. Carriage of macrolide resistance genes was common in our ocular S. pneumoniae population (42.2 %), and usually associated with the mefA +msrD genotype (n=15). These genes were located in the Macrolide Efflux Genetic Assembly cassette and were associated with low-level in vitro resistance to 14- and 15-membered macrolides. Less frequently, macrolide-resistant isolates carried an ermB gene (n=4), which was co-located with the tetM gene in a Tn-916-like transposon. Our study demonstrates that the population structure of ocular S. pneumoniae is highly diverse, mainly composed by isolates that escape the PCV-13 vaccine, with patterns of tissue/niche segregation, adaptation and specialization. These findings suggest that the population structure of ocular pneumococcus may be shaped by multiple factors including PCV-13 selective pressure, microbial-related and niche-specific host-associated features.
Inner ear gene therapy using adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV) promises to alleviate hearing and balance disorders. We previously established the benefits of Anc80L65 in targeting inner and outer hair cells in newborn mice. To accelerate translation to humans, we now report the feasibility and efficiency of the surgical approach and vector delivery in a nonhuman primate model. Five rhesus macaques were injected with AAV1 or Anc80L65 expressing eGFP using a transmastoid posterior tympanotomy approach to access the round window membrane after making a small fenestra in the oval window. The procedure was well tolerated. All but one animal showed cochlear eGFP expression 7-14 days following injection. Anc80L65 in 2 animals transduced up to 90% of apical inner hair cells; AAV1 was markedly less efficient at equal dose. Transduction for both vectors declined from apex to base. These data motivate future translational studies to evaluate gene therapy for human hearing disorders.
AIM: To evaluate the effect of repository corticotropin injection (RCI) on regulatory T cell population in patients with noninfectious retinal vasculitis. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with active noninfectious retinal vasculitis were included in a prospective nonrandomized open-label study. RESULTS: Eighteen patients (33 eyes) were included in the study. Eleven (61.1%) patients [20 (60.6%) eyes] and 7 (38.9%) patients [13 (33.3%) eyes] were in the responsive and non-responsive groups, respectively. We did not find any statistically significant difference within the PPP-R group, within the PPP-NR group, or between these two groups in regard to regulatory T cell population. No significant systemic or ocular complications were found. CONCLUSION: RCI may be a complementary treatment in patients with non-infectious retinal vasculitis with or without uveitis. This study did not demonstrate an increase in regulatory T cell population in patients with noninfectious retinal vasculitis.
The surface protein SasX, has a key role in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization and pathogenesis, and has been associated with the epidemic success of some MRSA clones. To date, only one SasX homologous protein, named SesI, has been described in Staphylococcus epidermidis. In this work, we analyze the occurrence of the sasX gene and its genetic environment in Staphylococcus haemolyticus S. haemolyticus clinical strains (n = 62) were screened for the presence of the sasX gene and its carrier, the prophage Φ SPβ-like. A deep characterization was done in one strain (MD43), through which we determined the complete nucleotide sequence for the S. haemolitycus sasX-like gene. Whole genome sequencing of strain MD43 was performed, and the gene, termed here because of its unique attributes, shsA, was mapped to the Φ SPβ-like prophage sequence. The shsA gene was detected in 33 out of 62 strains showing an average identity of 92 and 96% with the sasX and sesI genes and at the amino acid level, 88% identity with SasX and 92% identity with SesI. The ~124Kb Φ SPβ-like prophage sequence showed a largely intact prophage compared to its counterpart in S. epidermidis strain RP62A, including the sesI insertion site. In conclusion, we identified a new sasX ortholog in S. haemolyticus (shsA). Its horizontal spread from this reservoir could represent an emergent threat in healthcare facilities since so far, no S. aureus sasX+ strains have been reported in Brazil.
Mucins are an ancient group of glycoproteins that provide viscoelastic, lubricating and hydration properties to fluids bathing wet surfaced epithelia. They are involved in the protection of underlying tissues by forming a barrier with selective permeability properties. The expression, processing and spatial distribution of mucins are often determined by organ-specific requirements that in the eye involve protecting against environmental insult while allowing the passage of light. The human ocular surface epithelia have evolved to produce an extremely thin and watery tear film containing a distinct soluble mucin product secreted by goblet cells outside the visual axis. The adaptation to the ocular environment is notably evidenced by the significant contribution of transmembrane mucins to the tear film, where they can occupy up to one-quarter of its total thickness. This article reviews the tissue-specific properties of human ocular mucins, methods of isolation and detection, and current approaches to model mucin systems recapitulating the human ocular surface mucosa. This knowledge forms the fundamental basis to develop applications with a promising biological and clinical impact.
Use of ophthalmic telemedicine for patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has shown remarkable advances over recent years. The recent COVID pandemic accelerated this transition since in-person evaluation of elderly patients at high risk for advanced AMD and severe vision loss were also at higher risk for complications from COVID infection. To date, ophthalmic telemedicine has been successfully used in remote retinal consultation by general ophthalmologists for AMD management, hybrid testing visits with both in-office testing and remote evaluation, as well as early successes in home-based remote monitoring of patients with high-risk AMD. We therefore review the current literature and evidence base related to ophthalmic telemedicine for AMD.
PURPOSE: Venous thromboembolic complications have been reported in association with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. We raised awareness regarding a potential temporal association between COVID-19 infection and retinal vein occlusion (RVO). DESIGN: Multicenter, retrospective, nonconsecutive case series. SUBJECTS: Patients presenting with hemi-RVO (HRVO) or central RVO (CRVO) between March 2020 and March 2021, with confirmed COVID-19 infection, were included. The exclusion criteria were as follows: age >50 years, hypertension, diabetes, glaucoma, obesity, underlying hypercoagulable states, and those requiring intubation during hospitalization. METHODS: This was a multicenter, retrospective, nonconsecutive case series including patients presenting with hemi-RVO (HRVO) or central RVO (CRVO) between March 2020 and March 2021, with confirmed COVID-19 infection. The exclusion criteria were as follows: age >50 years, hypertension, diabetes, glaucoma, obesity, underlying hypercoagulable states, and those requiring intubation during hospitalization. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Ophthalmic findings, including presenting and final visual acuity (VA), imaging findings, and clinical course. RESULTS: Twelve eyes of 12 patients with CRVO (9 of 12) or HRVO (3 of 12) after COVID-19 infection were included. The median age was 32 years (range, 18-50 years). Three patients were hospitalized, but none were intubated. The median time from COVID-19 diagnosis to ophthalmic symptoms was 6.9 weeks. The presenting VA ranged from 20/20 to counting fingers, with over half (7 of 12) having a VA of ≥20/40. OCT revealed macular edema in 42% of the eyes; of these, 80% (4 of 5) were treated with anti-VEGF injections. Ninety-two percent (11 of 12) had partial or complete resolution of ocular findings at final follow-up. Four eyes (33%) had retinal thinning, as determined using OCT, by the end of the study interval. The final VA ranged from 20/20 to 20/60, with 11 of the 12 (92%) eyes achieving a VA of ≥20/40 at a median final follow-up period of 13 weeks (range, 4-52 weeks). CONCLUSIONS: Although we acknowledge the high seroprevalence of COVID-19 and that a causal relationship cannot be established, we reported this series to raise awareness regarding the potential risk of retinal vascular events due to a heightened thromboinflammatory state associated with COVID-19 infection.
Purpose: The guarded light pipe is a recently described alternative endoillumination technique to chandelier illumination. We sought to compare the outcomes of scleral buckling (SB) under indirect ophthalmoscopy (ID) to heads-up three-dimensional visualization with a guarded light pipe (3DGLP). Methods: A retrospective comparative study was performed, including 47 eyes that underwent SB for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) repair with either traditional ID (n = 31) or 3DGLP (n = 16). Results: The single surgery anatomic success rate was 87.0% in the ID group and 87.5% in the 3DGLP group. The final anatomic success rate was 100% in both groups. The median (interquartile range) post-operative logMAR was 0.10 (0.0-0.20) in the ID group and 0.08 (0.02-0.69) in the 3DGLP group (p = 0.51). The median operative time was 107 (94-123) minutes in the ID group and 100 (90-111) minutes in the 3DGLP group (p = 0.25). Among eyes that underwent subretinal fluid drainage, the operative time was significantly longer in the ID group compared to the 3DGLP group, 113 (100-135) minutes vs 93 (85-111) minutes (p = 0.035). There were no post-operative complications in the ID group and one complication of self-resolving vitreous hemorrhage associated with a malfunctioning cryoprobe in the 3DGLP group (p = 0.34). There were no cases of post-operative cataract progression in either group. Conclusion: Compared to traditional SB, 3DGLP improves ergonomics and educational value with similar anatomical, visual, intra and post-operative outcomes and may result in shorter operative time in cases requiring subretinal fluid drainage.
BACKGROUND: Retinovascular changes are reported on fundus imaging in schizophrenia (SZ). This is the first study to use swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) to comprehensively examine retinal microvascular changes in SZ. METHODS: This study included 30 patients with SZ/schizoaffective disorder (8 early and 15 chronic) and 22 healthy controls (HCs). All assessments were performed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Massachusetts Eye and Ear. All participants underwent swept-source OCT-A of right (oculus dextrus [OD]) and left (oculus sinister [OS]) eye, clinical, and cognitive assessments. Macular OCT-A images (6 × 6 mm) were collected with the DRI Topcon Triton for superficial, deep, and choriocapillaris vascular regions. Microvasculature was quantified using vessel density (VD), skeletonized vessel density (SVD), fractal dimension (FD), and vessel diameter index (VDI). RESULTS: Twenty-one HCs and 26 SZ subjects were included. Compared to HCs, SZ patients demonstrated higher overall OD superficial SVD, OD choriocapillaris VD, and OD choriocapillaris SVD, which were primarily observed in the central, central and outer superior, and central and outer inferior/superior, respectively. Early-course SZ subjects had significantly higher OD superficial VD, OD choriocapillaris SVD, and OD choriocapillaris FD compared to matched HCs. Higher bilateral (OU) superficial VD correlated with lower Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) positive scores, and higher OU deep VDI was associated with higher PANSS negative scores. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: These results suggest the presence of microvascular dysfunction associated with early-stage SZ. Clinical associations with microvascular alterations further implicate this hypothesis, with higher measures being associated with worse symptom severity and functioning in early stages and with lower symptom severity and better functioning in later stages.