Cornea

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Abdelaziz M, Dohlman CH, Sayegh RR. Measuring Forward Light Scatter by the Boston Keratoprosthesis in Various Configurations. Cornea 2017;36(6):732-735.Abstract
PURPOSE: Light scatter results in degradation of visual function. An optical bench model was used to identify the origins of scatter in the setting of a Boston keratoprosthesis (KPro). The effect of various modifications in the device design and light-blocking configurations was explored. METHODS: A KPro was mounted on a contact lens holder on a bench, and forward light scatter was recorded with a camera attached to a rotating goniometer arm. Scattered light was recorded at different angles for different KPro modifications, and the point-spread function (PSF) curves were recorded. The area under the curve (AUC) was calculated for each PSF curve. RESULTS: The isolated KPro optical cylinder in a totally blackened holding lens had a tight PSF (AUC = 3.3). Additional blackening of the walls of the KPro stem did not further diminish forward scatter significantly. If the holding lens is made translucent by sandblasting (to simulate an in vivo carrier cornea) and the KPro is inserted without a backplate, forward scatter is substantial (AUC = 11.3). If a standard backplate (with holes) is added, light scatter is considerably reduced regardless of whether the backplate is made of polymethyl methacrylate or titanium (AUC = 5.3 and 4.4, respectively). Addition of an acrylic intraocular lens behind the KPro (the pseudophakic KPro setup) did not increase scatter. CONCLUSIONS: Most of the scattered light in eyes implanted with a KPro originates from the surrounding hazy corneal graft. The standard addition of a backplate reduces light scatter. There was no difference in forward light scatter between the aphakic and the pseudophakic KPro.
Abud TB, Amparo F, Saboo US, Di Zazzo A, Dohlman TH, Ciolino JB, Hamrah P, Dana R. A Clinical Trial Comparing the Safety and Efficacy of Topical Tacrolimus versus Methylprednisolone in Ocular Graft-versus-Host Disease. Ophthalmology 2016;123(7):1449-57.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of topical tacrolimus 0.05% versus topical methylprednisolone 0.5% in patients with ocular graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). DESIGN: Phase 1/2 prospective, randomized, double-masked clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: Eighty eyes of 40 patients diagnosed with chronic ocular GVHD were enrolled. METHODS: Forty patients with ocular GVHD were randomized; 24 patients were treated with topical tacrolimus 0.05% and 16 patients were treated with topical methylprednisolone 0.5% twice daily for 10 weeks, in addition to continuing their baseline treatment regimen. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Safety was evaluated based on occurrence of adverse events. Tolerability was assessed based on subject reports of discomfort after drop instillation. Intraocular pressure (IOP) was monitored. The main efficacy end points were corneal fluorescein staining (CFS), tear film break-up time (TBUT), Schirmer test results, and expression of the ocular surface inflammatory markers human leukocyte antigen-DR (HLA-DR) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). Symptoms were evaluated using the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI). RESULTS: After 10 weeks of treatment, no major adverse events occurred in either treatment group, and there was no significant difference in the composite tolerability scores between the 2 groups (P = 0.06). However, burning sensation was more pronounced with tacrolimus (P = 0.002). Topical tacrolimus was more effective than methylprednisolone in reducing the CFS score at week 10 (55% vs. 23% reduction, respectively; P = 0.01) and achieved significant improvement in TBUT when compared with baseline (P < 0.001). Reduction in OSDI score achieved statistical significance with tacrolimus (27% reduction; P = 0.02), but was marginal with methylprednisolone (32% reduction; P = 0.06). Expression of ICAM-1 by ocular surface epithelium decreased significantly in both groups (tacrolimus, P = 0.003; methylprednisolone, P = 0.008), whereas HLA-DR expression decreased significantly only in the tacrolimus group (P = 0.03). Schirmer test scores did not change significantly in either group during the study; IOP increased significantly with methylprednisolone at week 10 (P = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Topical tacrolimus 0.05% is safe, generally well tolerated, and effective for the treatment of ocular GVHD without the hypertensive effects of topical corticosteroids.

AbuSamra DB, Argüeso P. Lectin-Glycan Interactions in Corneal Infection and Inflammation. Front Immunol 2018;9:2338.Abstract
The cornea is an extraordinary component of vision that functions as the principal barrier to pathogens in the eye while allowing light transmission into the retina. Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that maintain homeostasis in this tissue is the subject of intense scientific study given the high prevalence of corneal disease. Over the past decade, the interactions between lectins and glycans on plasma membranes have emerged as important regulatory factors in corneal biology. In particular, members of the galectin family have been shown to bind multiple β-galactoside-containing receptors to regulate immunopathological processes associated with viral and bacterial infection, transplantation, wound healing, dry eye, angiogenesis, and lymphangiogenesis. In this review, we describe the current understanding of how these surface interactions intersect with different pathways to activate unique cellular responses in cornea as well as their potential therapeutic implications.
AbuSamra DB, Mauris J, Argüeso P. Galectin-3 initiates epithelial-stromal paracrine signaling to shape the proteolytic microenvironment during corneal repair. Sci Signal 2019;12(590)Abstract
Paracrine interactions between epithelial cells and stromal fibroblasts occur during tissue repair, development, and cancer. Crucial to these processes is the production of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) that modify the microenvironment. Here, we demonstrated that the carbohydrate-binding protein galectin-3 stimulated microenvironment remodeling in the cornea by promoting the paracrine action of secreted interleukin-1β (IL-1β). Through live cell imaging in vitro, we observed rapid activation of the promoter in clusters of cultured human epithelial cells after direct heterotypic contact with single primary human fibroblasts. Soluble recombinant galectin-3 and endogenous galectin-3 of epithelial origin both stimulated MMP9 activity through the induction of IL-1β secretion by fibroblasts. In vivo, mechanical disruption of the basement membrane in wounded corneas prompted an increase in the abundance of IL-1β in the stroma and increased the amount of gelatinase activity in the epithelium. Moreover, corneas of galectin-3-deficient mice failed to stimulate IL-1β after wounding. This mechanism of paracrine control has broad importance for our understanding of how the proteolytic microenvironment is modified in epithelial-stromal interactions.
Adil MY, Xiao J, Olafsson J, Chen X, Lagali NS, Ræder S, Utheim ØA, Dartt DA, Utheim TP. Meibomian Gland Morphology Is a Sensitive Early Indicator of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Am J Ophthalmol 2019;200:16-25.Abstract
PURPOSE: To investigate the relationship between meibomian gland (MG) morphology and clinical dry eye tests in patients with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SUBJECTS: Total 538 MGD patients and 21 healthy controls. METHODS: MG loss on meibography images of upper (UL) and lower lids (LL) was graded on a scale of 0 (lowest degree of MG loss) to 3. MG length, thickness, and interglandular space in the UL were measured. Clinical tests included meibum expression and quality, tear film break-up time, ocular staining, osmolarity, Schirmer I, blink interval timing, and Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire. RESULTS: Mean UL and LL meibogrades were significantly higher in MGD patients compared to controls (P < .001 for UL and LL). The sensitivity and specificity of the meibograde as a diagnostic parameter for MGD was 96.7% and 85%, respectively. Schirmer I was significantly increased in MGD patients with meibograde 1 compared to patients with meibograde 0, 2, and 3 in the UL (P < .05). MG thickness increased with higher meibograde (P < .001). MG morphology correlated significantly but weakly with several clinical parameters (P < .05). OSDI did not correlate with any MG morphologic parameter. CONCLUSIONS: Grading of MG loss using meibograde effectively diagnoses MGD. Compensatory mechanisms such as increased aqueous tear production and dilation of MGs make early detection of MGD difficult by standard clinical measures of dry eye, whereas morphologic analysis of MGs reveals an early stage of MGD, and therefore represents a complementary clinical parameter with diagnostic potential.
Aggarwal S, Kheirkhah A, Cavalcanti BM, Cruzat A, Colon C, Brown E, Borsook D, Prüss H, Hamrah P. Autologous Serum Tears for Treatment of Photoallodynia in Patients with Corneal Neuropathy: Efficacy and Evaluation with InVivo Confocal Microscopy. Ocul Surf 2015;13(3):250-62.Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Patients suffering from corneal neuropathy may present with photoallodynia; i.e., increased light sensitivity, frequently with a normal slit-lamp examination. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of autologous serum tears (AST) for treatment of severe photoallodynia in corneal neuropathy and to correlate clinical findings with corneal subbasal nerve alterations by in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). METHODS: Retrospective case control study with 16 patients with neuropathy-induced severe photoallodynia compared to 16 normal controls. Symptom severity, clinical examination and bilateral corneal IVCM scans were recorded. RESULTS: All patients suffered from extreme photoallodynia (8.8±1.1) with no concurrent ocular surface disease. Subbasal nerves were significantly decreased at baseline in patients compared to controls; total nerve length (9208±1264 vs 24714±1056 μm/mm(2); P<.0001) and total nerve number (9.6±1.4 vs 28.6±2.0; P<.0001), respectively. Morphologically, significantly increased reflectivity (2.9±0.2 vs 1.8±0.1; P<.0001), beading (in 93.7%), and neuromas (in 62.5%) were seen. AST (3.6±2.1 months) resulted in significantly decreased symptom severity (1.6±1.7; P=.02). IVCM demonstrated significantly improved nerve parameters (P<.005), total nerve length (15451±1595 μm/mm(2)), number (13.9±2.1), and reflectivity (1.9±0.1). Beading and neuromas were seen in only 56.2% and 7.6% of patients. CONCLUSION: Patients with corneal neuropathy-induced photoallodynia show profound alterations in corneal nerves. AST restores nerve topography through nerve regeneration, and this correlated with improvement in patient-reported photoallodynia. The data support the notion that corneal nerve damage results in alterations in afferent trigeminal pathways to produce photoallodynia.

Aggarwal S, Cavalcanti BM, Regali L, Cruzat A, Trinidad M, Williams C, Jurkunas UV, Hamrah P. In Vivo Confocal Microscopy Shows Alterations in Nerve Density and Dendritiform Cell Density in Fuchs' Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy. Am J Ophthalmol 2018;196:136-144.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate corneal nerve and immune cell alterations in Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) and pseudophakic bullous keratopathy (PBK) by laser in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) as correlated to corneal sensation and endothelial cell loss. DESIGN: Prospective, cross-sectional, controlled study. METHODS: Thirty-three eyes with FECD were compared to 13 eyes with PBK and 17 normal age-matched control eyes at a tertiary referral center. FECD was classified into early (without edema) and late stage (with edema). Corneal IVCM and esthesiometry were performed. Corneal nerve and immune dendritiform cell (DC) alterations were evaluated and correlated to clinical parameters. RESULTS: FECD and PBK eyes showed significantly (P = .001) diminished total nerve length (11.5 ± 1.3 and 2.9 ± 0.7 mm/mm) and number (8.8 ± 1.1 and 2.2 ± 0.4 n/frame), compared to controls (23.3 ± 8.1 mm/mm and 25.9 ± 1.3 n/frame). Decreased nerves corresponded to diminished sensation in FECD (4.9 ± 0.2 cm; R = 0.32; P = .045), compared to controls (5.9 ± 0.04 cm). Early- and late-stage FECD showed significantly reduced total nerve length (13.1 ± 1.4 and 9.9 ± 1.2 mm/mm, respectively) and number (8.2 ± 2.5 and 6.5 ± 2.1 n/frame), compared to controls (P < .001). DC density was significantly increased in FECD (57.8 ± 10.4 cells/mm; P = .01), but not in PBK (47.7 ± 11.6 cells/mm; P = .60) compared to controls (22.5 ± 4.5 cells/mm). A subset of early FECD patients (7/22) demonstrated very high DC density (>100/mm). CONCLUSION: IVCM demonstrates profound diminishment of subbasal corneal nerves in early- and late-stage FECD and in PBK, correlating to decreased sensation. Increased DC density in early FECD demonstrates potential subclinical inflammation. The data suggest that reduction in subbasal nerves and increased immune activation may play a role in the pathophysiology of FECD.
Aggarwal S, Colon C, Kheirkhah A, Hamrah P. Efficacy of autologous serum tears for treatment of neuropathic corneal pain. Ocul Surf 2019;Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Corneal nerve damage may result in neuropathic corneal pain (NCP). Autologous serum tears (AST) have been shown to results in nerve regeneration and may help alleviate corneal pain. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of AST in the treatment of NCP. METHODS: This was a retrospective case-control study. Sixteen patients suffering from severe NCP and no current ocular surface disease were compared to 12 controls. In vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) (HRT3/RCM; Heidelberg, Germany) of the central corneas was performed bilaterally. Change in pain severity (scale of 0-10), corneal nerve density, tortuosity, reflectivity and presence of beading and microneuromas before and after treatment were recorded. RESULTS: All patients had severe pain of 9.1 ± 0.2 (range 8-10). Before treatment, subbasal nerves were significantly decreased compared to controls, including total nerve length (10,935.5 ± 1264.3 vs. 24,714.4 ± 1056.2 μm/mm; p < 0.0001) and total number of nerves (10.5 ± 1.4 vs. 28.6 ± 2.0; p < 0.0001), respectively. Morphologically, significantly increased reflectivity (2.9 ± 0.2 vs. 1.2 ± 0.1; p = 0.00008) and tortuosity (2.4 ± 0.2 vs. 1.7 ± 0.1; p = 0.001), both graded on a scale of 0-4, were noted. After 3.8 ± 0.5 months (range 1-8 months) of AST treatment, pain severity decreased to 3.1 ± 0.3 (range 0-4), (p < 0.0001). Further, IVCM demonstrated a significant improvement (p < 0.005) in total nerve length (17,351.3 ± 1395.6 μm/mm) and number (15.1 ± 1.6) as well as significant decrease in reflectivity (2.4 ± 0.2; p = 0.001) and tortuosity (2.2 ± 0.2; p = 0.001). CONCLUSION: IVCM demonstrates underlying alterations of the subbasal corneal nerve plexus in patients suffering from debilitating NCP. AST-induced nerve regeneration is seen following treatment with AST, which correlates with improvement in patient symptoms of NCP.
Aggarwal S, Jakobiec FA, Hamrah P. Bilateral adult epibulbar xanthogranulomas suspicious for Erdheim-Chester disease. Cornea 2014;33(10):1113-7.Abstract

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to report the clinical, imaging, and histopathological findings of bilateral, conjunctival adult-onset xanthogranulomas that raised the prospect of a mild form of Erdheim-Chester disease. METHODS: This is a case report. RESULTS: A 35-year-old white male complaining of ocular irritation, presented with bilateral, nasal and temporal, yellow, elevated conjunctival lumps first noticed 1.5 years back, which were not associated with other ocular findings. The lesions were firm, attached to the underlying episclera, and measured 1.1 × 0.9, 1.1 × 0.8, 1.2 × 0.5, and 0.5 × 0.5 cm in the temporal and nasal right and left eyes, respectively. Each mass was fleshy with vascularity at the peripheral margin. Histopathologic evaluation after excisional biopsy revealed lipidized xanthoma cells, multiple Touton giant cells, and lymphocytes. Immunohistochemical staining was positive for adipophilin (lipid), CD68, CD163 histiocytes, CD3 T cells (with CD8 cytotoxic T cells > CD4 T-helper cells), and virtually no CD20 B cells or IgG4 plasma cells. The patient later acquired similar xanthogranulomatous subcutaneous lesions on the extremities. Positron emission tomography scans showed sclerosis in the medullary cavities of the tibia and the radius of both legs and arms, and an absence of retroperitoneal lesions. A normal serum immunoelectrophoresis and the absence of a BRAF gene mutation were demonstrated. CONCLUSIONS: Adult-onset xanthogranuloma can present as a solitary conjunctival mass without periocular or orbital involvement. The clinical, histopathologic, and radiologic findings in this case are suggestive of Erdheim-Chester disease without displaying any life-threatening lesions to date. Histopathologic and imaging studies can help in obtaining a diagnosis. Ophthalmologists should be aware that xanthogranulomatous conditions may have potential systemic implications, and a thorough systemic evaluation is recommended for lesions that initially seemed to be isolated in nature.

Aggarwal S, Cavalcanti BM, Pavan-Langston D. Treatment of pseudodendrites in herpes zoster ophthalmicus with topical ganciclovir 0.15% gel. Cornea 2014;33(2):109-13.Abstract
PURPOSE: There is no standard of treatment for epithelial pseudodendrites in herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO). The purpose of this study is to report the topical antiviral drug, 0.15% ganciclovir for treatment of these lesions. METHODS: This is a retrospective, interventional case series of 4 patients who were diagnosed with HZO epithelial pseudodendrites despite being given oral antiviral treatment and who underwent 0.15% ganciclovir gel topical treatment. Main outcome measures included epithelial healing time, visual acuity, and corneal sensation. RESULTS: All 4 patients were immunocompetent and had epithelial lesions unresponsive to antiviral treatment with oral valacyclovir. Treatment with topical 0.15% ganciclovir gel 5 times a day resulted in the lesions healing successfully within 7 days with improved visual acuity in 3 patients and an increase in corneal sensation in 2 of the 4 patients. CONCLUSIONS: Topical 0.15% ganciclovir gel, 5 times a day until pseudodendritic lesion healing and tapering to bid for 2 to 4 weeks thereafter, is an effective treatment for pseudodendrites in HZO-affected cases that are often a challenge to manage with other oral or topical antivirals.
Aggarwal S, Kheirkhah A, Cavalcanti BM, Cruzat A, Jamali A, Hamrah P. Correlation of corneal immune cell changes with clinical severity in dry eye disease: An in vivo confocal microscopy study. Ocul Surf 2020;Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate corneal immune dendritiform cell (DC) changes in dry eye disease (DED) using in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) and to correlate IVCM parameters with clinical severity. METHODS: This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study including 300 eyes of 150 DED patients and 49 eyes of 49 age-matched controls. Severity of DED was based on the Dry Eye Workshop (DEWS) classification. IVCM images of subbasal layer of the central cornea were analyzed for DC density and morphology (including number of dendrites per DC, DC size and DC field). RESULTS: DC density was significantly higher in DED compared to controls (93.4 ± 6.3 vs. 25.9 ± 3.9 cells/mm; P < 0.001). Morphologically, number of dendrites, DC size and field were significantly larger in DED (3.3 ± 0.1, 106.9 ± 4.7 μm, 403.8 ± 20.1 μm than controls (2.3 ± 0.1, 62.5 ± 5.7 μm, 241.4 ± 24.4 μm, P < 0.001). Significantly higher DC density compared to controls was observed as early as Level 1 DED severity (87 ± 10 cells/mm, p < 0.001. Significant morphological changes in DC were detected for Levels 2 to 4 (p=<0.001, and p =< 0.05) for dendrites and DC field, respectively. Similarly, DC size showed significant increase at DED level 3-4. (p < 0.05). Linear regression analysis showed that both conjunctival and corneal staining were independently associated with DC density, while corneal staining was independently associated with DC morphology. CONCLUSION: DC density and morphology correlated with clinical severity of DED. While, DC density is increased in mild DED, morphological changes are seen only in severe cases. IVCM may be a powerful tool to detect early immune changes and may complement clinical examination in DED.
Aggarwal S, Yamaguchi T, Dana R, Hamrah P. Exophiala phaeomuriformis Fungal Keratitis: Case Report and In Vivo Confocal Microscopy Findings. Eye Contact Lens 2017;43(2):e4-e6.Abstract

PURPOSE: Corneal infections, particularly fungal keratitis due to rare fungal species, pose a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge because of difficulty in identification and varying susceptibility profiles. In this study, we report the first case of fungal keratitis because of Exophiala phaeomuriformis. METHODS: We report the clinical findings and microbial identification techniques of a case of fungal keratitis due to E. phaeomuriformis. An 84-year-old woman presented with redness, pain, and itching in the left eye for 2 weeks. Slit-lamp biomicroscopy revealed one broken suture from previous penetrating keratoplasty (PKP), black infiltrates at the 4-o'clock position, without an overlying epithelial defect and hypopyon. Microbial identification was based cultures on Sabouraud dextrose agar and DNA sequencing and correlations to laser in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM; Heidelberg Retinal Tomograph 3/Rostock Cornea Module, Heidelberg Engineering) and multiphoton microscopy (Ultima Microscope; Prairie Technologies) images. RESULTS: Slit-lamp biomicroscopy revealed one broken suture from previous PKP, black infiltrates at the 4-o'clock position, without an overlying epithelial defect and hypopyon. Based on a clinical suspicion of fungal keratitis, antifungals and fortified antibiotics were started. However, the patient did not respond to therapy and required urgent PKP. After surgery, the patient was maintained on topical and systemic voriconazole and also topical 2% cyclosporine for 5 months because of possibility of scleral involvement noticed during surgery. At the end of the treatment period, her vision improved from hand motion to 20/40, with no recurrence observed in a follow-up period of 1 year. Results of diagnostic tests were supported by fungal elements in stroma on IVCM. Culture from the infiltrate grew black yeast. DNA sequencing led to the diagnosis of E. phaeomuriformis keratitis. Antifungal susceptibility testing revealed sensitivity to voriconazole. CONCLUSION: This is, to our knowledge, the first reported case of E. phaeomuriformis fungal keratitis. Diagnostic testing included slit-lamp biomicroscopy, which revealed pigmented infiltrates, culture plates grew black yeast, microscopy showed branched fungal hyphae with budding conidia, and physiological features showed tolerance to high temperatures, nitrate assimilation, and ribosomal DNA sequencing. Collectively, these tests demonstrate unique features seen for this microorganism. High suspicion should be kept with pigmented infiltrates and with dark yeast on culture plates. Prompt and aggressive medical management with voriconazole or therapeutic PKP in nonresponsive cases is essential to prevent irreversible loss of vision.

Al-Lozi A, Cai S, Chen X, Perez VL, Venkateswaran N. Granulicatella Adiacens as an Unusual Cause of Microbial Keratitis and Endophthalmitis: A Case Series and Literature Review. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2021;:1-5.Abstract
: To report two cases of microbial keratitis and/or endophthalmitis involving : Case series. : 24-year-old female with a history of Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and keratitis presented with a geographic epithelial defect and infiltrate in the left eye. Cultures were positive for HSV-1 and . Keratitis resolved with topical vancomycin and oral valacyclovir. A 65-year-old female with a history of type II diabetes and failed therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty presented with inferior corneal graft haze and vitreous inflammation of the right eye. Therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty and pars plana vitrectomy were performed, and the corneal button returned positive for . The patient was treated with topical and intravitreal vancomycin as well as topical and systemic steroids. : These cases expand the literature on keratitis and endophthalmitis and corroborate the role of steroid use and prior surgery as paramount risk factors.
Al-Moujahed A, Chodosh J. Outcomes of an Algorithmic Approach to Treating Mild Ocular Alkali Burns. JAMA Ophthalmol 2015;133(10):1214-6.
Alageel SA, Arafat SN, Salvador-Culla B, Kolovou PE, Jahanseir K, Kozak A, Braithwaite GJC, Ciolino JB. Corneal Cross-Linking With Verteporfin and Nonthermal Laser Therapy. Cornea 2018;37(3):362-368.Abstract
PURPOSE: To test whether verteporfin with a nonthermal laser increases corneal mechanical stiffness and resistance to enzymatic degradation ex vivo. METHODS: Thirty human corneas (n = 5 per group) were treated with verteporfin alone (V), irradiated with nonthermal laser therapy (689 nm) alone (NTL), or received combined treatment of verteporfin with nonthermal laser therapy for 1 sequence (V+NTL1) or 6 sequences (V+NTL6) of 1 minute of NTL exposure. Positive controls were pretreated with 0.1% riboflavin/20% dextran every 3 to 5 minutes for 30 minutes and irradiated with ultraviolet light type A (λ = 370 nm, irradiance = 3 mW/cm) for 30 minutes using the Dresden protocol (R+UVA). Untreated corneas were used as negative controls. The corneal biomechanical properties were measured with enzymatic digestion, compression, creep, and tensile strength testing. RESULTS: V+NTL6- and R+UVA-treated corneas acquired higher rigidity and more pronounced curvature than untreated corneas. The stress-strain tests showed that V+NTL6 and R+UVA corneas became significantly stiffer than controls (P < 0.005). The V+NTL6 group seemed to be slightly stiffer than the R+UVA group, although the differences were not statistically significant. V+NTL6 corneas were found to have a significantly lower absolute creep rate (-1.87 vs. -3.46, P < 0.05) and significantly higher maximum stress values (7.67 vs. 3.02 P < 0.05) compared with untreated corneas. CONCLUSIONS: Verteporfin-NTL (V+NTL6) increases corneal mechanical stiffness and resistance to enzymatic collagenase degradation. Although a clinical study is needed, our results suggest that V+NTL6 induces corneal cross-linking and corneal biomechanical changes that are similar to those induced by standard corneal collagen cross-linking.
Alhatem A, Cavalcanti B, Hamrah P. In vivo confocal microscopy in dry eye disease and related conditions. Semin Ophthalmol 2012;27(5-6):138-48.Abstract
A new era of ocular imaging has recently begun with the advent of in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM), shedding more light on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and potential treatment strategies for dry eye disease. IVCM is a noninvasive and powerful tool that allows detection of changes in ocular surface epithelium, immune and inflammatory cells, corneal nerves, keratocytes, and meibomian gland structures on a cellular level. Ocular surface structures in dry eye-related conditions have been assessed and alterations have been quantified using IVCM. IVCM may aid in the assessment of dry eye disease prognosis and treatment, as well as lead to improved understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms in this complex disease. Further, due to visualization of subclinical findings, IVCM may allow detection of disease at much earlier stages and allow stratification of patients for clinical trials. Finally, by providing an objective methodology to monitor treatment efficacy, image-guided therapy may allow the possibility of tailoring treatment based on cellular changes, rather than on clinical changes alone.
Amouzegar A, Mittal SK, Sahu A, Sahu SK, Chauhan SK. Mesenchymal Stem Cells Modulate Differentiation of Myeloid Progenitor Cells During Inflammation. Stem Cells 2017;35(6):1532-1541.Abstract
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) possess distinct immunomodulatory properties and have tremendous potential for use in therapeutic applications in various inflammatory diseases. MSCs have been shown to regulate pathogenic functions of mature myeloid inflammatory cells, such as macrophages and neutrophils. Intriguingly, the capacity of MSCs to modulate differentiation of myeloid progenitors (MPs) to mature inflammatory cells remains unknown to date. Here, we report the novel finding that MSCs inhibit the expression of differentiation markers on MPs under inflammatory conditions. We demonstrate that the inhibitory effect of MSCs is dependent on direct cell-cell contact and that this intercellular contact is mediated through interaction of CD200 expressed by MSCs and CD200R1 expressed by MPs. Furthermore, using an injury model of sterile inflammation, we show that MSCs promote MP frequencies and suppress infiltration of inflammatory cells in the inflamed tissue. We also find that downregulation of CD200 in MSCs correlates with abrogation of their immunoregulatory function. Collectively, our study provides unequivocal evidence that MSCs inhibit differentiation of MPs in the inflammatory environment via CD200-CD200R1 interaction. Stem Cells 2017;35:1532-1541.
Amparo F, Shikari H, Saboo U, Dana R. Corneal fluorescein staining and ocular symptoms but not Schirmer test are useful as indicators of response to treatment in chronic ocular GVHD. Ocul Surf 2018;16(3):377-381.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate long-term ocular surface clinical signs and symptoms response to therapy in patients with chronic ocular GVHD. METHODS: Retrospective review and data modeling. We reviewed the records of post-bone marrow transplantation patients who were newly diagnosed with ocular GVHD and initiated therapy, and analyzed changes in symptoms (Ocular Surface Disease Index [OSDI]; Symptom Assessment in Dry Eye [SANDE]) and signs (corneal fluorescein staining [CFS]; Schirmer test). We used a LOESS technique to fit a model in function of data variations and obtain a predictive value of the scores progression over time. RESULTS: The records of 123 patients who were followed-up for over 2 years (up to 62 months) were reviewed. The median baseline scores recorded were: OSDI 52 units, SANDE 62.2 units, CFS 2.0 Oxford units, and Schirmer 4 mm. After six months of follow up, scores improved for OSDI (-18.6 units, p = 0.007), SANDE (23.7 units, p = 0.01), and CFS (-0.7 Oxford units, p < 0.001). Data analysis showed that after a 2-year follow up the three parameters continued to improve: OSDI -13.67 units (27% reduction), SANDE -17.55 units (28%), CFS -1.1 units (54%), but Schirmer test scores progressively worsened -1.2 mm (22%). CONCLUSION: In patients with ocular GVHD symptoms and corneal fluorescein staining improved after initiation of treatment, meanwhile Schirmer scores declined progressively. This indicates that appropriate treatment in chronic ocular GVHD can lead to mid- and long-term improvements in symptoms and corneal epitheliopathy; however, sustained reduction in Schirmer test scores suggests chronic tear production impairment.
Amparo F, Schaumberg DA, Dana R. Comparison of Two Questionnaires for Dry Eye Symptom Assessment: The Ocular Surface Disease Index and the Symptom Assessment in Dry Eye. Ophthalmology 2015;122(7):1498-503.Abstract

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to compare patient-reported symptoms of dry eye disease (DED) as assessed by the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), a 12-item symptom frequency-based questionnaire, and the Symptom Assessment iN Dry Eye (SANDE), a 2-item frequency- and severity-based visual analog scale. DESIGN: Clinic-based evaluation of a diagnostic test. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 114 patients with DED. METHODS: Patients were administered the OSDI and SANDE questionnaires at baseline and follow-up visits to evaluate DED-related symptoms. The correlations between both questionnaires' scores were evaluated using the Spearman coefficient, and their clinical differences were assessed using Bland-Altman analysis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Baseline and follow-up visit OSDI and SANDE dry eye symptom scores. RESULTS: At the baseline visit, the OSDI and SANDE questionnaire scores were significantly correlated (R = 0.64; P < 0.001). Moreover, a significant correlation was found between changes in the OSDI and SANDE scores from baseline to follow-up visits (R = 0.47; P < 0.001). A Bland-Altman analysis, after score normalization, revealed a difference (bias) of less than 2 centesimal units between the scores of the 2 questionnaires. CONCLUSIONS: Data collected from the SANDE questionnaire showed a significant correlation and negligible score differences with those from the OSDI, suggesting that the SANDE visual analog scale-based questionnaire has the potential to provide clinicians with a short, quick, and reliable measure for DED symptoms.

Amparo F, Yin J, Di Zazzo A, Abud T, Jurkunas UV, Hamrah P, Dana R. Evaluating Changes in Ocular Redness Using a Novel Automated Method. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2017;6(4):13.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate interobserver concordance in measured ocular redness among a group of raters using an objective computer-assisted method (ocular redness index [ORI]) and a group of clinicians using an ordinal comparative scale. METHODS: We conducted a prospective study to evaluate ocular redness in clinical photographs of 12 patients undergoing pterygium surgery. Photographs were acquired preoperatively, and at 1 week and 1 month postoperatively. One group of clinicians graded conjunctival redness in the photographs using an image-based comparative scale. A second group applied the ORI to measure redness in the same photographs. We evaluated redness change between time points, level of agreement among raters, and assessed redness score differences among observers within each group. RESULTS: Interobserver agreement using the image-based redness scale was 0.458 (P < 0.001). Interobserver agreement with the ORI was 0.997 (P < 0.001). We observed statistically significant differences among clinicians' measurements obtained with the image-based redness scale (P < 0.001). There were no significant differences among measurements obtained with the ORI (P = 0.27). We observed a significant change in redness between baseline and follow-up visits with all scoring methods. Detailed analysis of redness change was performed only in the ORI group due to availability of continuous scores. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that the ORI scores provide higher consistency among raters than ordinal scales, and can discriminate redness changes that clinical observers often can miss. TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: The ORI may be a reliable alternative to measure ocular redness objectively in the clinic and in clinical trials.

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