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.
IMPORTANCE: The immunopathogenic mechanisms of dry eye disease (DED), one of the most common ophthalmic conditions, is incompletely understood. Data from this prospective, double-masked, randomized trial demonstrate that targeting interleukin 1 (IL-1) by topical application of an IL-1 antagonist is efficacious in significantly reducing DED-related patient symptoms and corneal epitheliopathy. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of treatment with the topical IL-1 receptor antagonist anakinra (Kineret; Amgen Inc) in patients having DED associated with meibomian gland dysfunction. DESIGN AND SETTING: Prospective phase 1/2, randomized, double-masked, vehicle-controlled clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: Seventy-five patients with refractory DED. INTERVENTIONS: Participants were randomized to receive treatment with topical anakinra, 2.5% (n = 30), anakinra, 5% (n = 15), or vehicle (1% carboxymethylcellulose) (n = 30) 3 times daily for 12 weeks. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Primary outcomes were corneal fluorescein staining (CFS), complete bilateral CFS clearance, dry eye-related symptoms as measured by the Ocular Surface Disease Index, tear film breakup time, and meibomian gland secretion quality. RESULTS: Topical anakinra was well tolerated compared with vehicle, with no reports of serious adverse reactions attributable to the therapy. After 12 weeks of therapy, participants treated with anakinra, 2.5%, achieved a 46% reduction in their mean CFS score (P = .12 compared with vehicle and P < .001 compared with baseline); participants treated with anakinra, 5%, achieved a 17% reduction in their mean CFS score (P = .88 compared with vehicle and P = .33 compared with baseline); and patients treated with vehicle achieved a 19% reduction in their mean CFS score (P = .11). Complete bilateral CFS clearance was noted in 8 of 28 patients (29%) treated with anakinra, 2.5%, vs in 2 of 29 patients (7%) treated with vehicle (P = .03). By week 12, treatment with anakinra, 2.5%, and treatment with anakinra, 5%, led to significant reductions in symptoms of 30% and 35%, respectively (P = .02 and P = .01, respectively, compared with vehicle); treatment with vehicle led to a 5% reduction in symptoms. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Treatment with topical anakinra, 2.5%, for 12 weeks was safe and significantly reduced symptoms and corneal epitheliopathy in patients with DED. These data suggest that the use of an IL-1 antagonist may have a role as a novel therapeutic option for patients with DED. TRIAL REGISTRATION clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00681109.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the correlation between changes in tear osmolarity, symptoms, and corneal fluorescein staining in patients with dry eye disease (DED).
DESIGN: Retrospective, clinic-based cohort study.
METHODS: In this single-institution study, we reviewed the charts of 186 patients with DED from whom we had data on tear osmolarity, symptoms, and corneal fluorescein staining from 2 separate visits. Main outcomes included the correlation of the changes between the 2 visits for tear osmolarity (TearLab system), symptoms (Ocular Surface Disease Index), and corneal fluorescein staining (modified Oxford scheme). For tear osmolarity and corneal fluorescein staining the scores from the eye with highest readings were analyzed. The correlations were repeated on subgroups based on proposed cutoffs for DED severity and on patients' treatment.
RESULTS: We found a modest, though statistically significant, correlation between changes in corneal fluorescein staining and symptoms of DED (R = 0.31; P < .001). However, there was no correlation between the recorded change in tear osmolarity and symptoms (R = -0.091; P = .38) or between changes in tear osmolarity and corneal fluorescein staining (R = -0.02; P = .80). This lack of correlation was consistent in all the subgroups studied. A multivariate analysis revealed that changes in corneal fluorescein staining had predictive value on symptom changes, whereas tear osmolarity changes did not.
CONCLUSIONS: Changes in tear osmolarity do not correlate significantly with changes in patient symptoms or corneal fluorescein staining in dry eye disease.
PURPOSE: To develop and validate a novel automated system to assess ocular redness (OR) in clinical images. METHODS: We developed a novel software that quantifies OR in digital images based on a mathematic algorithm using a centesimal continuous scoring scale. Subsequently, we conducted a study to validate the scores obtained with this system by correlating them with those obtained by two physicians using two image-based comparative subjective scales, the Efron and the Validated Bulbar Redness (VBR) grading scales. Additionally, we evaluated the level of clinical agreement between the Ocular Redness Index (ORI) score and the two image-based methods by means of the Bland-Altman analysis. Main outcome measures included correlation and level of agreement between the ORI score, Efron score, and the VBR score. RESULTS: One hundred and two clinical photographs of eyes with OR were evaluated. The ORI scores significantly correlated with the scores obtained by the two clinicians using the Efron (Observer 1, R=0.925, P<0.001; Observer 2, R=0.857, P<0.001), and VBR (Observer 1, R=0.830, P<0.001; Observer 2, R=0.821, P<0.001) scales. The Bland-Altman analysis revealed levels of disagreement of up to 30 and 27 units for the ORI-Efron and ORI-VBR score comparisons, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The ORI provides an objective and continuous scale for evaluating ocular injection in an automated manner, and without need for a trained physician for scoring. The ORI may be used as a new alternative for objective OR evaluation in clinics and in clinical trials.
PURPOSE: To investigate the feasibility of remote assessment and follow-up of dry eye symptoms using electronic versions of two validated questionnaires. METHODS: We conducted a prospective study of consecutive patients with dry eye disease (DED). Patients were enrolled during a clinical visit and were explained how to respond electronic versions of the Ocular surface Disease Index (OSDI) and the Symptom Assessment in Dry Eye (SANDE) questionnaires using a computer in the presence of investigators. A secure link to both questionnaires was sent to each patient every 2 weeks in order to respond and submit their symptoms over a 3-month period. We analyzed the number of patients who responded to both questionnaires, the recurrence, and the symptoms scores reported. RESULTS: A total of 1121 questionnaires were collected; 103 patients (85%) reported their symptoms at least once during the 3-month study duration. The majority of participants who completed the study (71.6%) responded remotely at least once per month during the 3-month duration of the study. The mean OSDI and SANDE scores from the total of remote evaluations were 34.9 ± 21.9 (range 0-97.5) and 50.3 ± 24.9 (range 0-100), respectively. There was a statistically significant correlation between the total scores collected with the two questionnaires (R = 0.67, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Patients are motivated to report DED symptoms while away from the clinic. Distance-based evaluation of DED symptoms is both feasible and convenient, and can be implemented to follow symptoms in large populations with chronic dry eye.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of topical pazopanib in the treatment of corneal neovascularization (CNV). METHODS: Twenty eyes of 20 patients with stable CNV were enrolled in a prospective, open label, noncomparative study and treated with topical pazopanib 0.5% for 3 weeks, and followed for 12 weeks. The primary endpoint was to determine the tolerability and safety of topical pazopanib in the treatment of CNV defined by the occurrence of ocular and systemic adverse events during the study. The secondary endpoint was to evaluate the effect of topical pazopanib on the reduction of (1) neovascular area (NA), defined as the area of the corneal vessels themselves, (2) invasion area (IA), defined as the fraction of the total cornea into which the vessels extend, (3) vessel length (VL), defined as the mean measurement of the extent of vessels from end to end, and (4) vessel caliber (VC), defined as the mean diameter of the corneal vessels. RESULTS: There were no severe adverse events following the use of topical pazopanib. Compared with the baseline visit, NA and VL showed a statistically significant decrease at week 3 (P = 0.02 and 0.01, respectively); and NA, IA, and VL statistically significantly decreased at week 12 (P = 0.03, 0.04, and <0.01, respectively). Visual acuity maintained without changes after the 12 week follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: This preliminary study suggests that topical treatment with pazopanib 0.5% is safe, well tolerated, and may have a role as an alternative for the treatment of CNV (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01257750).
PURPOSE: To examine the accuracy and predictive ability of B-scan ultrasonography in the post-repair assessment of an open globe injury. METHODS: In all, 965 open globe injuries treated at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary between 1 January 2000 and 1 June 2010 were retrospectively reviewed. A total of 427 ultrasound reports on 210 patients were analyzed. Ultrasound reports were examined for the following characteristics: vitreous hemorrhage, vitreous tag, retinal tear, RD (including subcategories total RD, partial RD, closed funnel RD, open funnel RD, and chronic RD), vitreous traction, vitreous debris, serous choroidal detachment, hemorrhagic choroidal detachment, kissing choroidal detachment, dislocated crystalline lens, dislocated intraocular lens (IOL), disrupted crystalline lens, intraocular foreign body (IOFB), intraocular air, irregular posterior globe contour, disorganized posterior intraocular contents, posterior vitreous detachment, choroidal vs retinal detachment, vitreal membranes, and choroidal thickening. The main outcome measure was visual outcome at final follow-up. RESULTS: Among 427 B-scan reports, there were a total of 57 retinal detachments, 19 retinal tears, 18 vitreous traction, 59 serous choroidal detachments, 47 hemorrhagic choroidal detachments, and 10 kissing choroidal detachments. Of patients with multiple studies, 26% developed retinal detachments or retinal tears on subsequent scans. Ultrasound had 100% positive predictive value for diagnosing retinal detachment and IOFB. The diagnoses of retinal detachment, disorganized posterior contents, hemorrhagic choroidal detachment, kissing choroidal detachment, and irregular posterior contour were associated with worse visual acuity at final follow-up. Disorganized posterior contents correlated with particularly poor outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: B-scan ultrasonography is a proven, cost-effective imaging modality in the management of an open globe injury. This tool can offer both diagnostic and prognostic information, useful for both surgical planning and further medical management.
PURPOSE: To assess the performance of a novel system for automated tortuosity estimation and interpretation. METHODS: A supervised strategy (driven by observers' grading) was employed to automatically identify the combination of tortuosity measures (i.e., tortuosity representation) leading to the best agreement with the observers. We investigated 18 tortuosity measures including curvature and density of inflection points, computed at multiple spatial scales. To leverage tortuosity interpretation, we propose the tortuosity plane (TP) onto which each image is mapped. Experiments were carried out on 140 images of subbasal nerve plexus of the central cornea, covering four levels of tortuosity. Three experienced observers graded each image independently. RESULTS: The best tortuosity representation was the combination of mean curvature at spatial scales 2 and 5. These tortuosity measures were the axes of the proposed TP (interpretation). The system for tortuosity estimation revealed strong agreement with the observers on a global and per-level basis. The agreement with each observer (Spearman's correlation) was statistically significant (αs = 0.05, P < 0.0001) and higher than that of at least one of the other observers in two out of three cases (ρOUR = 0.7594 versus ρObs3 = 0.7225; ρOUR = 0.8880 versus ρObs1 = 0.8017, ρObs3 = 0.7315). Based on paired-sample t-tests, these improvements were significant (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Our automated system stratifies images by four tortuosity levels (discrete scale) matching or exceeding the accuracy of experienced observers. Of importance, the TP allows the assessment of tortuosity on a two-dimensional continuous scale, thus leading to a finer discrimination among images.
Recent clinical research has highlighted important links between a number of diseases and the tortuosity of curvilinear anatomical structures like corneal nerve fibres, suggesting that tortuosity changes might detect early stages of specific conditions. Currently, clinical studies are mainly based on subjective, visual assessment, with limited repeatability and inter-observer agreement. To address these problems, we propose a fully automated framework for image-level tortuosity estimation, consisting of a hybrid segmentation method and a highly adaptable, definition-free tortuosity estimation algorithm. The former combines an appearance model, based on a Scale and Curvature-Invariant Ridge Detector (SCIRD), with a context model, including multi-range learned context filters. The latter is based on a novel tortuosity estimation paradigm in which discriminative, multi-scale features can be automatically learned for specific anatomical objects and diseases. Experimental results on 140 in vivo confocal microscopy images of corneal nerve fibres from healthy and unhealthy subjects demonstrate the excellent performance of our method compared to state-of-the-art approaches and ground truth annotations from 3 expert observers.
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to develop a modified ex vivo corneal cross-linking method that increases stromal resistance to enzymatic degradation for use as a carrier for the Boston keratoprosthesis. METHODS: Ex vivo cross-linking of human corneas was performed using Barron artificial anterior chambers. The corneas were deepithelialized, pretreated with riboflavin solution (0.1% riboflavin/20% dextran), and irradiated with ultraviolet A (UV-A) light (λ = 370 nm, irradiance = 3 mW/cm) for various durations. The combined effect of UV-A and gamma (γ) irradiation was also assessed using the commercially available γ-irradiated corneal donors. The corneas were then trephined and incubated at 37°C with 0.3% collagenase A solution. The time to dissolution of each cornea was compared across treatments. RESULTS: Deepithelialized corneas (no UV light, no riboflavin) dissolved in 5.8 ± 0.6 hours. Cross-linked corneas demonstrated increased resistance to dissolution, with a time to dissolution of 17.8 ± 2.6 hours (P < 0.0001). The corneal tissues' resistance to collagenase increased with longer UV-A exposure, reaching a plateau at 30 minutes. Cross-linking both the anterior and posterior corneas did not provide added resistance when compared with cross-linking the anterior corneas only (P > 0.05). γ-irradiated corneas dissolved as readily as deepithelialized controls regardless of whether they were further cross-linked (5.6 ± 1.2 hours) or not (6.1 ± 0.6 hours) (P = 0.43). CONCLUSIONS: Collagen cross-linking of the deepithelialized anterior corneal surface for 30 minutes conferred optimal resistance to in vitro keratolysis by collagenase A.
PURPOSE: To investigate the levels of neutrophil elastase (NE), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and myeloperoxidase (MPO) in tear washes of patients with ocular graft-vs-host disease (oGVHD). DESIGN: Case-control study. METHODS: Based on established criteria, oGVHD patients (n = 14; 28 eyes) and age-/sex-matched healthy controls (n = 14; 28 eyes) were enrolled. Tear washes were collected and analyzed for NE using a single-analyte enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). MMPs (1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 12), MPO, and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 were analyzed using multianalyte bead-based ELISA assays. Total MMP activity was measured using a fluorimetric assay. Correlation studies were performed between NE, MMP-8, MMP-9, and MPO within study groups. RESULTS: NE, MMP-8, MMP-9, and MPO levels were elevated in oGVHD tears when compared with controls (P < .0001). NE was the most elevated analyte. MMP activity was higher and TIMP-1 levels were lower in oGVHD than in control (P < .0001). In oGVHD, NE significantly correlated with MMP-8 (r = 0.92), MMP-9 (r = 0.90), and MPO (r = 0.79) (P < .0001). MMP-8 correlated with MMP-9 (r = 0.96, P < .0001), and MPO (r = 0.60, P = .001). MMP-9 correlated with MPO (r = 0.55, P = .002). In controls, NE, MMP-9, and MPO significantly correlated with each other (P < .0001). CONCLUSIONS: The marked increase in NE in oGVHD tears that correlated strongly with elevated MMP-8, MMP-9, and MPO suggests a common neutrophilic source and provides evidence of neutrophil activity on the ocular surface of oGVHD patients.
The glycocalyx is a dense and diverse coat of glycans and glycoconjugates responsible for maintaining cell surface integrity and regulating the interaction of cells with the external environment. Transmembrane mucins such as MUC1 and MUC16 comprise a major component of the epithelial glycocalyx and are currently used to monitor disease progression in cancer. At the ocular surface, multiple lines of evidence indicate that abnormal expression of the enzymes responsible for glycan biosynthesis during pathological conditions impairs the glycosylation of transmembrane mucins. It is now becoming clear that these changes contribute to modify the interaction of mucins with galectin-3, a multimeric lectin crucial for preserving the ocular surface epithelial barrier. This review highlights the potential of using the epithelial glycocalyx as a reliable source for the generation of biomarkers to diagnose and monitor ocular surface disease.
The function of the meibomian gland in the upper and lower eyelids is critical to maintaining homeostasis at the ocular surface. Highly specialized meibocytes within the gland must differentiate and accumulate intracellular lipid droplets that are released into the tear film following rupture of the cell membrane. Proteases and their inhibitors have been recognized as key players in remodeling extracellular matrices and promoting the normal integrity of glandular tissue. They modulate a wide range of biological processes, such as cell proliferation and differentiation, and can contribute to disease when aberrantly expressed. Deciphering the role of proteolytic activity in the meibomian gland offers an opportunity to gain a more comprehensive and fundamental understanding of the developmental, physiological, and pathological processes associated with this gland.
Glycosylation is an important and common form of posttranscriptional modification of proteins in cells. During the last decade, a vast array of biological functions has been ascribed to glycans because of a rapid evolution in glycomic technologies. Glycogenes that are highly expressed at the human ocular surface include families of glycosyltransferases, proteoglycans, and glycan degradation proteins, as well as mucins and carbohydrate-binding proteins, such as the galectins. On the apical glycocalyx, mucin O-glycans promote boundary lubrication, prevent bacterial adhesion and endocytic activity, and maintain epithelial barrier function through interactions with galectins. The emerging roles attributed to glycans are contributing to the appreciation of their biological capabilities at the ocular surface.
The cornea is a transparent avascular tissue on the anterior segment of the eye responsible for providing refractive power and forming a protective barrier against the external environment. Infectious and inflammatory conditions can compromise the structure of the cornea, leading to visual impairment and blindness. Galectins are a group of β-galactoside-binding proteins expressed by immune and non-immune cells that play pivotal roles in innate and adaptive immunity. In this brief review, we discuss how different members of this family of proteins affect both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses in the cornea, particularly in the context of infection, transplantation and wound healing. We further describe recent research showing beneficial effects of galectin-targeted therapy in corneal diseases.
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.
PURPOSE: To report a case of successful medical treatment with oral posaconazole in refractory fungal keratitis caused by Paecilomyces lilacinus. METHODS: Case report. RESULTS: A 57-year-old male, soft contact lens wearer presented with irritation, pain, photophobia, and reduced vision. Slit-lamp examination showed a large corneal epithelial defect with a peripheral infiltrate. The patient did not improve on fortified topical antibiotics. After the diagnosis of P. lilacinus fungal keratitis, oral voriconazole and topical antifungal therapy were started. Despite antifungal therapy, progressive disease required therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty. Postoperatively, because of clinical signs of recurrence and in vivo confocal microscopy findings of presumed hyphae in the cornea, intracameral miconazole was injected and oral posaconazole was started. The patient improved and demonstrated no hyphae 6 weeks after starting posaconazole. When posaconazole was stopped, the cornea remained clear with excellent acuity. However, because of acute graft rejection 2 months after stopping posaconazole, keratoprosthesis was implanted, with no evidence of infection at surgery or during the 3.5-year follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the use of oral posaconazole for Paecilomyces keratitis. Posaconazole might be indicated in the treatment of refractory Paecilomyces keratitis that is resistant to conventional therapy.
The cornea and its adnexa pose a unique situation of a tightly defined set of requirements for its function. This includes: transparency, perfect built to obtain appropriate refractive power, protective barrier from microbial invaders. Moreso, the cornea also endures extreme external physical conditions (temperature, high and low humidity, winds and alike). All these functions are maintained while preserving a constant state of homogenous wetting. Toward that end the cornea is equipped with an elaborated network of sensory neural network. While enabling the blinking reflex and maintaining the physiological steady state of wetting, this neural network also makes the cornea prone to the discomfort that with or without associated changes seen on medical examination. ISOPT Clinical 2018 discussion touched upon this hypercomplex situation, addressing the role of inflammation and its resulting discomfort in dry eye conditions. The discussion also engulfed the emerging neuropathic pain syndrome that is recently gaining more attention. Another related topic was the utilization of autologous serum tears and its ability to provide amelioration to desperate patients. Finally, the panel discussed the issue of treating corneal infection, including when and how to utilize steroids in the course of therapy. We assume the reader will find interest in this discussion that directly addresses issues seen day in and day out in our busy clinics.
The objective of this study was to evaluate which hyperelastic model could best describe the non-linear mechanical behavior of the cornea, in order to characterize the capability of the non-linear model parameters to discriminate structural changes in a damaged cornea. Porcine corneas were used, establishing two different groups: control (non-treated) and NaOH-treated (damaged) corneas (n = 8). NaOH causes a chemical burn to the corneal tissue, simulating a disease associated to structural damage of the stromal layer. Quasi-static uniaxial tensile tests were performed in nasal-temporal direction immediately after preparing corneal strips from the two groups. Three non-linear hyperelastic models (i.e. Hamilton-Zabolotskaya model, Ogden model and Mooney-Rivlin model) were fitted to the stress-strain curves obtained in the tensile tests and statistically compared. The corneas from the two groups showed a non-linear mechanical behavior that was best described by the Hamilton-Zabolotskaya model, obtaining the highest coefficient of determination (R > 0.95). Moreover, Hamilton-Zabolotskaya model showed the highest discriminative capability of the non-linear model parameter (Parameter A) for the tissue structural changes between the two sample groups (p = 0.0005). The present work determines the best hyperelastic model with the highest discriminative capability in description of the non-linear mechanical behavior of the cornea.