Cornea

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Veldman PB, Dye PK, Holiman JD, Mayko ZM, Sáles CS, Straiko MD, Stoeger CG, Terry MA. Stamping an S on DMEK Donor Tissue to Prevent Upside-Down Grafts: Laboratory Validation and Detailed Preparation Technique Description. Cornea 2015;34(9):1175-8.Abstract

PURPOSE: To report endothelial cell loss (ECL) caused by a novel S-stamp preparation technique for Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK). METHODS: Six cadaveric human corneas were prepared for DMEK transplantation using a single standardized technique, including the application of a dry ink gentian violet S-stamp to the stromal side of Descemet membrane. Endothelial cell death was evaluated and quantified using computerized analysis of vital dye staining. RESULTS: ECL caused by the S-stamp was 0.6% (range 0.1%-1.0%), which comprised less than one-tenth of the total ECL caused by our preparation of the DMEK graft from the start to finish, including recovery, prestripping, S-stamping, and trephination (13.7% total ECL, range 9.9%-17.6%). CONCLUSIONS: Our novel S-stamp donor tissue preparation technique is intuitive to learn and holds the promise of preventing iatrogenic primary graft failure due to upside-down grafts without causing unacceptable increases in ECL.

Venkateswaran N, Klavdianou O, Kondylis G, Kosmidis I, Palioura S. Paraneoplastic Pemphigus Associated with Bilateral Corneal Perforations in Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-3.Abstract
PURPOSE: To describe a case of paraneoplastic pemphigus (PNP) presenting as spontaneous bilateral corneal perforations in a patient with follicular dendritic cell sarcoma. METHODS: Retrospective chart review Results: A 73-year-old Greek woman with a history of follicular dendritic cell sarcoma (FDCS) presented with bilateral corneal perforations and a cicatrizing conjunctivitis. Her diagnosis was consistent with PNP with corneal and conjunctival involvement after a change in her chemotherapy regimen from intravenous cyclophosphamide to gemcitabine. She was treated with a multilayered amniotic membrane in the right eye and cyanoacrylate glue in the left eye. Systemic intravenous cyclophosphamide and oral prednisone were re-started. Both perforations healed but the patient passed away soon after precluding further follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Ocular manifestations of PNP can rarely present with spontaneous corneal perforations. This is the first case of FDCS-associated PNP with corneal involvement. Such cases should be diagnosed expediently and managed with aggressive systemic immunosuppressive therapy.
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Wang JC, Rudnisky CJ, Belin MW, Ciolino JB, Group BTKS1. Outcomes of Boston keratoprosthesis type 1 reimplantation: multicentre study results. Can J Ophthalmol 2018;53(3):284-290.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the visual and anatomical outcomes of Boston keratoprosthesis (Kpro) type 1 reimplantation. DESIGN: Subgroup analysis of multicentre prospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Of 303 eyes that underwent Kpro implantation between January 2003 and July 2008 by 1 of 19 surgeons at 18 medical centres, 13 eyes of 13 patients who underwent reimplantation of Boston Kpro type 1 were compared with 13 eyes of 13 diagnosis-matched patients who underwent initial implantation. METHODS: Forms reporting preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative parameters were prospectively collected and analyzed. Main outcome measures were Kpro retention and logMAR visual acuity. RESULTS: After a mean follow-up time of 17.1 ± 17.6 months, the retention of both initial and repeat Kpro implantation was 92.3% (12/13 in both groups), and 62% of initial implantation and 58% of repeat implantation eyes achieved visual acuity better than 20/200. Vision worse than 20/200 was often due to glaucoma or posterior segment pathology. Best-recorded logMAR visual acuity was significantly improved postoperatively in both groups (p < 0.001), and there was no statistically significant difference in final logMAR visual acuity between the 2 groups (p = 0.89). Sterile keratolysis (n = 4) and fungal infection (n = 5) were the most common causes of initial Kpro failure in the repeat Kpro group. The single failure in the repeat Kpro implantation group was due to fungal keratitis, and in the control group it was related to Kpro extrusion. CONCLUSIONS: Repeat Kpro implantation is a viable option after failed initial Kpro, with visual and anatomical outcomes comparable to those of initial procedures.
Wang Y, Rao R, Jacobs DS, Saeed HN. Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem Treatment for Ocular Surface Disease in Pediatric Patients With Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. Am J Ophthalmol 2019;201:1-8.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report the outcomes of prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem (PROSE) treatment in pediatric patients with chronic ocular surface disease associated with Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN). DESIGN: Retrospective, interventional case series. METHODS: Patients aged 18 years or younger seen in consultation for PROSE treatment at a single center between January 1992 and December 2016 with a history of SJS/TEN were reviewed. Demographics, etiology of SJS/TEN, age at treatment milestones, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) at treatment milestones, and treatment failures were recorded. BCVA at the initial presentation visit was compared to BCVA at the time of PROSE device dispense and at the last recorded visit. RESULTS: Twenty-seven female and 22 male patients were reviewed. Reported etiology was antibiotic (n = 19), antiepileptic (n = 9), antipyretic (n = 9), other (n = 3), and unknown (n = 9). The mean age was 6.4 years at disease onset and 9.3 years at time of initial presentation. The mean duration of follow-up was 5.45 years. The median BCVA at the initial presentation was 0.6 logMAR (20/80 Snellen), and was significantly improved to 0.18 logMAR (20/30 Snellen) at the time a PROSE device was dispensed (P < .0001). The median BCVA at the last recorded visit was significantly improved to 0.18 logMAR (20/30 Snellen, P = .0004). There were 15 patients who failed PROSE treatment (30.6%). CONCLUSIONS: PROSE treatment is feasible in over two thirds of pediatric patients with chronic ocular surface disease related to SJS/TEN and results in significant improvement in vision that is durable over a period of many years.
Wang J, Chen D, Sullivan DA, Xie H, Li Y, Liu Y. Expression of Lubricin in the Human Amniotic Membrane. Cornea 2020;39(1):118-121.Abstract
PURPOSE: Lubricin, a boundary lubricant, is the body's unique antiadhesive, antifibrotic, antifriction, and antiinflammatory glycoprotein. This amphiphile is produced by numerous tissues and acts to regulate a number of processes, such as homeostasis, shear stress, tissue development, innate immunity, inflammation, and wound healing. We hypothesize that lubricin is also synthesized and expressed by the amniotic membrane (AM), which also possesses antiadhesive, antifibrotic, and antiinflammatory properties. We also hypothesize that lubricin, at least in part, mediates these AM capabilities. Our goal was to test our hypothesis. METHODS: We obtained multiple samples of fresh, cryopreserved (CP), and freeze-dried (FD) human AMs, as well as fresh placental tissue as positive controls, and processed them for light microscopy, immunofluorescence, and western blot analyses. We also evaluated the ability of recombinant human lubricin to associate with FD-AMs. RESULTS: Our results demonstrate that all fresh placental, fresh AM, and CP-AM samples contained lubricin. Lubricin was expressed in placental chorionic villi, AM epithelial and stromal cells, and CP-AM epithelia. No lubricin could be detected in FD-AMs but could be restored in FD-AMs after overnight incubation with recombinant human lubricin. CONCLUSIONS: This study supports our hypothesis that lubricin is expressed in human AMs. In addition, our data show that preservation methods influence the extent of this expression. Indeed, the disappearance of lubricin in FD-AMs may explain why dried AM reportedly loses its antiinflammatory and antiscarring abilities. It is possible that lubricin may mediate, at least in part, many of the biological properties of AMs.
Wang L, Shankarappa SA, Tong R, Ciolino JB, Tsui JH, Chiang HH, Kohane DS. Topical drug formulations for prolonged corneal anesthesia. Cornea 2013;32(7):1040-5.Abstract
PURPOSE: Ocular local anesthetics currently used in routine clinical practice for corneal anesthesia are short acting and their ability to delay corneal healing makes them unsuitable for long-term use. In this study, we examined the effect of the site 1 sodium channel blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX) on the duration of corneal anesthesia, applied with either proparacaine (PPC) or the chemical permeation enhancer octyl-trimethyl ammonium bromide (OTAB). The effect of test solutions on corneal healing was also studied. METHODS: Solutions of TTX, PPC, and OTAB, singly or in combination, were applied topically to the rat cornea. The blink response, an indirect measure of corneal sensitivity, was recorded using a Cochet-Bonnet esthesiometer, and the duration of corneal anesthesia was calculated. The effect of test compounds on the rate of corneal epithelialization was studied in vivo after corneal debridement. RESULTS: Combination of TTX and PPC resulted in corneal anesthesia that was 8 to 10 times longer in duration than that from either drug administered alone, whereas OTAB did not prolong anesthesia. The rate of corneal healing was moderately delayed after coadministration of TTX and PPC. CONCLUSIONS: Coadministration of TTX and PPC significantly prolonged corneal anesthesia, but in view of delayed corneal reepithelialization, caution is suggested in the use of the drug combination.
Wang Y, Carreno-Galeano JT, Singh RB, Dana R, Yin J. Long-term Outcomes of Punctal Cauterization in the Management of Ocular Surface Diseases. Cornea 2021;40(2):168-171.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the long-term outcomes of surgical occlusion of lacrimal puncta using thermal cautery in the management of ocular surface diseases. METHODS: We reviewed medical records of 80 consecutive patients from a single academic center who underwent punctal cauterization. Patient demographics, ocular history, symptoms, and signs of ocular surface diseases pre- and post-cauterization were recorded. RESULTS: A total of 80 patients (171 puncta) were included, with an average age of 59 years and a follow-up duration of 27 months. The most common ocular morbidity was ocular graft-versus-host disease (n = 36), followed by primary keratoconjunctivitis sicca (n = 15). Indications for punctal cauterization included plug loss (n = 51), difficulty in plug fitting (n = 11), plug-related complications (n = 6), recanalization of previous cauterization (n = 7), and severe ocular surface disease requiring permanent punctal closure (n = 4). After punctal cauterization, the percentage of eyes with severe (21%) and moderate (25%) dry eye decreased significantly (8% and 19% at 3 months and 6% and 17% at 12 months, P = 0.0006). Fifty-four percent of patients reported improvement in their symptoms. The rate of recanalization was 21% during the follow-up period. The use of topical corticosteroids was associated with higher recanalization rate. Associated complications were limited to temporary pain and swelling. CONCLUSIONS: Punctal cauterization is an effective modality in treating severe ocular surface diseases in patients who repeatedly lose punctal plugs, and it can be easily performed in a clinic setting without major complications. However, cauterization may need to be repeated in up to a quarter of cases because of recanalization.
Wang X, Jacobs DS. Contact Lenses for Ocular Surface Disease. Eye Contact Lens 2022;48(3):115-118.Abstract
ABSTRACT: Ocular surface disease can be difficult to manage, causing patients discomfort and vision loss. Therapeutic contact lenses are an important treatment option that is often neglected because it is conventional wisdom that eyes that are dry or irritated are not good candidates for contact lens. In this focused review, we consider the substantial literature on the use of bandage soft contact lenses (BSCL), scleral lenses, and customized prosthetic devices in the management of ocular graft-vs-host disease. Reports on BSCLs for recurrent corneal erosion are reviewed, as is literature on scleral lenses and prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem treatment for Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Clinical pearls for fitting BSCLs are presented, and the issue of antibiotic prophylaxis is considered.
Wang J, Liu Y, Kam WR, Li Y, Sullivan DA. Toxicity of the cosmetic preservatives parabens, phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin on human meibomian gland epithelial cells. Exp Eye Res 2020;196:108057.Abstract
Recently, we discovered that the cosmetic preservatives, benzalkonium chloride and formaldehyde, are especially toxic to human meibomian gland epithelial cells (HMGECs). Exposure to these agents, at concentrations approved for human use, leads within hours to cellular atrophy and death. We hypothesize that these effects are not unique, and that other cosmetic preservatives also exert adverse effects on HMGECs. Such compounds include parabens, phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin, which have been reported to be toxic to corneal and conjunctival epithelial cells, the liver and kidney, as well as to irritate the eye. To test our hypothesis, we examined the influence of parabens, phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin on the morphology, signaling, survival, proliferation and lipid expression of immortalized (I) HMGECs. These cells were cultured under proliferating or differentiating conditions with varying concentrations of methylparaben, ethylparaben, phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin for up to 5 days. We monitored the signaling ability, appearance, number and neutral lipid content of the IHMGECs, as well as their lysosome accumulation. Our findings show that a 30-min exposure of IHMGECs to these preservatives results in a significant reduction in the activity of the Akt pathway. This effect is dose-dependent and occurs at concentrations equal to (chlorphenesin) and less than (all others) those dosages approved for human use. Further, a 24-h treatment of the IHMGECs with concentrations of methylparaben, ethylparaben, phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin close to, or at, the approved human dose induces cellular atrophy and death. At all concentrations tested, no preservative stimulated IHMGEC proliferation. Of particular interest, it was not possible to evaluate the influence of these preservatives, at close to human approved dosages, on IHMGEC differentiation, because the cells did not survive the treatment. In summary, our results support our hypothesis and show that methylparaben, ethylparaben, phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin are toxic to IHMGECs.
Webster A, Chintala SK, Kim J, Ngan M, Itakura T, Panjwani N, Argüeso P, Barr JT, Jeong S, Elizabeth Fini M. Dynasore protects the ocular surface against damaging stress. PLoS One 2018;13(10):e0204288.Abstract
Water soluble "vital" dyes are commonly used clinically to evaluate health of the ocular surface; however, staining mechanisms remain poorly understood. Recent evidence suggests that sublethal damage stimulates vital dye uptake by individual living cells. Since cell damage can also stimulate reparative plasma membrane remodeling, we hypothesized that dye uptake occurs via endocytic vesicles. In support of this idea, we show here that application of oxidative stress to relatively undifferentiated monolayer cultures of human corneal epithelial cells stimulates both dye uptake and endocytosis, and that dye uptake is blocked by co-treatment with three different endocytosis inhibitors. Stress application to stratified and differentiated corneal epithelial cell cultures, which are a better model of the ocular surface, also stimulated dye uptake; however, endocytosis was not stimulated, and two of the endocytosis inhibitors did not block dye uptake. The exception was Dynasore and its more potent analogue Dyngo-4a, both small molecules developed to target dynamin family GTPases, but also having off-target effects on the plasma membrane. Significantly, while Dynasore blocked stress-stimulated dye uptake at the ocular surface of ex vivo mouse eyes when treatment was performed at the same time as eyes were stressed, it had no effect when used after stress was applied and the ocular surface was already damaged. Thus, Dynasore could not be working by inhibiting endocytosis. Employing cytotoxicity and western blotting assays, we went on to demonstrate an alternative mechanism. We show that Dynasore is remarkably protective of cells and their surface glycocalyx, preventing damage due to stress, and thus precluding dye entry. These unexpected and novel findings provide greater insight into the mechanisms of vital dye uptake and point the direction for future study. Significantly, they also suggest that Dynasore and its analogues might be used therapeutically to protect the ocular surface and to treat ocular surface disease.
Weiss JS, Møller HU, Aldave AJ, Seitz B, Bredrup C, Kivelä T, Munier FL, Rapuano CJ, Nischal KK, Kim EK, Sutphin J, Busin M, Labbé A, Kenyon KR, Kinoshita S, Lisch W. IC3D classification of corneal dystrophies--edition 2. Cornea 2015;34(2):117-59.Abstract

PURPOSE: To update the 2008 International Classification of Corneal Dystrophies (IC3D) incorporating new clinical, histopathologic, and genetic information. METHODS: The IC3D reviewed worldwide peer-reviewed articles for new information on corneal dystrophies published between 2008 and 2014. Using this information, corneal dystrophy templates and anatomic classification were updated. New clinical, histopathologic, and confocal photographs were added. RESULTS: On the basis of revisiting the cellular origin of corneal dystrophy, a modified anatomic classification is proposed consisting of (1) epithelial and subepithelial dystrophies, (2) epithelial-stromal TGFBI dystrophies, (3) stromal dystrophies, and (4) endothelial dystrophies. Most of the dystrophy templates are updated. The entity "Epithelial recurrent erosion dystrophies" actually includes a number of potentially distinct epithelial dystrophies (Franceschetti corneal dystrophy, Dystrophia Smolandiensis, and Dystrophia Helsinglandica) but must be differentiated from dystrophies such as TGFBI-induced dystrophies, which are also often associated with recurrent epithelial erosions. The chromosome locus of Thiel-Behnke corneal dystrophy is only located on 5q31. The entity previously designated as a variant of Thiel-Behnke corneal dystrophy on chromosome 10q24 may represent a novel corneal dystrophy. Congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED, formerly CHED2) is most likely only an autosomal recessive disorder. The so-called autosomal dominant inherited CHED (formerly CHED1) is insufficiently distinct to continue to be considered a unique corneal dystrophy. On review of almost all of the published cases, the description appeared most similar to a type of posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy linked to the same chromosome 20 locus (PPCD1). Confocal microscopy also has emerged as a helpful tool to reveal in vivo features of several corneal dystrophies that previously required histopathologic examination to definitively diagnose. CONCLUSIONS: This revision of the IC3D classification includes an updated anatomic classification of corneal dystrophies more accurately classifying TGFBI dystrophies that affect multiple layers rather than are confined to one corneal layer. Typical histopathologic and confocal images have been added to the corneal dystrophy templates.

White TL, Deshpande N, Kumar V, Gauthier AG, Jurkunas UV. Cell cycle re-entry and arrest in G2/M phase induces senescence and fibrosis in Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy. Free Radic Biol Med 2021;164:34-43.Abstract
Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) is an age-related disease whereby progressive loss of corneal endothelial cells (CEnCs) leads to loss of vision. There is currently a lack of therapeutic interventions as the etiology of the disease is complex, with both genetic and environmental factors. In this study, we have provided further insights into the pathogenesis of the disease, showing a causal relationship between senescence and endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) using in vitro and in vivo models. Ultraviolet A (UVA) light induced EMT and senescence in CEnCs. Senescent cells were arrested in G2/M phase of the cell cycle and responsible for the resulting profibrotic phenotype. Inhibiting ATR signaling and subsequently preventing G2/M arrest attenuated EMT. In vivo, UVA irradiation induced cell cycle re-entry in post mitotic CEnCs, resulting in senescence and fibrosis at 1- and 2-weeks post-UVA. Selectively eliminating senescent cells using the senolytic cocktail of dasatinib and quercetin attenuated UVA-induced fibrosis, highlighting the potential for a new therapeutic intervention for FECD.
White ML, Chodosh J, Jang J, Dohlman C. Incidence of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Chemical Burns to the Eye. Cornea 2015;34(12):1527-33.Abstract

PURPOSE: This population-based observational study was designed to estimate the incidence and distribution of SJS-spectrum (Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and toxic epidermal Necrolysis/Stevens-Johnson syndrome overlap) and chemical burns (alkali or acid burn of the cornea/conjunctiva) in the United States and extrapolate these numbers to the world. METHODS: All patients evaluated in 961 hospital-based US emergency departments between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2012 were identified retrospectively using the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. SJS-spectrum and chemical burn cases were identified using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnostic codes. RESULTS: A mean of 3834 new SJS-spectrum cases per year were identified in the United States, resulting in an incidence rate of 12.35 new cases per million per year. Similarly, a mean of 15,865 new chemical burn cases per year were identified, resulting in an incidence rate of 51.10 new cases per million per year. CONCLUSIONS: If the incidence of SJS-spectrum is approximately uniform the world-over, extrapolation from the US figure would amount to approximately 86,500 new cases per year in the world. Extrapolation of ocular chemical burns to the world is difficult because the incidence and severity are anticipated to be higher in the developing world than in the United States. Still, using a US incidence rate, a minimum of 357,710 burn accidents would be expected to occur worldwide every year; there are presently too few data available to calculate the degree of severity and bilaterality.

Willcox MDP, Argüeso P, Georgiev GA, Holopainen JM, Laurie GW, Millar TJ, Papas EB, Rolland JP, Schmidt TA, Stahl U, Suarez T, Subbaraman LN, Uçakhan OÖ, Jones L. TFOS DEWS II Tear Film Report. Ocul Surf 2017;15(3):366-403.Abstract
The members of the Tear Film Subcommittee reviewed the role of the tear film in dry eye disease (DED). The Subcommittee reviewed biophysical and biochemical aspects of tears and how these change in DED. Clinically, DED is characterized by loss of tear volume, more rapid breakup of the tear film and increased evaporation of tears from the ocular surface. The tear film is composed of many substances including lipids, proteins, mucins and electrolytes. All of these contribute to the integrity of the tear film but exactly how they interact is still an area of active research. Tear film osmolarity increases in DED. Changes to other components such as proteins and mucins can be used as biomarkers for DED. The Subcommittee recommended areas for future research to advance our understanding of the tear film and how this changes with DED. The final report was written after review by all Subcommittee members and the entire TFOS DEWS II membership.
Williams IM, Pineda R, Neerukonda VK, Stagner AM. Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I-Associated Corneal Disease: A Clinicopathologic Study. Am J Ophthalmol 2021;231:39-47.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report the anterior segment clinical features and histopathologic and histochemical characteristics of explanted corneas from the largest reported cohort of patients with Hurler syndrome and other variants of mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) I undergoing corneal transplantation. DESIGN: Retrospective observational case series. METHODS: This institutional study reviewed 15 corneas from 9 patients with MPS I spectrum disease who underwent corneal transplant to treat corneal clouding between May 2011 and October 2020. We reviewed the clinical data, hematoxylin-eosin-stained sections, and histochemical stains, including those for mucopolysaccharides (Alcian blue and/or colloidal iron). The main outcome measures were pathology observed under light microscopy and postsurgical clinical outcomes. RESULTS: Nine patients underwent 15 corneal transplants for corneal clouding (14/15 procedures were deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty). All corneas had mucopolysaccharide deposition visible on hematoxylin-eosin-stained sections, which was highlighted in blue with histochemical stains. All corneas also showed alterations in Bowman's layer and the majority also showed epithelial abnormalities. CONCLUSION: MPS I shows significant corneal clouding that is successfully treated with deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty. The excised corneas show characteristic epithelial changes, disruption or breaks in Bowman's membrane, and amphophilic collections of stromal granular mucopolysaccharides which are visible on hematoxylin-eosin-stained sections and highlighted by special histochemical stains (Alcian blue and collodial iron). These changes, although subtle, should alert the pathologist to the possibility of an underlying lysosomal storage disorder.
Williams IM, Pineda R, Neerukonda VK, Stagner AM. Reply to Comment on: Mucopolysaccharidosis type I associated corneal disease: A clinicopathologic study. Am J Ophthalmol 2022;235:334-335.
Wirostko B, Rafii MJ, Sullivan DA, Morelli J, Ding J. Novel Therapy to Treat Corneal Epithelial Defects: A Hypothesis with Growth Hormone. Ocul Surf 2015;13(3):204-212.e1.Abstract

Impaired corneal wound healing that occurs with ocular surface disease, trauma, systemic disease, or surgical intervention can lead to persistent corneal epithelial defects (PCED), which result in corneal scarring, ulceration, opacification, corneal neovascularization, and, ultimately, visual compromise and vision loss. The current standard of care can include lubricants, ointments, bandage lenses, amniotic membranes, autologous serum eye drops, and corneal transplants. Various inherent problems exist with application and administration of these treatments, which often may not result in a completely healed surface. A topically applicable compound capable of promoting corneal epithelial cell proliferation and/or migration would be ideal to accelerate healing. We hypothesize that human growth hormone (HGH) is such a compound. In a recent study, HGH was shown to activate signal transducer and activators of transcription-5 (STAT5) signaling and promote corneal wound healing by enhancing corneal epithelial migration in a co-culture system of corneal epithelial cells and fibroblasts. These effects require an intact communication between corneal epithelia and fibroblasts. Further, HGH promotes corneal wound healing in a rabbit debridement model, thus demonstrating the effectiveness of HGH in vivo as well. In conclusion, HGH may represent an exciting and effective topical therapeutic to promote corneal wound healing.

Wirta DL, Torkildsen GL, Moreira HR, Lonsdale JD, Ciolino JB, Jentsch G, Beckert M, Ousler GW, Steven P, Krösser S. A Clinical Phase II Study to Assess Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of Waterfree Cyclosporine Formulation for Treatment of Dry Eye Disease. Ophthalmology 2019;126(6):792-800.Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of waterfree cyclosporine formulation (CyclASol) at 2 concentrations (0.1% and 0.05% of cyclosporine [CsA]) to vehicle when applied twice daily for 16 weeks in patients with dry eye disease (DED). An open-label Restasis (Allergan, Irvine, CA) arm was included to allow a direct comparison with an approved therapy. DESIGN: An exploratory phase II, multicenter, randomized, vehicle-controlled clinical trial, double-masked between CyclASol and vehicle with an open-label comparator. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred and seven eligible patients with a history of dry eye disease were randomized 1:1:1:1 to 1 of 4 treatment arms (CyclASol 0.05%, n = 51; CyclASol 0.1%, n = 51; vehicle, n = 52, and Restasis, n = 53). METHODS: After a 2-week run-in period with twice-daily dosing of Systane Balance (Alcon, Fort Worth, TX), patients were randomized to the respective treatment arm and dosed twice daily for 16 weeks. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The study was set up to explore efficacy on a number of sign and symptom end points including total and subregion corneal fluorescein staining, conjunctival staining, visual analog scale (VAS) for dry eye symptoms VAS severity, and Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire. RESULTS: CyclASol showed a consistent reduction in corneal and conjunctival staining compared with both vehicle and Restasis over the 16-week treatment period, with an early onset of effect (at day 14). A mixed-effects model-based approach demonstrated that the CyclASol drug effect was statistically significant over vehicle (total corneal staining P < 0.1, central corneal staining P < 0.001, conjunctival staining P < 0.01). This model-based analysis suggests a significant CyclASol effect for OSDI as symptom parameter (P < 0.01). The numbers of ocular adverse events were low in all treatment groups. CONCLUSIONS: CyclASol showed efficacy, safety, and tolerability at 2 concentrations in moderate-to-severe DED. In a direct head-to-head against open-label Restasis, CyclASol was found to have an earlier onset of action, as early as after 2 weeks of treatment, in relieving the signs of DED, as measured by corneal and conjunctival staining. The central region of the cornea, an important area for visual function in dry eye sufferers, was shown to have the most benefit from treatment. Excellent safety, tolerability, and comfort profile supports this new CsA formulation as having a positive benefit-to-risk ratio.
Wittmann J, Dieckow J, Schröder H, Hampel U, Garreis F, Jacobi C, Milczarek A, Hsieh KL, Pulli B, Chen JW, Hoogeboom S, Bräuer L, Paulsen FP, Schob S, Schicht M. Plasma gelsolin promotes re-epithelialization. Sci Rep 2018;8(1):13140.Abstract
Woundhealing disorders characterized by impaired or delayed re-epithelialization are a serious medical problem that is painful and difficult to treat. Gelsolin (GSN), a known actin modulator, supports epithelial cell regeneration and apoptosis. The aim of this study was to estimate the potential of recombinant gelsolin (rhu-pGSN) for ocular surface regeneration to establish a novel therapy for delayed or complicated wound healing. We analyzed the influence of gelsolin on cell proliferation and wound healing in vitro, in vivo/ex vivo and by gene knockdown. Gelsolin is expressed in all tested tissues of the ocular system as shown by molecular analysis. The concentration of GSN is significantly increased in tear fluid samples of patients with dry eye disease. rhu-pGSN induces cell proliferation and faster wound healing in vitro as well as in vivo/ex vivo. TGF-β dependent transcription of SMA is significantly decreased after GSN gene knockdown. Gelsolin is an inherent protein of the ocular system and is secreted into the tear fluid. Our results show a positive effect on corneal cell proliferation and wound healing. Furthermore, GSN regulates the synthesis of SMA in myofibroblasts, which establishes GSN as a key protein of TGF-β dependent cell differentiation.
Wolff D, Radojcic V, Lafyatis R, Cinar R, Rosenstein RK, Cowen EW, Cheng G-S, Sheshadri A, Bergeron A, Williams KM, Todd JL, Teshima T, Cuvelier GDE, Holler E, McCurdy SR, Jenq RR, Hanash AM, Jacobsohn D, Santomasso BD, Jain S, Ogawa Y, Steven P, Luo ZK, Dietrich-Ntoukas T, Saban D, Bilic E, Penack O, Griffith LM, Cowden M, Martin PJ, Greinix HT, Sarantopoulos S, Socie G, Blazar BR, Pidala J, Kitko CL, Couriel DR, Cutler C, Schultz KR, Pavletic SZ, Lee SJ, Paczesny S. National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Project on Criteria for Clinical Trials in Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease: IV. The 2020 Highly morbid forms report. Transplant Cell Ther 2021;27(10):817-835.Abstract
Chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) can be associated with significant morbidity, in part because of nonreversible fibrosis, which impacts physical functioning (eye, skin, lung manifestations) and mortality (lung, gastrointestinal manifestations). Progress in preventing severe morbidity and mortality associated with chronic GVHD is limited by a complex and incompletely understood disease biology and a lack of prognostic biomarkers. Likewise, treatment advances for highly morbid manifestations remain hindered by the absence of effective organ-specific approaches targeting "irreversible" fibrotic sequelae and difficulties in conducting clinical trials in a heterogeneous disease with small patient numbers. The purpose of this document is to identify current gaps, to outline a roadmap of research goals for highly morbid forms of chronic GVHD including advanced skin sclerosis, fasciitis, lung, ocular and gastrointestinal involvement, and to propose strategies for effective trial design. The working group made the following recommendations: (1) Phenotype chronic GVHD clinically and biologically in future cohorts, to describe the incidence, prognostic factors, mechanisms of organ damage, and clinical evolution of highly morbid conditions including long-term effects in children; (2) Conduct longitudinal multicenter studies with common definitions and research sample collections; (3) Develop new approaches for early identification and treatment of highly morbid forms of chronic GVHD, especially biologically targeted treatments, with a special focus on fibrotic changes; and (4) Establish primary endpoints for clinical trials addressing each highly morbid manifestation in relationship to the time point of intervention (early versus late). Alternative endpoints, such as lack of progression and improvement in physical functioning or quality of life, may be suitable for clinical trials in patients with highly morbid manifestations. Finally, new approaches for objective response assessment and exploration of novel trial designs for small populations are required.

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