PURPOSE: Inflammatory macular hole is a rare complication of uveitis, and data on surgical outcomes of closure are scarce. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the anatomical and visual outcomes of conventional pars plana vitrectomy for patients with uveitis. METHODS: Noncomparative, interventional, and consecutive case series from 6 vitreoretinal surgical centers from 2007 to 2015. Twenty eyes of 19 patients were included with 4 patients separated as viral retinitis. The primary outcome was change in best-corrected visual acuity at Month 3. Secondary outcomes were closure of the macular hole and postoperative optical coherence tomography characteristics. RESULTS: All eyes underwent conventional three-port pars plana vitrectomy with indocyanine green-assisted internal limiting membrane peeling. Mean Snellen best-corrected visual acuity improved from 20/200 to 20/63 (P = 0.01 for a difference in logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution) at Month 3. Twelve (75%) of patients achieved 2 or more lines of visual acuity improvement by postoperative Month 3. Surgery resulted in decreased epiretinal membrane (P = 0.002), intraretinal fluid (P < 0.001), subretinal fluid (P = 0.029), central subfield thickness (P < 0.001), and central cube volume (P = 0.041). Surgical intervention achieved anatomical success, as measured by macular hole closure, in 13 (81%) of patients at postoperative Month 3. CONCLUSION: Patients with inflammatory macular hole respond well to conventional surgery, with good anatomical and visual acuity outcomes.
PURPOSE: To describe the outcomes of the use of rituximab in the treatment of refractory noninfectious scleritis. DESIGN: Retrospective case series. METHODS: Review of the medical charts of patients with noninfectious scleritis refractory to conventional immunomodulatory therapy who were seen at the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution between 2005 and 2015. The primary outcome measure in this study was steroid-free remission. Secondary outcomes were favorable response (decrease in scleritis activity score) and decrease in steroid dependence. RESULTS: There were 15 patients, with a mean follow-up duration of 34 months. Fourteen patients (93.3%) showed a clinical improvement, with 13 (86.6%) achieving a scleritis activity score of zero at 6 months. To date, 2 patients continue to enjoy durable drug-free remission (28 and 32 months follow-up). There was only 1 adverse effect recorded (infusion hypotension) requiring cessation of rituximab. CONCLUSION: Rituximab can be an effective treatment modality for recalcitrant noninfectious scleritis and, in some, can result in long-term durable drug-free remission.
PURPOSE: We performed nailfold capillary microscopy to explore microvasculature abnormalities in uveitis overall and uveitis stratified in various ways. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, case-control, observational study. One hundred and seven uveitis patients and 130 control subjects were included. We used a JH-1004 capillaroscope to perform nailfold capillary video microscopy on the fourth and fifth digits of each subject's nondominant hand. Videos were evaluated for hemorrhages, dilated capillary loops > 25 µm, and avascular zones > 200 µm. Univariate analyses were used for the assessment of case-control morphological differences and multivariate analyses were performed to assess the relation between nailfold capillaroscopic findings and uveitis subgroups. RESULTS: In univariate analysis, uveitis patients were more likely to have higher tortuosity ratings and reduced capillary density compared to controls (p < 0.001 for both); furthermore, dilated capillary loops, avascular zone and hemorrhages were more frequent in uveitis versus control subjects (p < 0.001 for all). Among cases, every unit increase in capillary density (vessels/mm) was associated with active uveitis (n = 72 cases) versus inactive disease (n = 35 cases; odds ratio (OR) = 1.7; (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.2-2.5) in multivariate analysis. Furthermore, the presence of any nailfold hemorrhage versus the absence of hemorrhage was more likely to be associated with posterior and panuveitis (n = 41 cases combined) compared to anterior and intermediate uveitis (n = 66 cases combined; OR = 5.8; 95% CI, 2.3-14.2). Moreover, we found a positive correlation between peripheral retinal leakage and nailfold capillaries dilation (r = 0.33; p = 0.015) that was not strictly significant based on the number of comparisons made. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides support for non-ocular capillary bed abnormalities in uveitis, with interesting correlations based on disease stage and anatomical classification.
Immunotherapy is a developing but very promising arsenal to treat cancer. Acquiring a more potent and effective approach in cancer immunotherapy is always the ultimate pursuance. CTL-based therapies are highly acclaimed recently due to its direct killing property. However, difficulty in obtaining adequate number of CTLs is still a major obstacle. In previous studies, it is shown that pluripotent stem cell-derived cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL)-especially the genetically engineered tumor antigen-specific CTLs-may serve as a good candidate for this goal. Here we introduce a novel approach in generating tumor antigen-specific CTLs from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by using both in vitro and in vivo priming mechanisms for the tumor management in a murine melanoma model.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: There is a paucity of large trials investigating the effect of management strategies for paediatric non-infectious uveitis on complications requiring surgery. The purpose of our study is to investigate whether earlier initiation of systemic immunosuppression in paediatric non-infectious uveitis is associated with fewer ophthalmic surgeries. METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted on 48 children with non-infectious uveitis assessed in 1998-2013. Patients were divided into uveitis diagnosed before December 2008 (group 1) and after January 2009 (group 2). Duration from uveitis onset to methotrexate initiation (U-MTX) and biological addition (U-Biologic) were reviewed. Follow-up visits with topical corticosteroids >3 times daily and active uveitis (≥1+ cells) during 3.5 years were documented. The main outcome measure was the need for ≥1 ophthalmic surgery at 3.5 years. RESULTS: In group 1, 69.5% of patients required ≥1 ophthalmic surgery at 3.5 years versus 26.9% in group 2 (p=0.005). U-MTX was 28.9±11.8 weeks and 14.2±10.0 weeks for groups 1 and 2 (p=0.028). U-Biologic was 134.6±46.0 weeks and 82.3±43.3 weeks for groups 1 and 2 (p=0.0016). Corticosteroid use >3 times daily was 85.9±52.7 weeks and 14.6±11.1 weeks for groups 1 and 2. Multivariate regression showed methotrexate initiation within 6 months of uveitis onset lowered the likelihood of needing ophthalmic surgery at 3.5 years (OR=6.2, 95% CI 1.2 to 33.4; p=0.033). Univariate regression demonstrated biological addition within 18 months of uveitis onset reduced the likelihood of requiring ophthalmic surgery (OR 12.57, 95% CI 1.28 to 123.48; p=0.030). CONCLUSION: Earlier control of uveitis by addition of immunosuppressive therapy reduced the need for ophthalmic surgery.
PURPOSE: To study the clinical features of endogenous endophthalmitis (EE) in sample patient populations from the USA and South Korea over an 8-year period. METHODS: We reviewed data from 128 eyes of 60 American and 48 Korean patients diagnosed with EE and compared their clinical characteristics. RESULTS: Fungemia and liver abscess were the most common extraocular infection sources among American (26.7%) and Korean patients (33.3%), respectively. Klebsiella pneumoniae and Candida species were the most common pathogens of EE in the Korean and the American patients, respectively. Endophthalmitis caused by fungi had a better visual prognosis than that caused by bacteria (p = 0.001). Vitrectomy was beneficial for eyes with EE due to virulent bacteria presenting with worse than counting finger vision. CONCLUSIONS: The predisposing conditions and responsible organisms for EE vary in different regions of the world. The visual prognosis was strongly influenced by the underlying pathogen.
AIMS: To describe and compare clinical features, complications and outcomes in patients with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA)-associated scleritis with those seen in idiopathic and other autoimmune-associated scleritis, and to further describe the features that may serve as an indicator of life-threatening systemic disease. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed electronic health records of all patients with scleritis seen at two tertiary care centres. Of 500 patients, 14 had GPA-associated scleritis and were included in this analysis. Measures included were age, gender, laterality, visual acuity and underlying systemic or ocular diseases. Clinical features (location, pain, inflammation) and ocular complications of these patients (decrease of vision, concomitant anterior uveitis and ocular hypertension) were studied and correlated. RESULTS: Fourteen of 500 patients with scleritis were GPA associated. Most of the patients with GPA-associated scleritis presented with sudden onset, bilateral, diffuse anterior scleral inflammation, with moderate-or-severe pain. Vision loss was not significantly different, and pain was more severe in these patients than in those with idiopathic scleritis. When compared with patients with other underlying autoimmune diseases, there were no significant differences found in epidemiological or clinical signs. Necrotising scleritis and corneal involvement were more commonly observed in GPA than in idiopathic scleritis and other autoimmune diseases and are often the presenting feature of the disease. CONCLUSIONS: The presence of necrotising changes or corneal involvement in the setting of scleral inflammation is highly suggestive of an underlying systemic vasculitis, of which GPA is the most common. These features should alert the doctor/optometrist and prompt a thorough diagnostic approach and an aggressive treatment given that it could reveal a life-threatening disease.
Since the first reported use in 2001 of an anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) agent, infliximab, for the treatment of uveitis, several new anti-TNF-α agents have emerged for the treatment of refractory noninfectious uveitides, although their use remains off-label in the US. These agents have demonstrated remarkable clinical antiinflammatory efficacy and a potential immunoregulatory role in selected uveitis patients, but it is currently unclear whether they can modify the natural history of disease. We review the rationale and clinical indications for this therapy, the differences between agents, how to manage dosing and intervals, and how to screen for and identify potential side effects. We also present a summary of the science behind the use of anti-TNF-α agents in ocular inflammation and the evidence for their efficacy.
PURPOSE: To describe the risk and risk factors for ocular hypertension (OHT) in adults with noninfectious uveitis. DESIGN: Retrospective, multicenter, cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Patients aged ≥18 years with noninfectious uveitis seen between 1979 and 2007 at 5 tertiary uveitis clinics. METHODS: Demographic, ocular, and treatment data were extracted from medical records of uveitis cases. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalent and incident OHT with intraocular pressures (IOPs) of ≥21 mmHg, ≥30 mmHg, and increase of ≥10 mmHg from documented IOP recordings (or use of treatment for OHT). RESULTS: Among 5270 uveitic eyes of 3308 patients followed for OHT, the mean annual incidence rates for OHT ≥21 mmHg and OHT ≥30 mmHg are 14.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 13.4-15.5) and 5.1% (95% CI, 4.7-5.6) per year, respectively. Statistically significant risk factors for incident OHT ≥30 mmHg included systemic hypertension (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.29); worse presenting visual acuity (≤20/200 vs. ≥20/40, aHR, 1.47); pars plana vitrectomy (aHR, 1.87); history of OHT in the other eye: IOP ≥21 mmHg (aHR, 2.68), ≥30 mmHg (aHR, 4.86) and prior/current use of IOP-lowering drops or surgery in the other eye (aHR, 4.17); anterior chamber cells: 1+ (aHR, 1.43) and ≥2+ (aHR, 1.59) vs. none; epiretinal membrane (aHR, 1.25); peripheral anterior synechiae (aHR, 1.81); current use of prednisone >7.5 mg/day (aHR, 1.86); periocular corticosteroids in the last 3 months (aHR, 2.23); current topical corticosteroid use [≥8×/day vs. none] (aHR, 2.58); and prior use of fluocinolone acetonide implants (aHR, 9.75). Bilateral uveitis (aHR, 0.69) and previous hypotony (aHR, 0.43) were associated with statistically significantly lower risk of OHT. CONCLUSIONS: Ocular hypertension is sufficiently common in eyes treated for uveitis that surveillance for OHT is essential at all visits for all cases. Patients with 1 or more of the several risk factors identified are at particularly high risk and must be carefully managed. Modifiable risk factors, such as use of corticosteroids, suggest opportunities to reduce OHT risk within the constraints of the overriding need to control the primary ocular inflammatory disease.
PURPOSE: To evaluate adalimumab as an immunomodulatory treatment for non-infectious ocular inflammatory diseases. METHODS: Characteristics of patients treated with adalimumab were abstracted in a standardized chart review. Main outcomes measured were control of inflammation, corticosteroid-sparing effect, and visual acuity. RESULTS: In total, 32 patients with ocular inflammation were treated with adalimumab. The most common ophthalmic diagnoses were anterior uveitis, occurring in 15 patients (47%), and scleritis, occurring in 9 patients (28%). At 6 months of therapy, among 15 eyes with active inflammation, 7 (47%) became completely inactive, and oral prednisone was reduced to ≤10 mg/day in 2 of 4 patients (50%). On average, visual acuity decreased by 0.13 lines during the first 6 months of treatment. Adalimumab was discontinued because of lack of effectiveness in four patients within 6 months. CONCLUSIONS: Adalimumab was moderately effective in controlling inflammation in a group of highly pre-treated cases of ocular inflammatory disease.
Although the phenomenon of fundus autofluorescence has been known for decades, it has only recently been recognized as a measure of retinal pigment epithelial function and health. Characteristic fundus autofluorescence patterns have been described in eyes affected by inflammation of the posterior segment, and these patterns have provided insights into the pathogenesis of posterior uveitis entities. In addition, preliminary data indicate that fundus autofluorescence characteristics may serve as markers of disease activity, allow prediction of visual prognosis, and may help determine the adequacy of therapy. We provide an overview of the current state of fundus autofluorescence imaging technology and review our current knowledge of fundus autoflourescence findings and their clinical use in the posterior uveitis entities.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy of chlorambucil in the treatment of serpiginous choroiditis. METHODS: Patient records from the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution (MERSI) were reviewed from over the past 10 years. In total, 17 patients with the diagnosis of serpiginous choroiditis treated with chlorambucil were identified. QuantiFERON gold was negative in all of them. Chlorambucil was started at 0.15 mg/kg and dosage was titrated up using weekly white blood cell (WBC) count to achieve a target cell number of 3.0-4.5 × 10(9) cells/L. The goal of therapy was to maintain this value for at least 6-9 months. Adverse effects, recurrence, rate of new choroidal neovascularization (CNVM), and visual acuity before and after treatment were recorded. RESULTS: The mean age of the 17 patients with the diagnosis of serpiginous choroiditis treated with chlorambucil was 46 years, and six patients (35%) were male. The mean duration of treatment for chlorambucil was 8.4 months. None of them developed cancer or persistent side-effects, with a mean follow-up of 53 months. Of the patients, 12 (71%) achieved an average of 45 (5-120) months drug-free remission in their last follow-up. Visual acuity of 33 treated eyes remained within two lines of Snellen acuity in 27 eyes (82%), improved in one eye (3%), and deteriorated in five eyes (15%). Leukopenia was the most common side-effect, which was reversible in all cases. CONCLUSIONS: Chlorambucil in a relatively short duration of time, with an escalating dose guided by weekly WBC was well tolerated, as well as effective in preventing recurrence and maintaining vision in patients with serpiginous choroiditis.
PURPOSE: To describe the clinical and molecular implications of a novel mutation in the NOD2/CARD15 gene on a family and its seven affected members. METHODS: We reviewed the clinical presentations of family members who came to our center for refractory uveitis. Genetic testing and molecular testing was performed. RESULTS: All affected members had adult onset recurrent non-granulomatous panuveitis. The inheritance pattern suggested an autosomal dominant disease and genetic analysis identified a novel mutation in the NOD2 gene that converted amino acid 600 from glutamate to alanine (E600A). Transfection of the E600A NOD2 into human embryonic kidney-293 (HEK293) cells revealed constitutive activation and a reduced ability to respond to the NOD2 ligand, muramyl dipeptide (MDP) as compared with wild-type NOD2. CONCLUSIONS: The E600A mutation in the NOD2 gene may confer a higher penetrance of uveitis but a later onset of milder forms of non-ocular involvement.
PURPOSE: To characterize the clinical features of patients with ocular inflammatory diseases (OID) who tested positive for atypical perinuclear anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (P-ANCA). METHODS: Retrospective case series of patients with OID seen at the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institute (MERSI) from April 2014 to April 2016. RESULTS: 813 patients were tested for ANCA with 34 patients (4%) being positive for atypical P-ANCA. Among those with positive atypical P-ANCA, the most frequent diagnoses were anterior uveitis in 62% (n = 21) followed by scleritis in 20% (n = 7). Only one patient had an episode of recurrent disease flare-up. All but one patient, who had concomitant C-ANCA seropositivity and granulomatosis with polyangiitis, had a favorable disease course with controlled inflammation using topical and/or systemic immunomodulatory therapy. CONCLUSION: In contrast to typical C-ANCA and P-ANCA, atypical P-ANCA seropositivity was not associated with severe vasculitis or poor prognosis in patients with the OID.
Inflammation can involve several ocular structures, including the sclera, retina, uvea, and cause vascular changes in these tissues. Although retinal vasculitis is the most common finding associated with uveitis involving the posterior segment, other vascular abnormalities may be seen in the retina. These include capillary non perfusion and ischemia, vascular occlusions, pre-retinal neovascularization, micro- and macro-aneurysms, and telangiectasia. Moreover, vasoproliferative tumors and subsequent Coat-like response can develop secondary to uveitis. Fluorescein angiography is ideal for the investigation of retinal vascular leakage and neovascularization, while optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) can provide depth resolved images from the superficial and deep capillary plexus and can demonstrate vascular remodeling. Choroidal vascular abnormalities primarily develop in the choriocapillaris or in the choroidal stroma, and can appear as flow void in OCTA and filling defect and vascular leakage in indocyanine green angiography. Extensive choriocapillaris non-perfusion in the presence of choroidal inflammation can increase the risk of choroidal neovascular membrane development. Iris vascular changes may manifest as dilation of vessels in stroma due to inflammation or rubeosis that is usually from ischemia in retinal periphery secondary to chronic inflammation. More severe forms of scleral inflammation, such as necrotizing scleritis, are associated with vascular occlusion in the deep episcleral plexus, which can lead to necrosis of sclera layer and uveal exposure.
PURPOSE: Management of granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA)-associated peripheral ulcerative keratitis (PUK) is challenging and lacks definite guidelines. We aimed to summarize our treatment and outcome experience with patients with GPA-PUK. METHODS: The Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution patient database was searched from 2005 to 2015 to identify patients with diagnosis of PUK who suffered from GPA. Individual patient histories were examined, and treatment strategies and outcomes were summarized. RESULTS: There were 16 patients who started treatment with a mean duration follow-up of 64 months (range: 12-110 mo). Rituximab and cyclophosphamide, either alone or in combination with other agents, were the most successful agents in controlling inflammation. Rituximab was administered in 11 patients with remission being achieved in all. Cyclophosphamide successfully controlled inflammation in 50% (5/10). Two of the patients (2/5, 40%) who had achieved initial control on cyclophosphamide had flares of their PUK. Two of 11 (18%) patients on rituximab had flares of scleritis and orbital inflammation but not PUK. Two patients, one in each treatment group, stopped treatment after achieving remission after 6 months of therapy but suffered disease recurrence within 2 months of treatment cessation. CONCLUSIONS: Rituximab achieved a high rate of disease control in PUK patients with GPA and is the preferred agent in halting disease progression.
Scleritis and uveitis are potentially blinding conditions that can be associated with systemic inflammatory diseases. Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a common rheumatic disorder of the elderly of uncertain etiology. Although there are a few published reports of scleritis and uveitis in PMR patients, the association of PMR to ocular inflammation has not been well established. The aim of this study is to report a series of PMR patients with scleritis and/or uveitis and review the prior published reports of this potential association. We retrospectively reviewed the medical charts of patients with PMR and scleritis or uveitis who were examined in the Ocular Immunology Service of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. We also performed a systematic literature search (PubMed; January 1990 until January 2014) to identify earlier published reports. Seven PMR patients with ocular inflammatory disease (OID) were included in our study: two with scleritis, three with anterior uveitis, and two with panuveitis. The onset of PMR preceded the occurrence of OID in six patients, and in one patient uveitis developed 2 months prior to PMR. Five patients demonstrated a temporal association between flares of PMR and OID. In four patients, OID flares developed during tapering of systemic prednisone prescribed for PMR. Four of the five patients who had relapsing PMR had recurrent or persistent uveitis over the course of follow-up. PMR may be associated with both scleritis and uveitis and should be considered as a possible underlying cause of OID.
Autoimmune uveitis is a sight-threatening intraocular inflammatory disease. For >30 years, the mouse model of experimental autoimmune uveitis has been employed to investigate disease mechanisms and test immunotherapeutic approaches. However, inflammation in this model is self-limited, and does not replicate the chronic, insidious nature prevalent in the human disease. Herein, a robust and reliable model of chronic autoimmune uveitis was developed and characterized in two strains of wild-type mice by modifying interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein dose and peptide fragments from conventional experimental autoimmune uveitis models. In both of these murine strains, immunization with our modified protocols resulted in a slowly progressive uveitis, with retinal scars and atrophy observed in the chronic stage by fundoscopy. Optical coherence tomography demonstrated decreased retinal thickness in chronic autoimmune uveitis mice, and electroretinography showed significantly reduced amplitudes of dark-adapted a- and b-waves and light-adapted b-waves. Histologic examination revealed prominent choroiditis with extensive retinal damage. Flow cytometry analysis showed substantially increased numbers of CD44IL-17IFN-γ memory T-helper 17 (Th17) cells in the retina, cervical lymph nodes, inguinal lymph nodes, and spleen. These data establish new modified protocols for inducing chronic uveitis in wild-type mice, and demonstrate a predominant memory Th17 cell response, suggesting an important role for memory Th17 cells in driving chronic inflammation in autoimmune uveitis.