Bannai D, Adhan I, Katz R, Kim LA, Keshavan M, Miller JB, Lizano P. Quantifying Retinal Microvascular Morphology in Schizophrenia Using Swept-Source Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography. Schizophr Bull 2022;48(1):80-89.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Retinovascular changes are reported on fundus imaging in schizophrenia (SZ). This is the first study to use swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) to comprehensively examine retinal microvascular changes in SZ. METHODS: This study included 30 patients with SZ/schizoaffective disorder (8 early and 15 chronic) and 22 healthy controls (HCs). All assessments were performed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Massachusetts Eye and Ear. All participants underwent swept-source OCT-A of right (oculus dextrus [OD]) and left (oculus sinister [OS]) eye, clinical, and cognitive assessments. Macular OCT-A images (6 × 6 mm) were collected with the DRI Topcon Triton for superficial, deep, and choriocapillaris vascular regions. Microvasculature was quantified using vessel density (VD), skeletonized vessel density (SVD), fractal dimension (FD), and vessel diameter index (VDI). RESULTS: Twenty-one HCs and 26 SZ subjects were included. Compared to HCs, SZ patients demonstrated higher overall OD superficial SVD, OD choriocapillaris VD, and OD choriocapillaris SVD, which were primarily observed in the central, central and outer superior, and central and outer inferior/superior, respectively. Early-course SZ subjects had significantly higher OD superficial VD, OD choriocapillaris SVD, and OD choriocapillaris FD compared to matched HCs. Higher bilateral (OU) superficial VD correlated with lower Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) positive scores, and higher OU deep VDI was associated with higher PANSS negative scores. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: These results suggest the presence of microvascular dysfunction associated with early-stage SZ. Clinical associations with microvascular alterations further implicate this hypothesis, with higher measures being associated with worse symptom severity and functioning in early stages and with lower symptom severity and better functioning in later stages.
Baumal CR, Sarraf D, Bryant T, Gui W, Muakkassa N, Pichi F, Querques G, Choudhry N, Teke MY, Govetto A, Invernizzi A, Eliott D, Gaudric A, Cunha de Souza E, Naysan J, Lembo A, Lee GC, Freund BK. Henle fibre layer haemorrhage: clinical features and pathogenesis. Br J Ophthalmol 2021;105(3):374-380.Abstract
BACKGROUND: To describe the clinical presentation and characteristic imaging features of deep retinal haemorrhages primarily located in the Henle fibre layer (HFL) of the macula. The spectrum of aetiologies and a comprehensive theory of pathogenesis are presented. METHODS: This is a retrospective, multicentre case series evaluating eyes with retinal haemorrhage in HFL. Clinical features, underlying aetiology, systemic and ocular risk factors, visual acuity, and multimodal imaging including fundus photography and cross-sectional and en face optical coherence tomography (OCT) are presented. RESULTS: Retinal haemorrhages localised to HFL in 33 eyes from 23 patients were secondary to acute blunt trauma to the head (n=2), eye (n=1) and trunk (n=1), ruptured intracranial aneurysm (Terson's syndrome, n=3), general anaesthesia (n=1), epidural anaesthesia (n=1), hypertension with anaemia (n=1), decompression retinopathy (n=1), postvitrectomy with intraocular gas (n=1), retinal vein occlusion (n=7), myopic degeneration (n=2), macular telangiectasia type 2 (n=1), and polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (n=1). Defining clinical features included deep retinal haemorrhage with feathery margin and petaloid pattern radiating from the fovea. OCT demonstrated characteristic hyper-reflectivity from the haemorrhage delineated by obliquely oriented fibres in the Henle layer. Spontaneous resolution of HFL haemorrhage occurred after 3 months in 15 patients with follow-up. CONCLUSION: The characteristic petaloid-shaped, deep intraretinal haemorrhage with a feathery margin localised to HFL is associated with various disorders. The terminology 'Henle fiber layer hemorrhage (HH)' is proposed to describe the clinical and OCT findings, which may result from abnormal retinal venous pressure from systemic or local retinovascular disorders affecting the deep capillary plexus or from choroidal vascular abnormalities.
Begaj T, Marmalidou A, Papakostas TD, Diaz DJ, Kim LA, Wu DM, Miller JB. Outcomes of primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachment repair with extensive scleral-depressed vitreous removal and dynamic examination. PLoS One 2020;15(9):e0239138.Abstract
There are multiple surgical approaches to the repair of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD). Here, we evaluated the outcomes of small-gauge pars plana vitrectomy (PPV), alone or in combination with scleral buckle (SB-PPV), for RRD repair using a standardized technique by 3 vitreoretinal surgeons: "extensive" removal of the vitreous with scleral depression and dynamic examination of the peripheral retina. One hundred eighty seven eyes of 180 consecutive patients treated for primary RRD by three vitreoretinal surgeons at a tertiary academic medical center from September 2015 to March 2018 were analyzed. Most RRDs occurred in males (134 [71.3%] eyes), affected the left eye (102 [54.3%]), and were phakic (119 [63.3%]). PPV alone was performed in 159 eyes (84.6%), with a combined SB-PPV used in the remaining 29 eyes (15.4%); focal endolaser was used in all (100%) cases. The single surgery anatomic success rate was 186 eyes (99.5%) at 3 months, and 187 (100%) at last follow up. Overall best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) had significantly improved at 3 months ([Snellen 20/47] P<0.00005) and last follow up ([Snellen 20/31] P<0.00005), as compared to day of presentation ([Snellen 20/234]). Our findings suggest that "extensive" removal of the vitreous and dynamic peripheral examination with scleral depression may lead to high single surgery success in primary uncomplicated RRD repair.
Berner D, Hoja U, Zenkel M, Ross JJ, Uebe S, Paoli D, Frezzotti P, Rautenbach RM, Ziskind A, Williams SE, Carmichael TR, Ramsay M, Topouzis F, Chatzikyriakidou A, Lambropoulos A, Sundaresan P, Ayub H, Akhtar F, Qamar R, Zenteno JC, Cruz-Aguilar M, Astakhov YS, Dubina M, Wiggs J, Ozaki M, Kruse FE, Aung T, Reis A, Khor CC, Pasutto F, Schlötzer-Schrehardt U. The protective variant rs7173049 at LOXL1 locus impacts on retinoic acid signaling pathway in pseudoexfoliation syndrome. Hum Mol Genet 2019;Abstract
LOXL1 (lysyl oxidase-like 1) has been identified as the major effect locus in pseudoexfoliation (PEX) syndrome, a fibrotic disorder of the extracellular matrix and frequent cause of chronic open-angle glaucoma. However, all known PEX-associated common variants show allele effect reversal in populations of different ancestry, casting doubt on their biological significance. Based on extensive LOXL1 deep sequencing, we report here the identification of a common noncoding sequence variant, rs7173049A>G, located downstream of LOXL1, consistently associated with a decrease in PEX risk (OR=0.63, p=6.33x10-31) in nine different ethnic populations. We provide experimental evidence for a functional enhancer-like regulatory activity of the genomic region surrounding rs7173049 influencing expression levels of ISLR2 (immunoglobulin superfamily containing leucine-rich repeat protein 2) and STRA6 (stimulated by retinoic acid receptor 6), apparently mediated by allele-specific binding of the transcription factor THRβ (thyroid hormone receptor beta). We further show that the protective rs7173049-G allele correlates with increased tissue expression levels of ISLR2 and STRA6 and that both genes are significantly downregulated in tissues of PEX patients together with other key components of the STRA6 receptor-driven retinoic acid signaling pathway. siRNA-mediated downregulation of retinoic acid signaling induces upregulation of LOXL1 and PEX-associated matrix genes in PEX-relevant cell types. These data indicate that dysregulation of STRA6 and impaired retinoid metabolismare involved in the pathophysiology of PEX syndrome and that the variant rs7173049-G, which represents the first common variant at the broad LOXL1 locus without allele effect reversal, mediates a protective effect through upregulation of STRA6 in ocular tissues.
Bora K, Wang Z, Yemanyi F, Maurya M, Blomfield AK, Tomita Y, Chen J. Endothelial Cell Transcytosis Assay as an In Vitro Model to Evaluate Inner Blood-Retinal Barrier Permeability. J Vis Exp 2022;(184)Abstract
Dysfunction of the blood-retinal barrier (BRB) contributes to the pathophysiology of several vascular eye diseases, often resulting in retinal edema and subsequent vision loss. The inner blood-retinal barrier (iBRB) is mainly composed of retinal vascular endothelium with low permeability under physiological conditions. This feature of low permeability is tightly regulated and maintained by low rates of paracellular transport between adjacent retinal microvascular endothelial cells, as well as transcellular transport (transcytosis) through them. The assessment of retinal transcellular barrier permeability may provide fundamental insights into iBRB integrity in health and disease. In this study, we describe an endothelial cell (EC) transcytosis assay, as an in vitro model for evaluating iBRB permeability, using human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRMECs). This assay assesses the ability of HRMECs to transport transferrin and horseradish peroxidase (HRP) in receptor- and caveolae-mediated transcellular transport processes, respectively. Fully confluent HRMECs cultured on porous membrane were incubated with fluorescent-tagged transferrin (clathrin-dependent transcytosis) or HRP (caveolae-mediated transcytosis) to measure the levels of transferrin or HRP transferred to the bottom chamber, indicative of transcytosis levels across the EC monolayer. Wnt signaling, a known pathway regulating iBRB, was modulated to demonstrate the caveolae-mediated HRP-based transcytosis assay method. The EC transcytosis assay described here may provide a useful tool for investigating the molecular regulators of EC permeability and iBRB integrity in vascular pathologies and for screening drug delivery systems.
Bowe T, Rahmani S, Yonekawa Y. Endoscopic Vitrectomy for Microcornea, Posterior Megalolenticonus, Persistent Fetal Vasculature, Coloboma Syndrome. Ophthalmology 2017;124(12):1742.
Breazzano MP, Nair AA, Arevalo FJ, Barakat MR, Berrocal AM, Chang JS, Chen A, Eliott D, Garg SJ, Ghadiali Q, Gong D, Grewal DS, Handa JT, Henderson M, Leiderman YI, Leng T, Mannina A, Mendel TA, Mustafi D, de Koo LOC, Patel SN, Patel TP, Prenner J, Richards P, Singh RP, Wykoff CC, Yannuzzi NA, Yu H, Modi YS, Chang S. Frequency of Urgent or Emergent Vitreoretinal Surgical Procedures in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Ophthalmol 2021;139(4):456-463.Abstract
Importance: The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) indicated that urgent or emergent vitreoretinal surgical procedures should continue during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Although decreases in the frequency of critical procedures have been reported outside the field of ophthalmology, analyses are limited by volume, geography, and time. Objective: To evaluate whether the frequency of ophthalmic surgical procedures deemed urgent or emergent by the AAO changed across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: Vitreoretinal practices from 17 institutions throughout the US participated in this multicenter cross-sectional study. The frequency of 11 billed vitreoretinal Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes across respective weeks was obtained from each practice between January 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020. Data were clustered into intravitreal injections (code 67028), lasers and cryotherapy (codes 67141, 67145, and 67228), retinal detachment (RD) repairs (codes 67107, 67108, 67110, and 67113), and other vitrectomies (codes 67036, 67039, and 67040). Institutions were categorized by region (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West Coast), practice setting (academic [tax-exempt] or private [non-tax-exempt]), and date of respective statewide stay-at-home orders. Main Outcomes and Measures: Nationwide changes in the frequency of billing for urgent or emergent vitreoretinal surgical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: A total of 526 536 CPT codes were ascertained: 483 313 injections, 19 257 lasers or cryotherapy, 14 949 RD repairs, and 9017 other vitrectomies. Relative to 2019, a weekly institutional decrease in injections was observed from March 30 to May 2, 2020, with a maximal 38.6% decrease (from a mean [SD] of 437.8 [436.3] to 273.8 [269.0] injections) from April 6 to 12, 2020 (95% CI, -259 to -69 injections; P = .002). A weekly decrease was also identified that spanned a longer interval, at least until study conclusion (March 16 to May 31, 2020), for lasers and cryotherapy, with a maximal 79.6% decrease (from a mean [SD] of 6.6 [7.7] to 1.5 [2.0] procedures) from April 6 to 12, 2020 (95% CI, -6.8 to -3.3 procedures; P < .001), for RD repairs, with a maximal 59.4% decrease (from a mean [SD] of 3.5 [4.0] to 1.6 [2.2] repairs) from April 13 to 19, 2020 (95% CI, -2.7 to -1.4 repairs; P < .001), and for other vitrectomies, with a maximal 84.3% decrease (from a mean [SD] of 3.0 [3.1] to 0.4 [0.8] other vitrectomies) from April 6 to 12, 2020 (95% CI, -3.3 to -1.8 other vitrectomies; P < .001). No differences were identified by region, setting, or state-level stay-at-home order adjustment. Conclusions and Relevance: Although the AAO endorsed the continued performance of urgent or emergent vitreoretinal surgical procedures, the frequency of such procedures throughout the country experienced a substantial decrease that may persist after the COVID-19 pandemic's initial exponential growth phase. This decrease appears independent of region, setting, and state-level stay-at-home orders. It is unknown to what extent vitreoretinal intervention would have decreased without AAO recommendations, and how the decrease is associated with outcomes. Although safety is paramount during the COVID-19 pandemic, practices should consider prioritizing availability for managing high-acuity conditions until underlying reasons for the reduction are fully appreciated.
Brodowska K, Stryjewski TP, Papavasileiou E, Chee YE, Eliott D. Validation of the Retinal Detachment after Open Globe Injury (RD-OGI) Score as an Effective Tool for Predicting Retinal Detachment. Ophthalmology 2017;124(5):674-678.Abstract

PURPOSE: The Retinal Detachment after Open Globe Injury (RD-OGI) Score is a clinical prediction model that was developed at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary to predict the risk of retinal detachment (RD) after open globe injury (OGI). This study sought to validate the RD-OGI Score in an independent cohort of patients. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: The predictive value of the RD-OGI Score was evaluated by comparing the original RD-OGI Scores of 893 eyes with OGI that presented between 1999 and 2011 (the derivation cohort) with 184 eyes with OGI that presented from January 1, 2012, to January 31, 2014 (the validation cohort). METHODS: Three risk classes (low, moderate, and high) were created and logistic regression was undertaken to evaluate the optimal predictive value of the RD-OGI Score. A Kaplan-Meier survival analysis evaluated survival experience between the risk classes. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Time to RD. RESULTS: At 1 year after OGI, 255 eyes (29%) in the derivation cohort and 66 eyes (36%) in the validation cohort were diagnosed with an RD. At 1 year, the low risk class (RD-OGI Scores 0-2) had a 3% detachment rate in the derivation cohort and a 0% detachment rate in the validation cohort, the moderate risk class (RD-OGI Scores 2.5-4.5) had a 29% detachment rate in the derivation cohort and a 35% detachment rate in the validation cohort, and the high risk class (RD-OGI scores 5-7.5) had a 73% detachment rate in the derivation cohort and an 86% detachment rate in the validation cohort. Regression modeling revealed the RD-OGI to be highly discriminative, especially 30 days after injury, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.939 in the validation cohort. Survival experience was significantly different depending upon the risk class (P < 0.0001, log-rank chi-square). CONCLUSIONS: The RD-OGI Score can reliably predict the future risk of developing an RD based on clinical variables that are present at the time of the initial evaluation after OGI.

Brydon EM, Bronstein R, Buskin A, Lako M, Pierce EA, Fernandez-Godino R. AAV-Mediated Gene Augmentation Therapy Restores Critical Functions in Mutant PRPF31 iPSC-Derived RPE Cells. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev 2019;15:392-402.Abstract
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the most common form of inherited vision loss and is characterized by degeneration of retinal photoreceptor cells and the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Mutations in pre-mRNA processing factor 31 () cause dominant RP via haploinsufficiency with incomplete penetrance. There is good evidence that the diverse severity of this disease is a result of differing levels of expression of the wild-type allele among patients. Thus, we hypothesize that -related RP will be amenable to treatment by adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene augmentation therapy. To test this hypothesis, we used induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with mutations in and differentiated them into RPE cells. The mutant iPSC-RPE cells recapitulate the cellular phenotype associated with the PRPF31 pathology, including defective cell structure, diminished phagocytic function, defects in ciliogenesis, and compromised barrier function. Treatment of the mutant iPSC-RPE cells with AAV- restored normal phagocytosis and cilia formation, and it partially restored structure and barrier function. These results suggest that AAV-based gene therapy targeting RPE cells holds therapeutic promise for patients with -related RP.
Bujakowska KM, Liu Q, Pierce EA. Photoreceptor Cilia and Retinal Ciliopathies. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 2017;9(10)Abstract
Photoreceptors are sensory neurons designed to convert light stimuli into neurological responses. This process, called phototransduction, takes place in the outer segments (OS) of rod and cone photoreceptors. OS are specialized sensory cilia, with analogous structures to those present in other nonmotile cilia. Deficient morphogenesis and/or dysfunction of photoreceptor sensory cilia (PSC) caused by mutations in a variety of photoreceptor-specific and common cilia genes can lead to inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs). IRDs can manifest as isolated retinal diseases or syndromic diseases. In this review, we describe the structure and composition of PSC and different forms of ciliopathies with retinal involvement. We review the genetics of the IRDs, which are monogenic disorders but genetically diverse with regard to causality.
Bulka CM, Dammann O, Santos HP, VanderVeen DK, Smeester L, Fichorova R, O'Shea MT, Fry RC. Placental CpG Methylation of Inflammation, Angiogenic, and Neurotrophic Genes and Retinopathy of Prematurity. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2019;60(8):2888-2894.Abstract
Purpose: Extremely preterm infants are at increased risk for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). We previously identified several inflammatory proteins that were expressed early in life and are associated with an increased risk of ROP and several angiogenic and neurotrophic growth factors in the neonatal systemic circulation that are associated with a lower risk of ROP. In this paper, we report the results of a set of analyses designed to test the hypothesis that placental CpG methylation levels of 12 inflammation-, angiogenic-, and neurotrophic-associated genes predict the occurrence of prethreshold ROP in extremely preterm newborns. Methods: We used placental CpG methylation data from 395 newborns from the Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborns study. Results: Multivariable regression models revealed that placental DNA methylation of 16 CpG sites representing 8 genes were associated with prethreshold ROP. Specifically, CpG methylation in the serum amyloid A SAA1 and SAA2, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), myeloperoxidase (MPO), C-reactive protein (CRP), angiopoietin 1 (ANGPT1), and tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 1B (TNFRSF1B) genes was associated with a lower risk of prethreshold ROP. Conversely, CpG methylation at three probes within tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 1A (TNFRSF1A) and in two alternative probes within the BDNF and ANGPT1 genes was associated with an increased risk of ROP. Conclusions: CpG methylation may be a useful marker for improving ROP prediction, opening the opportunity for early intervention to lessen disease severity.
Busch C, Zur D, Fraser-Bell S, Laíns I, Santos AR, Lupidi M, Cagini C, Gabrielle P-H, Couturier A, Mané-Tauty V, Giancipoli E, Ricci GD'A, Cebeci Z, Rodríguez-Valdés PJ, Chaikitmongkol V, Amphornphruet A, Hindi I, Agrawal K, Chhablani J, Loewenstein A, Iglicki M, Rehak M, Rehak M. Shall we stay, or shall we switch? Continued anti-VEGF therapy versus early switch to dexamethasone implant in refractory diabetic macular edema. Acta Diabetol 2018;55(8):789-796.Abstract
AIMS: To compare functional and anatomical outcomes of continued anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy versus dexamethasone (DEX) implant in eyes with refractory diabetic macular edema (DME) after three initial anti-VEGF injections in a real-world setting. METHODS: To be included in this retrospective multicenter, case-control study, eyes were required: (1) to present with early refractory DME, as defined by visual acuity (VA) gain ≤ 5 letters or reduction in central subfield thickness (CST) ≤ 20%, after a loading phase of anti-VEGF therapy (three monthly injections) and (2) to treat further with (a) anti-VEGF therapy or (b) DEX implant. Main outcome measures were change in visual acuity (VA) and central subfield thickness (CST) at 12 months. Due to imbalanced baseline characteristics, a matched anti-VEGF group was formed by only keeping eyes with similar baseline characteristics as those in the DEX group. RESULTS: A total of 110 eyes from 105 patients were included (anti-VEGF group: 72 eyes, DEX group: 38 eyes). Mean change in VA at 12 months was - 0.4 ± 10.8 letters (anti-VEGF group), and + 6.1 ± 10.6 letters (DEX group) (P = 0.004). Over the same period, mean change in CST was + 18.3 ± 145.9 µm (anti-VEGF group) and - 92.8 ± 173.6 µm (DEX group) (P < 0.001). Eyes in the DEX group were more likely to gain ≥ 10 letters (OR 3.71, 95% CI 1.19-11.61, P = 0.024) at month 12. CONCLUSIONS: In a real-world setting, eyes with DME considered refractory to anti-VEGF therapy after three monthly injections which were switched to DEX implant and had better visual and anatomical outcomes at 12 months than those that continued treatment with anti-VEGF therapy.
Buskin A, Zhu L, Chichagova V, Basu B, Mozaffari-Jovin S, Dolan D, Droop A, Collin J, Bronstein R, Mehrotra S, Farkas M, Hilgen G, White K, Pan K-T, Treumann A, Hallam D, Bialas K, Chung G, Mellough C, Ding Y, Krasnogor N, Przyborski S, Zwolinski S, Al-Aama J, Alharthi S, Xu Y, Wheway G, Szymanska K, McKibbin M, Inglehearn CF, Elliott DJ, Lindsay S, Ali RR, Steel DH, Armstrong L, Sernagor E, Urlaub H, Pierce E, Lührmann R, Grellscheid S-N, Johnson CA, Lako M. Disrupted alternative splicing for genes implicated in splicing and ciliogenesis causes PRPF31 retinitis pigmentosa. Nat Commun 2018;9(1):4234.Abstract
Mutations in pre-mRNA processing factors (PRPFs) cause autosomal-dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RP), but it is unclear why mutations in ubiquitously expressed genes cause non-syndromic retinal disease. Here, we generate transcriptome profiles from RP11 (PRPF31-mutated) patient-derived retinal organoids and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), as well as Prpf31 mouse tissues, which revealed that disrupted alternative splicing occurred for specific splicing programmes. Mis-splicing of genes encoding pre-mRNA splicing proteins was limited to patient-specific retinal cells and Prpf31 mouse retinae and RPE. Mis-splicing of genes implicated in ciliogenesis and cellular adhesion was associated with severe RPE defects that include disrupted apical - basal polarity, reduced trans-epithelial resistance and phagocytic capacity, and decreased cilia length and incidence. Disrupted cilia morphology also occurred in patient-derived photoreceptors, associated with progressive degeneration and cellular stress. In situ gene editing of a pathogenic mutation rescued protein expression and key cellular phenotypes in RPE and photoreceptors, providing proof of concept for future therapeutic strategies.
Butler NJ, Moradi A, Salek SS, Burkholder BM, Leung TG, Dunn JP, Thorne JE. Acute Retinal Necrosis: Presenting Characteristics and Clinical Outcomes in a Cohort of Polymerase Chain Reaction-Positive Patients. Am J Ophthalmol 2017;179:179-189.Abstract
PURPOSE: To identify determinants of adverse outcomes in acute retinal necrosis (ARN), presenting characteristics and incidence rates of vision loss and ocular complications in a cohort of polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive eyes were analyzed. DESIGN: Retrospective observational cohort study. METHODS: Forty-one eyes of 36 patients with clinically diagnosed ARN, PCR-positive for herpes simplex virus or varicella zoster virus and evaluated between January 2002 and June 2013, were included. Main outcome measures included incidence rates of vision loss and retinal detachment (RD). RESULTS: Presenting visual acuity was generally poor (20/50 to >20/200 in 27%; 20/200 or worse in 56%). The incidence rate of ≤20/200 was 0.66/eye-year (EY), (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.32/EY to 1.22/EY); the rate of light perception or no light perception vision was 0.07/EY (95% CI, 0.02/EY to 0.16/EY). During follow-up, 59% of eyes developed at least 1 RD (rate = 0.40/EY, 95% CI, 0.19/EY to 0.58/EY). Eyes with retinitis involving ≥25% of the retina at presentation detached at nearly 12 times the rate, as compared to those with <25% retinal involvement (0.70/EY vs 0.06/EY; P = .001). Development of an RD was the greatest determinant of adverse visual outcomes, with 4% of eyes, that had experienced at least 1 RD, achieving a best-corrected visual acuity of ≥20/40 compared to 53% of eyes that never detached (P = .0003). CONCLUSIONS: Poor outcomes in ARN were common in this cohort. RD confers the greatest risk of incident vision loss, and once 25% or more of the retina is involved the risk of RD and visual loss increases significantly.
Cai S, Smith ME, Redenti SM, Wnek GE, Young MJ. Mouse retinal progenitor cell dynamics on electrospun poly (ϵ-caprolactone). J Biomater Sci Polym Ed 2012;23(11):1451-65.Abstract
Age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and glaucoma are among the many retinal degenerative diseases where retinal cell death leads to irreversible vision loss and blindness. Working toward a cell-replacement-based therapy for such diseases, a number of research groups have recently evaluated the feasibility of using retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) cultured and transplanted on biodegradable polymer substrates to replace damaged retinal tissue. Appropriate polymer substrate design is essential to providing a three-dimensional environment that can facilitate cell adhesion, proliferation and post-transplantation migration into the host environment. In this study, we have designed and fabricated a novel, ultra-thin electrospun poly(ϵ-caprolactone) (PCL) scaffold with microscale fiber diameters, appropriate porosity for infiltration by RPCs, and biologically compatible mechanical characteristics. We have verified that our electrospun PCL scaffold supports robust mouse RPC proliferation, adhesion, and differentiation in vitro, as well as migration into mouse retinal explants. These promising results make PCL a strong candidate for further development as a cell transplantation substrate in retinal regenerative research.
Cai LZ, Lin J, Starr MR, Obeid A, Ryan EH, Ryan C, Forbes NJ, Arias D, Ammar MJ, Patel LG, Capone A, Emerson GG, Joseph DP, Eliott D, Gupta OP, Regillo CD, Hsu J, Yonekawa Y, Yonekawa Y. PRO score: predictive scoring system for visual outcomes after rhegmatogenous retinal detachment repair. Br J Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
BACKGROUND/AIMS: To compare risk factors for poor visual outcomes in patients undergoing primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) repair and to develop a scoring system. METHODS: Analysis of the Primary Retinal detachment Outcomes (PRO) study, a multicentre interventional cohort of consecutive primary RRD surgeries performed in 2015. The main outcome measure was a poor visual outcome (Snellen VA ≤20/200). RESULTS: A total of 1178 cases were included. The mean preoperative and postoperative logMARs were 1.1±1.1 (20/250) and 0.5±0.7 (20/63), respectively. Multivariable logistic regression identified preoperative risk factors predictive of poor visual outcomes (≤20/200), including proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) (OR 1.26; 95% CI 1.13 to 1.40), history of antivascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injections (1.38; 1.11 to 1.71), >1-week vision loss (1.17; 1.08 to 1.27), ocular comorbidities (1.18; 1.00 to 1.38), poor presenting VA (1.06 per initial logMAR unit; 1.02 to 1.10) and age >70 (1.13; 1.04 to 1.23). The data were split into training (75%) and validation (25%) and a scoring system was developed and validated. The risk for poor visual outcomes was 8% with a total score of 0, 17% with 1, 29% with 2, 47% with 3, and 71% with 4 or higher. CONCLUSIONS: Independent risk factors were compared for poor visual outcomes after RRD surgery, which included PVR, anti-VEGF injections, vision loss >1 week, ocular comorbidities, presenting VA and older age. The PRO score was developed to provide a scoring system that may be useful in clinical practice.
Cakir B, Liegl R, Hellgren G, Lundgren P, Sun Y, Klevebro S, Löfqvist C, Mannheimer C, Cho S, Poblete A, Duran R, Hallberg B, Canas J, Lorenz V, Liu Z-J, Sola-Visner MC, Smith LEH, Hellström A. Thrombocytopenia is associated with severe retinopathy of prematurity. JCI Insight 2018;3(19)Abstract
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is characterized by abnormal retinal neovascularization in response to vessel loss. Platelets regulate angiogenesis and may influence ROP progression. In preterm infants, we assessed ROP and correlated with longitudinal postnatal platelet counts (n = 202). Any episode of thrombocytopenia (<100 × 109/l) at ≥30 weeks postmenstrual age (at onset of ROP) was independently associated with severe ROP, requiring treatment. Infants with severe ROP also had a lower weekly median platelet count compared with infants with less severe ROP. In a mouse oxygen-induced retinopathy model of ROP, platelet counts were lower at P17 (peak neovascularization) versus controls. Platelet transfusions at P15 and P16 suppressed neovascularization, and platelet depletion increased neovascularization. Platelet transfusion decreased retinal of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) mRNA and protein expression; platelet depletion increased retinal VEGFA mRNA and protein expression. Resting platelets with intact granules reduced neovascularization, while thrombin-activated degranulated platelets did not. These data suggest that platelet releasate has a local antiangiogenic effect on endothelial cells to exert a downstream suppression of VEGFA in neural retina. Low platelet counts during the neovascularization phase in ROP is significantly associated with the development of severe ROP in preterm infants. In a murine model of retinopathy, platelet transfusion during the period of neovascularization suppressed retinopathy.
Carvalho LS, Xiao R, Wassmer SJ, Langsdorf A, Zinn E, Pacouret S, Shah S, Comander JI, Kim LA, Lim L, Vandenberghe LH. Synthetic Adeno-Associated Viral Vector Efficiently Targets Mouse and Nonhuman Primate Retina In Vivo. Hum Gene Ther 2018;29(7):771-784.Abstract
Gene therapy is a promising approach in the treatment of inherited and common complex disorders of the retina. Preclinical and clinical studies have validated the use of adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV) as a safe and efficient delivery vehicle for gene transfer. Retinal pigment epithelium and rods-and to a lesser extent, cone photoreceptors-can be efficiently targeted with AAV. Other retinal cell types however are more challenging targets. The aim of this study was to characterize the transduction profile and efficiency of in silico designed, synthetic Anc80 AAVs for retinal gene transfer. Three Anc80 variants were evaluated for retinal targeting in mice and primates following subretinal delivery. In the murine retina Anc80L65 demonstrated high level of retinal pigment epithelium and photoreceptor targeting with comparable cone photoreceptor affinity compared to other AAVs. Remarkably, Anc80L65 enhanced transduction kinetics with visible expression as early as day 1 and steady state mRNA levels at day 3. Inner retinal tropism of Anc80 variants demonstrated distinct transduction patterns of Müller glia, retinal ganglion cells and inner nuclear layer neurons. Finally, murine findings with Anc80L65 qualitatively translated to the Rhesus macaque in terms of cell targets, levels and onset of expression. Our findings support the use of Anc80L65 for therapeutic subretinal gene delivery.
Carvalho LS, Vandenberghe LH. Understanding Cone Photoreceptor Cell Death in Achromatopsia. Adv Exp Med Biol 2016;854:231-6.Abstract

Colour vision is only achieved in the presence of healthy and functional cone photoreceptors found in the retina. It is an essential component of human vision and usually the first complaint patients undergoing vision degeneration have is the loss of daylight colour vision. Therefore, an understanding of the biology and basic mechanisms behind cone death under the degenerative state of retinal dystrophies and how the activation of the apoptotic pathway is triggered will provide valuable knowledge. It will also have broader applications for a spectrum of visual disorders and will be critical for future advances in translational research.

Catomeris AJ, Ballios BG, Sangermano R, Wagner NE, Comander JI, Pierce EA, Place EM, Bujakowska KM, Huckfeldt RM. Novel RCBTB1 variants causing later-onset non-syndromic retinal dystrophy with macular chorioretinal atrophy. Ophthalmic Genet 2022;43(3):332-339.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Variants in RCBTB1 were recently described to cause a retinal dystrophy with only eight families described to date and a predominant phenotype of macular atrophy and peripheral reticular degeneration. Here, we further evaluate the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of biallelic RCBTB1-associated retinal dystrophy in a North American clinic population. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of genetic and clinical features was performed in individuals with biallelic variants in RCBTB1. RESULTS: Three unrelated individuals of French-Canadian descent with rare biallelic RCBTB1 variants were identified. All individuals shared a novel p.(Ser342Leu) missense variant; one patient was homozygous whereas the other two each possessed a second unique novel variant p.(Gln120*) and p.(Pro224Leu). All three had macula-predominant disease with symptom onset in the fifth decade of life. CONCLUSION: This report adds to the genetic diversity of RCBTB1-associated disease. These cases confirm the later-onset, relative to many other retinal dystrophies, and macular focus of disease described in most cases to-date. They are thus a reminder of considering hereditary disease in the differential for later-onset macular atrophy.