Publications

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Bispo PJM, Haas W, Gilmore MS. Biofilms in infections of the eye. Pathogens 2015;4(1):111-36.Abstract

The ability to form biofilms in a variety of environments is a common trait of bacteria, and may represent one of the earliest defenses against predation. Biofilms are multicellular communities usually held together by a polymeric matrix, ranging from capsular material to cell lysate. In a structure that imposes diffusion limits, environmental microgradients arise to which individual bacteria adapt their physiologies, resulting in the gamut of physiological diversity. Additionally, the proximity of cells within the biofilm creates the opportunity for coordinated behaviors through cell-cell communication using diffusible signals, the most well documented being quorum sensing. Biofilms form on abiotic or biotic surfaces, and because of that are associated with a large proportion of human infections. Biofilm formation imposes a limitation on the uses and design of ocular devices, such as intraocular lenses, posterior contact lenses, scleral buckles, conjunctival plugs, lacrimal intubation devices and orbital implants. In the absence of abiotic materials, biofilms have been observed on the capsule, and in the corneal stroma. As the evidence for the involvement of microbial biofilms in many ocular infections has become compelling, developing new strategies to prevent their formation or to eradicate them at the site of infection, has become a priority.

Bispo PJM, Ung L, Chodosh J, Gilmore MS. Hospital-Associated Multidrug-Resistant MRSA Lineages Are Trophic to the Ocular Surface and Cause Severe Microbial Keratitis. Front Public Health 2020;8:204.Abstract
Methicillin-resistant (MRSA) is a common cause of severe and difficult to treat ocular infection. In this study, the population structure of 68 ocular MRSA isolates collected at Massachusetts Eye and Ear between January 2014 and June 2016 was assessed. By using a combination of multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis, SCC typing and detection of the panton-valentine leukocidin (PVL) gene, we found that the population structure of ocular MRSA is composed of lineages with community and hospital origins. As determined by eBURST analysis of MLST data, the ocular MRSA population consisted of 14 different sequence types (STs) that grouped within two predominant clonal complexes: CC8 (47.0%) and CC5 (41.2%). Most CC8 strains were ST8, harbored type IV SCC and were positive for the PVL-toxin (93.7%). The CC5 group was divided between strains carrying SCC type II (71.4%) and SCC type IV (28.6%). Remaining isolates grouped in 6 different clonal complexes with 3 isolates in CC6 and the other clonal complexes being represented by a single isolate. Interestingly, major MRSA CC5 and CC8 lineages were isolated from discrete ocular niches. Orbital and preseptal abscess/cellulitis were predominantly caused by CC8-SCC IV PVL-positive strains. In contrast, infections of the cornea, conjunctiva and lacrimal system were associated with the MDR CC5 lineage, particularly as causes of severe infectious keratitis. This niche specialization of MRSA is consistent with a model where CC8-SCC IV PVL-positive strains are better adapted to cause infections of the keratinized and soft adnexal eye tissues, whereas MDR CC5 appear to have greater ability in overcoming innate defense mechanisms of the wet epithelium of the ocular surface.
Bitar MS, Liu C, Ziaei A, Chen Y, Schmedt T, Jurkunas UV. Decline in DJ-1 and decreased nuclear translocation of Nrf2 in Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2012;53(9):5806-13.Abstract
PURPOSE: This study sought to determine factors involved in nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) regulation and their response to oxidative stress in Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) and normal corneal endothelial cells (CECs). METHODS: FECD corneal buttons were obtained from transplantations and normal human corneas from tissue banks. Oxidative stress was induced by tert-butyl hydroperoxide (tBHP). Protein and mRNA levels of Nrf2, DJ-1, p53, and Kelch-like ECH-associated protein1 (Keap1) were investigated using Western blotting and real-time PCR. Immunoprecipitation was used to detect levels of oxidized DJ-1 protein and Cullin 3- (Cul3)-regulated degradation of DJ-1 in immortalized FECD (FECDi) and normal CEC (HCECi) cell lines. Nrf2 subcellular localization was assessed by immunocytochemistry. RESULTS: Nrf2 protein stabilizer, DJ-1, decreased significantly in FECD CECs compared with normal, whereas Nrf2 protein repressor, Keap1, was unchanged at baseline but increased under oxidative stress. Under oxidative stress, normal CECs upregulated DJ-1 protein synthesis, whereas FECD CECs did not. DJ-1 decline correlated with increased DJ-1 oxidative modification and carbonylation in FECDi as compared with HCECi. Increased labeling of immunoprecipitated DJ-1 protein with anti-Cul3 antibody indicated enhanced DJ-1 degradation in FECDi as compared with HCECi. Following tBHP treatment, Nrf2 translocated from cytoplasm to nuclei in normal CECs, whereas Nrf2 nuclear localization was not observed in FECD. CONCLUSIONS: Decreased levels of DJ-1 in FECD at baseline and under oxidative stress correlate with impaired Nrf2 nuclear translocation and heightened cell susceptibility to apoptosis. Targeting the DJ-1/Nrf2 axis could yield a mechanism to slow CEC degeneration in FECD.
BJ B, MC W, DG H, EC E. Duane Syndrome [Internet]. GeneReviews® [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2019. 2019; Publisher's Version
Blanco-Mezquita JT, Hutcheon AEK, Zieske JD. Role of thrombospondin-1 in repair of penetrating corneal wounds. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2013;54(9):6262-8.Abstract
PURPOSE: Thrombospondin-1 (THBS1) has been suggested as a corneal wound-healing modulator. Therefore, we compromised the integrity of the cornea to elucidate the role of THBS1. METHODS: Full-thickness penetrating corneal incisions (1.5 mm) were created in wild type (WT, 129S2/SvPas) and THBS1-deficient mice (Thbs1⁻/⁻), 129S2/SvPas-Thbs1(tm1Hyn)/Thbs1(tm1Hyn)), and allowed to heal up to 1 month, while being monitored by slit-lamp and intravital corneal examinations. Corneas also were examined by transmission electron microscopy and indirect immunofluorescence. To determine how THBS1 was involved in the healing process, we examined THBS1 and α-smooth muscle actin (SMA), a marker of myofibroblasts and myoepithelial cells. RESULTS: In WT mice by 1 month, corneas appeared transparent with a thin scar, and endothelium and Descemet's membrane (DM) were restored. In contrast, Thbs1⁻/⁻ corneas exhibited chronic edema and persistent opacity after wounding. The DM and endothelium were not restored, and wound contraction was impaired. The THBS1 was localized in epithelial cells at early stages of the healing process, and in the stroma and endothelial cells during later stages. The SMA-positive epithelial cells and myofibroblasts were observed within the healing area at day 4, peaked at day 14, and disappeared at day 30. The SMA-positive cells were reduced greatly in Thbs1⁻/⁻ mice. CONCLUSIONS: In the current study, we demonstrated that corneal restoration is strikingly compromised by a penetrating incision in Thbs1⁻/⁻ mice. The wound results in persistent edema and wound gaping. This appears to be the result of the lack of endothelial migration and DM restoration. In addition, myofibroblast formation is compromised, resulting in the lack of wound contraction.
Bleicher ID, Rossin EJ, Vavvas DG. Reevaluating the Risk of Serious Adverse Events of Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors. JAMA Ophthalmol 2022;140(7):745-746.
Bleicher ID, Garg I, Hoyek S, Place E, Miller JB, Patel NA. Widefield Swept-Source Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography Findings in Wagner Syndrome. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2022;
Bleier BS, Healy DY, Chhabra N, Freitag S. Compartmental endoscopic surgical anatomy of the medial intraconal orbital space. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol 2014;4(7):587-91.Abstract

BACKGROUND: Surgical management of intraconal pathology represents the next frontier in endoscopic endonasal surgery. Despite this, the medial intraconal space remains a relatively unexplored region, secondary to its variable and technically demanding anatomy. The purpose of this study is to define the neurovascular structures in this region and introduce a compartmentalized approach to enhance surgical planning. METHODS: This study was an institutional review board (IRB)-exempt endoscopic anatomic study in 10 cadaveric orbits. After dissection of the medial intraconal space, the pattern and trajectory of the oculomotor nerve and ophthalmic arterial arborizations were analyzed. The position of all vessels as well as the length of the oculomotor trunk and branches relative to the sphenoid face were calculated. RESULTS: A mean of 1.5 arterial branches were identified (n = 15; range, 1-4) at a mean of 8.8 mm from the sphenoid face (range, 4-15 mm). The majority of the arteries (n = 7) inserted adjacent to the midline of medial rectus. The oculomotor nerve inserted at the level of the sphenoid face and arborized with a large proximal trunk 5.5 ± 1.1 mm in length and multiple branches extending 13.2 ± 2.7 mm from the sphenoid face. The most anterior nerve and vascular pedicle were identified at 17.0 and 15.0 mm from the sphenoid face, respectively. CONCLUSION: The neurovascular supply to the medial rectus muscle describes a varied but predictable pattern. This data allows the compartmentalization of the medial intraconal space into 3 zones relative to the neurovascular supply. These zones inform the complexity of the dissection and provide a guideline for safe medial rectus retraction relative to the fixed landmark of the sphenoid face.

Bleier BS, Castelnuovo P, Battaglia P, Turri-Zanoni M, Dallan I, Metson R, Sedaghat AR, Stefko TS, Gardner PA, Snyderman CH, Nogueira JF, Ramakrishnan VR, Muscatello L, Lenzi R, Freitag S. Endoscopic endonasal orbital cavernous hemangioma resection: global experience in techniques and outcomes. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol 2015;Abstract

BACKGROUND: Endoscopic orbital surgery represents the next frontier in endonasal surgery. The current literature is largely composed of small, heterogeneous, case series with little consensus regarding optimal techniques. The purpose of this study was to combine the experience of multiple international centers to create a composite of the global experience on the endoscopic management of a single type of tumor, the orbital cavernous hemangioma (OCH). METHODS: This was a retrospective study of techniques for endoscopic OCH resection from 6 centers on 3 continents. Only primary data from strictly endoscopic resection of OCHs were included. Responses were analyzed to qualitatively identify points of both consensus and variability among the different groups. RESULTS: Data for a total of 23 patients, 10 (43.5%) male and 13 (56.5%) female were collected. The majority of lesions were intraconal (60.9%). The mean ± standard deviation (SD) surgical time was 150.7 ± 75.0 minutes with a mean blood loss of 82.7 ± 49.6 mL. Binarial approaches (26.1%) were used exclusively in the setting of intraconal lesions, which were associated with a higher rate of incomplete resection (31.3%), postoperative diplopia (25.0%), and the need for reconstruction (37.5%) than extraconal lesions. Orthotropia and symmetric orbital appearance were achieved in 60.9% and 78.3% of cases, respectively. CONCLUSION: Extraconal lesions were managed similarly; however, greater variability was evident for intraconal lesions. These included the laterality and number of hands in the approach, methods of medial rectus retraction, and the need for reconstruction. The increased technical complexity and disparity of techniques in addressing intraconal OCHs suggests that continued research into the optimal management of this subclass of lesions is of significant priority.

Bloom JR, Castillejos AG, Jones B, Patel N, Rosenstein BS, Stock RG. Ocular complications with the use of radium-223: a case series. Radiat Oncol 2022;17(1):97.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Radium-223 is used for the treatment of osseous metastases in castrate-resistant prostate cancer, and has been shown to increase time to the first skeletal-related event, reduce the rate of hospitalization, and improve quality of life. It is well tolerated, with hematologic toxicity as the main adverse event. Thus far, no ocular complication has been reported in the literature after initial administration of radium-223 with a single case reported of ocular complications after a patient's second course of radium-223. CASE PRESENTATIONS: We present three cases of ocular complications after the use of radium-223 in patients with metastatic prostatic adenocarcinoma. Ocular complications presented as blurry vision, and formal diagnosis included uveitis and hyphema. CONCLUSIONS: Documentation of adverse events is exceedingly important due to the high incidence of metastatic prostate cancer and increasing interest for the use of radium-223 in other osteoblastic disease. The authors postulate that these ocular complications may be a result of radiation's potential effect on neovascularization, polypharmacy, or the biomolecular effects of radium-223 on integral signaling proteins, potentially coupled with poor underlying ocular health.
Boal NS, Cretara EAZ, Bleier BS, Lam AC, Lefebvre DR. In vivo analysis of endocanalicular light pipe transillumination in endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy: Anatomic considerations and cautions for the transitioning. Orbit 2021;:1-5.Abstract
Purpose: Localization of the lacrimal sac is a critical step during endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy (endo-DCR). A "light pipe" can be used to transilluminate the lacrimal sac endonasally. We hypothesized that this may misguide the surgeon learning endo-DCR to create an osteotomy mostly posterior to the maxillary line if only the bone overlying the transillumination was to be removed, as the thinner lacrimal bone will transmit light more readily than the thicker maxillary bone of the frontal process of the maxilla that forms the anterior lacrimal sac fossa.Methods: The charts of 32 patients with primary acquired nasolacrimal duct obstruction in whom a lighted system was used during endo-DCR at Massachusetts Eye and Ear from April 2015 through October 2016 were reviewed. Patients with prior history of lacrimal surgery or trauma directly to the lacrimal sac fossa were excluded. Location of the maximal point of transillumination in relation to the maxillary line was observed and noted intraoperatively.Results: Of a total of 39 endo-DCR surgeries performed, the intraoperative transillumination point was entirely posterior to the maxillary line in 32 instances (82%).Conclusions: Use of an endocanalicular light pipe preferentially illuminates posterior to the maxillary line endonasally. The anterior lacrimal sac fossa (maxillary line and anterior as visualized endonasally) is rarely transilluminated, likely due to thicker bone in that region. Surgeons learning how to perform endo-DCR using a light pipe should be aware of this phenomenon.
de Boer IH, Zelnick LR, Lin J, Schaumberg D, Wang L, Ruzinski J, Friedenberg G, Duszlak J, Bubes VY, Hoofnagle AN, Thadhani R, Glynn RJ, Buring JE, Sesso HD, Manson JAE. Vitamin D and omega-3 trial to prevent and treat diabetic kidney disease: Rationale, design, and baseline characteristics. Contemp Clin Trials 2018;74:11-17.Abstract
Diabetic kidney disease (DKD), defined as reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR), elevated urine albumin excretion, or both that is clinically attributable to diabetes, is a common and morbid diabetes complication. Animal-experimental data, observational human studies, and short-term clinical trials suggest that vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid supplements may be safe and inexpensive interventions to reduce the incidence and progression of DKD. The Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial to Prevent and Treat DKD (VITAL-DKD) was designed as an ancillary study to the VITAL trial of 25,871 US adults. In a 2 × 2 factorial design, VITAL participants were randomly assigned to vitamin D (cholecalciferol, 2000 IU daily) or placebo and to marine omega-3 fatty acids (eicospentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, 1 g/d) or placebo. VITAL-DKD enrolled a subset of 1326 VITAL participants with type 2 diabetes at baseline to test the effects of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids on changes in estimated GFR and urine albumin excretion. Over five years of follow-up, VITAL-DKD collected blood and urine samples to quantify changes in estimated GFR (the primary study outcome) and urine albumin excretion. At baseline, mean age of VITAL-DKD participants was 67.6 years, 46% were women, 30% were of racial or ethnic minority, and the prevalence of DKD (estimated GFR <60 mL/min/1.73m or urine albumin-creatinine ratio ≥ 30 mg/g) was 17%. In this type 2 diabetes population, VITAL-DKD will test the hypotheses that vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids help prevent the development and progression of DKD.
Böhm M, Müller M, Paul J, Hemkeppler E, Kohnen T. Intraoperative OCT versus Scheimpflug and Swept-Source OCT measurements for anterior eye parameters. J Cataract Refract Surg 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare agreement of anterior segment parameter measurements using an intraoperative optical coherence tomography (iOCT) of a femtosecond laser (LenSx) during interface docking to the eye to preoperative Scheimpflug-tomography (Pentacam AXL) and swept-source optical coherence tomography (IOL Master 700). SETTING: Department of Ophthalmology, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany. DESIGN: Retrospective study. METHODS: Ninty-five eyes of 66 patients who had planned OCT-guided femtosecond laser-assisted lens surgery were included. Anterior segment measurements were performed in mydriasis prior to surgery using Scheimpflug-tomography and swept-source optical coherence tomography. After surgery iOCT images were analysed using a modification of the FIJI image processing program. Outcome measures included external anterior chamber depth (ACD), central corneal thickness (CCT) and central lens thickness (LT). RESULTS: The ACD measured with the iOCT was -0.011±0.126mm smaller (p=0.389) than with theswept-source OCT and -0.059±0.185mm than with the Scheimpflug-tomography (p=0.003). The swept-source OCT measures a -0.047±0.146mm smaller ACD than the Scheimpflug-tomography (p=0.002). The measurements of CCT using the iOCT and the Scheimpflug-tomography (-0.705±20.837μm, p=0.742) and the LT measurements of swept-source OCT and iOCT (-0.050±0.089mm, p<0.001) show no clinically relevant difference. Just the ACD between the iOCT and the Scheimpflug-tomography shows a clinically relevant difference. CONCLUSION: The comparison of the anterior segment parameters of intraoperative optical coherence tomography with swept-source optical coherence tomography showed no clinically relevant differences regarding the ACD and the lens thickness. However, Scheimpflug-tomography versus intraoperative optical coherence tomography measures a small clinically relevant difference for ACD.
Böhm M, Petermann K, Hemkeppler E, Kohnen T. Defocus curves of 4 presbyopia-correcting IOL designs: Diffractive panfocal, diffractive trifocal, segmental refractive, and extended-depth-of-focus. J Cataract Refract Surg 2019;45(11):1625-1636.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the defocus curves of 4 presbyopia-correcting intraocular lenses (IOLs). SETTING: Department of Ophthalmology, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany. DESIGN: Prospective case series. METHODS: Patients included in the study had bilateral surgery with implantation of diffractive panfocal, diffractive trifocal, segmental refractive (SegRef), or extended-depth-of-focus (EDOF) presbyopia-correcting IOLs. The uncorrected (UDVA) and corrected (CDVA) distance visual acuities, uncorrected intermediate and near visual acuities, distance-corrected intermediate (DCIVA) and near (DCNVA) visual acuities, defocus curve, and spectacle independence were measured. RESULTS: The UDVA and CDVA were not significantly different between groups (P > .05); however, the EDOF group had worse near CDVA (P < .001). The trifocal and EDOF groups showed better DCIVA than the panfocal and SegRef group at 80 cm (P < .001); the EDOF and panfocal groups had comparable DCIVA at 60 cm (P > .05). Defocus curves showed no significant between-group differences from 4 m to 2 m (P > .05). The EDOF group had better visual acuity from 1 m to 67 cm than the trifocal and SegRef groups and better visual acuity than the panfocal group at 1 m (P > .05). Compared with the other IOLs, the panfocal IOL yielded significantly better visual acuity at 50 cm (P < .001) and the EDOF IOL worse visual acuity at 40 cm (P < .01). There was a significant difference in spectacle independence between the panfocal group and EDOF group (P < .05) but no difference between the other groups. CONCLUSIONS: The 4 IOLs provided equally good CDVA. The EDOF IOL yielded slightly better DCIVA but worse DCNVA than the other IOLs. Only the panfocal IOL gave better DCIVA at 50 cm.
Böhm M, Leon P, Wylęgała A, Ong Tone S, Condron T, Jurkunas U. Cost-effectiveness analysis of preloaded versus non-preloaded Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty for the treatment of Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy in an academic centre. Br J Ophthalmol 2022;106(7):914-922.Abstract
AIMS: To determine the cost-effectiveness of preloaded Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (pDMEK) versus non-preloaded DMEK (n-pDMEK) for the treatment of Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD). METHODS: From a societal and healthcare perspective, this retrospective cost-effectiveness analysis analysed a cohort of 58 patients with FECD receiving pDMEK (n=38) or n-pDMEK (n=30) from 2016 to 2018 in the Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. Exclusion criteria were previous ocular surgeries (other than uncomplicated cataract surgery), including other keratoplasty procedures, ocular pathological conditions as glaucoma, amblyopia, laser treatments, or any retinal or corneal disease. The main outcome parameters were the incremental cost-utility ratio (ICUR) and net monetary benefit (NMB). RESULTS: pDMEK was less costly compared with n-pDMEK (healthcare: $13 886 vs $15 329; societal: $20 805 vs $22 262), with a slighter greater utility (QALY 0.6682 vs QALY 0.6640) over a time horizon of 15 years. pDMEK offered a slightly higher clinical effectiveness (+0.0042 QALY/patient) at a lower cost (healthcare: -$1444 per patient; societal: -$1457 per patient) in improving visual acuity in this cohort of patients with FECD. pDMEK achieved a favourable ICUR and NMB compared with n-pDMEK. Based on sensitivity analyses performed, the economic model was robust. CONCLUSIONS: From the societal and healthcare perspective, pDMEK was less costly and generated comparable utility values relative to n-pDMEK. Therefore, pDMEK appears to be cost-effective and cost saving with respect to n-pDMEK. Further long-term follow-up data are needed to confirm these findings.
Böhm MS, Wylegala A, Leon P, Ong Tone S, Ciolino JB, Jurkunas UV. One-Year Clinical Outcomes of Preloaded Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty Versus Non-Preloaded Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty. Cornea 2021;40(3):311-319.Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare the one-year outcomes of preloaded Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (pDMEK) and non-preloaded DMEK (n-pDMEK) in patients with Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD). METHODS: This retrospective comparative cohort study consecutively included 68 eyes with Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy who underwent either pDMEK (n = 38) or n-pDMEK (n = 30) performed by cornea fellows with an experienced surgeon between 2016 and 2018 at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Exclusion criteria were previous surgery (other than uncomplicated cataract surgery) and any documented evidence of macular or other corneal diseases. Corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA), central corneal thickness, intraocular pressure, patient characteristics, postprocessing endothelial cell count, donor graft data, and complications were compared. RESULTS: CDVA showed similar results for pDMEK (0.12 ± 0.11 logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution [LogMAR]) and n-pDMEK (0.13 ± 0.13 LogMAR) (P = 0.827). Sixty-six percent of the pDMEK eyes and 57% of the n-pDMEK eyes achieved a VA of ≥0.1 LogMAR, and 95% and 97%, respectively, achieved a CDVA ≥0.3 LogMAR. The preoperative central corneal thickness of pDMEK and n-pDMEK (644 ± 62.2 μm, 660.5 ± 56.2 μm) decreased significantly after surgery (525.1 ± 43.6 μm, 526.5 ± 45.2 μm, P < 0.001), with no difference between groups (P = 0.840). The postprocessing endothelial cell count did not differ between pDMEK (2959.2 ± 182.9 cells/mm2) and n-pDMEK (2939.3 ± 278.7 cells/mm2) (P = 0.484). Complication rates were comparable with just the rebubbling performed in a minor procedure room showing a lower rate for pDMEK (13.16%) compared with n-pDMEK (33.33%) (P < 0.045). CONCLUSIONS: One-year clinical outcomes were similar between pDMEK and n-pDMEK procedures, rendering eye bank-prepared pDMEK tissues a useful tool in the treatment of endothelial dysfunction.
Boland MV, Corcoran KJ, Lee AY. Changes in Performance of Glaucoma Surgeries 1994 through 2017 Based on Claims and Payment Data for United States Medicare Beneficiaries. Ophthalmol Glaucoma 2021;4(5):463-471.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate trends in glaucoma procedures in the United States Medicare population and to evaluate which physicians are performing newer procedures. DESIGN: Analysis of publicly available claims and payment data. PARTICIPANTS: Surgeons and beneficiaries enrolled in United States Medicare between 1994 and 2017. METHODS: Data regarding payments to physicians by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) were downloaded for the years 2012 through 2017. Data regarding claims to CMS by physicians were requested and processed between 1994 and 2017. Procedure counts from both data sets then were normalized for changes in the Medicare population, with 1995 as the baseline. The normalized volumes of procedures over time were visualized, as were geographic distributions of surgeons and their volume of procedures. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Trends in procedure counts over time, geographic distribution of surgeons, and their volume of procedures. RESULTS: The number of trabeculectomies continues to decline and now is similar to the number of tubes. Use of the relatively new trabecular bypass shunts has increased rapidly. Surgeons performing these procedures are less likely to be performing traditional glaucoma surgeries as well. The number of laser-based cyclodestruction procedures increased after introduction of the endoscopic technique and again with the introduction of so-called micropulse procedures. The procedure counts obtained with physician payment data consistently are lower than those from claims data given the limitations of the payment data. CONCLUSIONS: Glaucoma practice patterns change each time a new device or procedure is introduced. Collectively, the use of new microinvasive glaucoma surgery procedures has increased rapidly such that they now account for a significant majority of glaucoma surgeries. Given the almost complete lack of comparative data to inform surgeon choices regarding these procedures, it will be important that randomized studies are carried out to fill this gap.
Bonnemaijer PWM, Iglesias AI, Nadkarni GN, Sanyiwa AJ, Hassan HG, Cook C, Cook C, Simcoe M, Taylor KD, Schurmann C, Belbin GM, Kenny EE, Bottinger EP, van de Laar S, Wiliams SEI, Akafo SK, Ashaye AO, Zangwill LM, Girkin CA, Ng MCY, Rotter JI, Weinreb RN, Li Z, Allingham RR, of Consortium EAG, Nag A, Hysi PG, Meester-Smoor MA, Wiggs JL, Wiggs JL, Hauser MA, Hammond CJ, Lemij HG, Loos RJF, van Duijn CM, Thiadens AAHJ, Klaver CCW. Genome-wide association study of primary open-angle glaucoma in continental and admixed African populations. Hum Genet 2018;137(10):847-862.Abstract
Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) is a complex disease with a major genetic contribution. Its prevalence varies greatly among ethnic groups, and is up to five times more frequent in black African populations compared to Europeans. So far, worldwide efforts to elucidate the genetic complexity of POAG in African populations has been limited. We conducted a genome-wide association study in 1113 POAG cases and 1826 controls from Tanzanian, South African and African American study samples. Apart from confirming evidence of association at TXNRD2 (rs16984299; OR 1.20; P = 0.003), we found that a genetic risk score combining the effects of the 15 previously reported POAG loci was significantly associated with POAG in our samples (OR 1.56; 95% CI 1.26-1.93; P = 4.79 × 10). By genome-wide association testing we identified a novel candidate locus, rs141186647, harboring EXOC4 (OR 0.48; P = 3.75 × 10), a gene transcribing a component of the exocyst complex involved in vesicle transport. The low frequency and high degree of genetic heterogeneity at this region hampered validation of this finding in predominantly West-African replication sets. Our results suggest that established genetic risk factors play a role in African POAG, however, they do not explain the higher disease load. The high heterogeneity within Africans remains a challenge to identify the genetic commonalities for POAG in this ethnicity, and demands studies of extremely large size.
Bontzos G, Bagheri S, Ioanidi L, Kim I, Datseris I, Gragoudas E, Kabanarou S, Miller J, Tsilimbaris M, Vavvas DG. Nonresponders to Ranibizumab Anti-VEGF Treatment Are Actually Short-term Responders: A Prospective Spectral-Domain OCT Study. Ophthalmol Retina 2020;4(12):1138-1145.Abstract
PURPOSE: To investigate the inter-individual variability in duration of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) treatment effect in neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nvAMD). DESIGN: Prospective observational multi-centered study. PARTICIPANTS: Forty-eight patients with nvAMD treated with anti-VEGF injections were included. Both treatment naive (n=25) as well as patients who had previously received treatment with ranibizumab (n=23) more than one month prior to their enrollment were recruited. METHODS: Patients received injection with ranibizumab (0.5 mg/0.05 ml) and were followed weekly for 4 weeks with spectral-domain OCT (SD-OCT) assessing the time to maximal reduction of central retinal thickness (CRT) and the presence of intraretinal and subretinal fluid. Other data collected included age, gender, visual acuity, axial length, lens status, and previous injections. The Shapiro-Wilk test was used to examine normal distributions for all variables. Correlations were examined by calculating Spearman's correlation coeficient. Distributions of quantitative variables are described as means (±SD). Qualitative variables are summarized by counts and percentage. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Time to maximal reduction of CRT and intra- and subretinal fluid after ranibizumab injection. RESULTS: A total of 48 eyes of 48 patients (age 74.8±8.3 years, 62.5% female, 52% treatment naive, 35.4% pseudophakic) were assessed. Two-thirds (64.6%) reached maximal CRT reduction earlier than the standard 4-week interval: 6.3% at 1 week postinjection, 22.9% at 2 weeks postinjection, and 35.4% at 3 weeks postinjection. Only 35.4% of patients had maximal CRT reduction at 4 weeks. Twenty percent of treatment-naive and 34.8% of non-naive patients had a week-4 CRT that was >35 μm thicker than the earlier occuring lowest CRT value (nadir). The time to maximal CRT reduction was not related to axial length, age, lens status, or history of injections. CONCLUSIONS: Optimal dosing interval for maximal CRT reduction may be less than 4 weeks for a significant proportion of patients. Most patients will be classified as complete responders if intervals less than 4 weeks are used to assess anti-VEGF treatment response. Disease load rather than eye size appears to be the driver of anti-VEGF treatment duration and therefore, dosing interval needs to be optimized in the cohort of short-term responders.
Boonsopon S, Maghsoudlou A, Kombo NE, Foster SC. A therapeutic trial of valganciclovir in patients with uveitis and positive Epstein-Barr virus early antigen D IgG titers. Eur J Ophthalmol 2015;26(1):30-5.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the effectiveness of a therapeutic trial of valganciclovir in patients with uveitis with positive Epstein-Barr virus early antigen D immunoglobulin G titers (EBV EA-D). METHODS: We performed a retrospective chart review of 14 patients at the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution who had uveitis with positive EBV EA-D but negative studies for all other causes of uveitis and were treated with valganciclovir 450 mg twice a day or valganciclovir 900 mg twice a day between January 2010 and August 2014. RESULTS: Nine of 14 patients, who had presumed EBV reactivation with associated intraocular inflammation, were successfully treated with valganciclovir: 3 of these were treated with valganciclovir 450 mg twice a day and 6 were treated with valganciclovir 900 mg twice a day. Five of 14 patients failed to respond to valganciclovir with persistent inflammation after at least 2 weeks of valganciclovir therapy, and were subsequently treated with immunomodulatory therapy to control inflammation. CONCLUSIONS: Uveitis can be caused by EBV infection/reactivation. A therapeutic trial with valganciclovir 450 mg twice a day for 1 month in patients with uveitis with positive EBV EA antibody may be beneficial.

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