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Chang W-C, Abe R, Anderson P, Anderson W, Ardern-Jones MR, Beachkofsky TM, Bellón T, Biala AK, Bouchard C, Cavalleri GL, Chapman N, Chodosh J, Choi HK, Cibotti RR, Divito SJ, Dewar K, Dehaeck U, Etminan M, Forbes D, Fuchs E, Goldman JL, Holmes JH, Hope EA, Hung S-I, Hsieh C-L, Iovieno A, Jagdeo J, Kim MK, Koelle DM, Lacouture ME, Le Pallec S, Lehloenya RJ, Lim R, Lowe A, McCawley J, McCawley J, Micheletti RG, Mockenhaupt M, Niemeyer K, Norcross MA, Oboh D, Olteanu C, Pasieka HB, Peter J, Pirmohamed M, Rieder M, Saeed HN, Shear NH, Shieh C, Straus S, Sukasem C, Sung C, Trubiano JA, Tsou S-Y, Ueta M, Volpi S, Wan C, Wang H, Wang Z-Q, Weintraub J, Whale C, Wheatley LM, Whyte-Croasdaile S, Williams KB, Wright G, Yeung SN, Zhou L, Chung W-H, Phillips EJ, Carleton BC. Corrigendum to 'SJS/TEN 2019: From science to translation' [J. Dermatol. Sci. 98/1 (2020) 2-12]. J Dermatol Sci 2021;104(2):146-147.
Gnanaguru G, Mackey A, Choi EY, Arta A, Rossato FA, Gero TW, Urquhart AJ, Scott DA, D'Amore PA, Ng YSE. Discovery of sterically-hindered phenol compounds with potent cytoprotective activities against ox-LDL-induced retinal pigment epithelial cell death as a potential pharmacotherapy. Free Radic Biol Med 2021;Abstract
Late-stage dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or geographic atrophy (GA) is an irreversible blinding condition characterized by degeneration of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and the associated photoreceptors. Clinical and genetic evidence supports a role for dysfunctional lipid processing and accumulation of harmful oxidized lipids in the pathogenesis of GA. Using oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL)-induced RPE death assay, we screened and identified sterically-hindered phenol compounds with potent protective activities for RPE. The phenol-containing PPARγ agonist, troglitazone, protected against ox-LDL-induced RPE cell death, whereas other more potent PPARγ agonists did not protect RPE cells. Knockdown of PPARγ did not affect the protective activity of troglitazone in RPE, confirming the protective function is not due to the thiazolidine (TZD) group of troglitazone. Prototypical hindered phenol trolox and its analogs potently protected against ox-LDL-induced RPE cell death whereas potent antioxidants without the phenol group failed to protect RPE. Hindered phenols preserved lysosomal integrity against ox-LDL-induced damage and FITC-labeled trolox was localized to the lysosomes in RPE cells. Analogs of trolox inhibited reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation induced by ox-LDL uptake in a dose-dependent fashion and were effective at sub-micromolar concentrations. Treatment with trolox analog 2,2,5,7,8-pentamethyl-6-chromanol (PMC) significantly induced the expression of the lysosomal protein NPC-1 and reduced intracellular cholesterol level upon ox-LDL uptake. Our data indicate that the lysosomal-localized hindered phenols are uniquely potent in protecting the RPE against the toxic effects of ox-LDL, and may represent a novel pharmacotherapy to preserve the vision in patients with GA.
Guo X, Friedman DS, Repka MX, Collins ME. Visual acuity and refractive findings in children prescribed glasses from a school-based vision program. J AAPOS 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: We report visual acuity improvement and refractive profiles in children prescribed glasses by a school-based vision program (SBVP) in Baltimore, Maryland. METHODS: In this cross-sectional analysis, pre-kindergarten through 8th grade students who failed vision screening underwent an eye examination. Students prescribed glasses are included. Visual acuity improvement was the difference between presenting and best-corrected visual acuity based on noncycloplegic manifest refraction. Clinically significant refractive error (CSRE) was defined as ≥0.75 D myopia, ≥2.00 D hyperopia without strabismus, ≥1.00 D hyperopia with esodeviation, or ≥1.50 D astigmatism AND presenting visual acuity ≤20/40 or ≥2-line difference with the better-seeing eye ≤20/30. Characteristics associated with greater visual acuity improvement were explored. RESULTS: Of the 4,972 students, mean age was 9.4 ± 2.7 years; 77% were black, and 18% were Hispanic. Myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and CSRE were found in 65%, 24%, 60%, and 46% students, respectively. In the better-seeing eyes, 70% gained ≥2 lines. Of students with CSRE, improvement of at least 5 lines in the worse-seeing eye increased from 30.9% in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten to 77.3% in 7th and 8th grade (Ptrend < 0.001). Students with CSRE had a higher rate of gaining at least 2 lines' improvement in their worse-seeing eyes compared with those without (98.7% vs 80.6%). Older students as well as blacks and Hispanics were more likely to have improvement of at least 2 lines. CONCLUSIONS: Most students prescribed glasses from our SBVP had clinically significant visual deficits corrected.
Tomita Y, Qiu C, Bull E, Allen W, Kotoda Y, Talukdar S, Smith LEH, Fu Z. Müller glial responses compensate for degenerating photoreceptors in retinitis pigmentosa. Exp Mol Med 2021;Abstract
Photoreceptor degeneration caused by genetic defects leads to retinitis pigmentosa, a rare disease typically diagnosed in adolescents and young adults. In most cases, rod loss occurs first, followed by cone loss as well as altered function in cells connected to photoreceptors directly or indirectly. There remains a gap in our understanding of retinal cellular responses to photoreceptor abnormalities. Here, we utilized single-cell transcriptomics to investigate cellular responses in each major retinal cell type in retinitis pigmentosa model (P23H) mice vs. wild-type littermate mice. We found a significant decrease in the expression of genes associated with phototransduction, the inner/outer segment, photoreceptor cell cilium, and photoreceptor development in both rod and cone clusters, in line with the structural changes seen with immunohistochemistry. Accompanying this loss was a significant decrease in the expression of genes involved in metabolic pathways and energy production in both rods and cones. We found that in the Müller glia/astrocyte cluster, there was a significant increase in gene expression in pathways involving photoreceptor maintenance, while concomitant decreases were observed in rods and cones. Additionally, the expression of genes involved in mitochondrial localization and transport was increased in the Müller glia/astrocyte cluster. The Müller glial compensatory increase in the expression of genes downregulated in photoreceptors suggests that Müller glia adapt their transcriptome to support photoreceptors and could be thought of as general therapeutic targets to protect against retinal degeneration.
Olafsson J, Lai X, Landsend ECS, Olafsson S, Parissi E, Utheim ØA, Raeder S, Badian RA, Lagali N, Dartt DA, Utheim TP. TheraPearl Eye Mask and Blephasteam for the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction: a randomized, comparative clinical trial. Sci Rep 2021;11(1):22386.Abstract
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is the most common cause of dry eye disease (DED). In this study, we aimed to compare the effects of eyelid warming treatment using either TheraPearl Eye Mask (Bausch & Lomb Inc., New York, USA) or Blephasteam (Spectrum Thea Pharmaceuticals LTD, Macclesfield, UK) in a Norwegian population with mild to moderate MGD-related DED. An open label, randomized comparative trial with seventy patients (49 females, 21 males; mean age 53.6 years). Patients were randomly assigned to treatment with Blephasteam (n = 37) or TheraPearl (n = 33). All received a hyaluronic acid based artificial tear substitute (Hylo-Comod, Ursapharm, Saarbrücken, Germany). Patients were examined at baseline, and at three and six months initiation of treatment. Treatment efficacy was primarily evaluated by fluorescein breakup time (FBUT) and Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) scores. Other outcome measures included ocular surface staining (OSS), Schirmer's test, and meibomian quality and expressibility. Baseline parameter values did not differ between the groups. After six months of treatment, Blephasteam improved FBUT by 3.9 s (p < 0.01) and OSDI by 13.7 (p < 0.01), TheraPearl improved FBUT by 2.6 s (p < 0.01) and OSDI by 12.6 (p < 0.01). No difference between treatments was detected at 6 months (p = 0.11 for FBUT and p = 0.71 for OSDI), nor were there differences in the other tested parameters between the treatment groups. Blephasteam and TheraPearl are equally effective in treating mild to moderate MGD in a Norwegian population after 6-months of treatment.Clinicaltrials.gov ID: NCT03318874; Protocol ID: 2014/1983; First registration: 24/10/2017.
Betzler BK, Gunasekeran DV, Kempen J, Smith JR, McCluskey P, Nguyen QD, Pavesio C, Gupta V, Agrawal R. The Historical Evolution of Ocular Tuberculosis: Past, Present, and Future. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2021;:1-7.Abstract
Ocular involvement is a rare manifestation of tuberculosis. Four key issues historically faced by clinicians when diagnosing and treating ocular tuberculosis - diagnostic uncertainty, naturally heterogeneous presentations, limitations of existing laboratory diagnostic tools, and non-uniform treatment guidelines - continue to test today's physicians. Unparalleled scientific and clinical developments over the past century have greatly expanded the knowledge surrounding this challenging ophthalmic condition. Experience with large volumes of cases at tuberculosis-endemic centres has led to recent growth in knowledge and physician experience, perhaps more so in developing countries. Looking forward, the role of diverse new technologies, including artificial intelligence and proteomics, will advance ocular tuberculosis research. Efforts have been made to address the lack of standardized nomenclature, diagnostic uncertainty, and unvalidated, geographically variable treatment guidelines.
Kenyon KR. Comment on Cornea Classic Article: Kim JC and Tseng SCG: Transplantation of Preserved Amniotic Membrane for Surface Reconstruction in Severely Damaged Rabbit Corneas (Cornea 14: 473-484; 1995).". Cornea 2021;Abstract
ABSTRACT: Following identification of limbal stem cells, efforts have been devoted to restore and/or replace these essential progenitors of the corneal epithelium. Limbal stem cell deficiency, commonly a consequence of ocular chemical injury, results in clinically compromised vision consequent to corneal conjunctivalization. The insight of Kim and Tseng provided experimental proof of the concept that even in the presence of total limbal stem cell deficiency, amnion membrane overlay grafts can promote limbal recovery as a means of ocular surface reconstruction.
Lužnik Marzidovšek Z, Blanco T, Sun Z, Alemi H, Ortiz G, Nakagawa H, Chauhan SK, Taylor AW, Jurkunas UV, Yin J, Dana R. The neuropeptide alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone is critical for corneal endothelial cell protection and graft survival after transplantation. Am J Pathol 2021;Abstract
Corneal transplantation is the most common form of tissue transplantation. The success of corneal transplantation mainly relies on the integrity of corneal endothelial cells (CEnCs), which maintain tissue transparency by pumping out excess water from the cornea. After transplantation, the rate of CEnC loss far exceeds that seen with normal aging, and this can threaten sight. The underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) is a neuropeptide that is constitutively found in the aqueous humor with both cytoprotective and immunomodulatory effects. We found high expression of melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), the receptor for α-MSH, on CEnCs. We then set to determine the effect of α-MSH/MC1R signaling on endothelial function and allograft survival in vitro and in vivo using MC1R signaling-deficient mice (Mc1re/e mice with a nonfunctional MC1R). Herein, we show that in addition to its well-known immunomodulatory effect, α-MSH has cytoprotective effects on CEnCs after corneal transplantation and the loss of MC1R signaling significantly decreases long-term graft survival in vivo. In conclusion, α-MSH/MC1R signaling is critical for CEnC function and graft survival after corneal transplantation.
Scott HA, Larson A, Rong SS, Mehrotra S, Butcher R, Chao KR, Wiggs J, Place EM, Pierce EA, Bujakowska KM. A Hidden Structural Variation in a Known IRD Gene: A Cautionary Tale of Two New Disease Candidate Genes. Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud 2021;Abstract
Rod cone dystrophy (RCD), also known as retinitis pigmentosa, is an inherited condition leading to vision loss, affecting 1/3500 people. Over 270 genes are known to be implicated in the inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs), yet genetic diagnosis for ~30% IRD of patients remains elusive despite advances in sequencing technologies. The goal of this study was to determine the genetic causality in a family with Rod-cone dystrophy (RCD). Family members were given a full ophthalmic exam at the Retinal Service at MEE and consented to genetic testing. Whole exome sequencing (WES) was performed and variants of interest were Sanger validated. Functional assays were conducted in zebrafish along with splicing assays in relevant cell lines to determine the impact on retinal function. WES identified variants in two potential candidate genes that segregated with disease: GNL3 (G Protein Nucleolar 3) c.1187+3A>C and c.1568-8C>A; and PDE4DIP (Phosphodiester 4D Interacting Protein) c.3868G>A (p.Glu1290Lys) and c.4603G>A (p.Ala1535Thr). Both genes were promising candidates based on their retinal involvement (development and interactions with IRD-associated proteins), however the functional assays did not validate either gene. Subsequent WES reanalysis with an updated bioinformatics pipeline and widened search parameters led to the detection of a 94bp duplication in PRPF31 (pre-mRNA Processing Factor 31) c.73_266dup (p.Asp56GlyfsTer33) as the causal variant. Our study demonstrates the importance of thorough functional characterization of new disease candidate genes, and the value of reanalyzing NGS sequence data, which in our case led to identification of a hidden pathogenic variant in a known IRD gene.
Xu J, Emmermann B, Bowers AR. Auditory Reminder Cues to Promote Proactive Scanning on Approach to Intersections in Drivers With Homonymous Hemianopia: Driving With Hemianopia, IX. JAMA Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
Importance: Individuals with homonymous hemianopia (HH) are permitted to drive in some jurisdictions. They could compensate for their hemifield vision loss by scanning toward the blind side. However, some drivers with HH do not scan adequately well to the blind side when approaching an intersection, resulting in delayed responses to hazards. Objective: To evaluate whether auditory reminder cues promoted proactive scanning on approach to intersections. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional, single-visit driving simulator study was conducted from October 2018 to May 2019 at a vision rehabilitation research laboratory. A volunteer sample of individuals with HH without visual neglect are included in this analysis. This post hoc analysis was completed in July and August 2020. Main Outcomes and Measures: Participants completed drives with and without scanning reminder cues (a single tone from a speaker on the blind side). Scanning was quantified by the percentage of intersections at which an early large scan was made (a scan with a head movement of at least 20° made before 30 m from the intersection). Responses to motorcycle hazards at intersections were quantified by the time to the first fixation and the time to the horn-press response. Results: Sixteen individuals were recruited and completed the study. Two were subsequently excluded from analyses. Thus, data from 14 participants (median [IQR] age, 54 [36-66] years; 13 men [93%]) were included. Stroke was the primary cause of the HH (10 participants [71%]). Six (43%) had right-sided HH. Participants were more likely to make an early large scan to the blind side in drives with vs without cues (65% vs 45%; difference, 20% [95% CI, 5%-37%]; P < .001). When participants made an early large scan to the blind side, they were faster to make their first fixation on blind-side motorcycles (mean [SD], 1.77 [1.34] vs 3.88 [1.17] seconds; difference, -2.11 [95% CI, -2.46 to -1.75] seconds; P < .001) and faster to press the horn (mean [SD], 2.54 [1.19] vs 4.54 [1.37] seconds; difference, -2.00 [95% CI, -2.38 to -1.62] seconds; P < .001) than when they did not make an early scan. Conclusions and Relevance: This post hoc analysis suggests that auditory reminder cues may promote proactive scanning, which may be associated with faster responses to hazards. This hypothesis should be considered in future prospective studies.
Zekavat SM, Raghu VK, Trinder M, Ye Y, Koyama S, Honigberg MC, Yu Z, Pampana A, Urbut S, Haidermota S, O'Regan DP, Zhao H, Ellinor PT, Segrè AV, Elze T, Wiggs JL, Martone J, Adelman RA, Zebardast N, Del Priore L, Wang JC, Natarajan P. Deep Learning of the Retina Enables Phenome- and Genome-wide Analyses of the Microvasculature. Circulation 2021;Abstract
Background: The microvasculature, the smallest blood vessels in the body, has key roles in maintenance of organ health as well as tumorigenesis. The retinal fundus is a window for human in vivo non-invasive assessment of the microvasculature. Large-scale complementary machine learning-based assessment of the retinal vasculature with phenome-wide and genome-wide analyses may yield new insights into human health and disease. Methods: We utilized 97,895 retinal fundus images from 54,813 UK Biobank participants. Using convolutional neural networks to segment the retinal microvasculature, we calculated fractal dimension (FD) as a measure of vascular branching complexity, and vascular density. We associated these indices with 1,866 incident ICD-based conditions (median 10y follow-up) and 88 quantitative traits, adjusting for age, sex, smoking status, and ethnicity. Results: Low retinal vascular FD and density were significantly associated with higher risks for incident mortality, hypertension, congestive heart failure, renal failure, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, anemia, and multiple ocular conditions, as well as corresponding quantitative traits. Genome-wide association of vascular FD and density identified 7 and 13 novel loci respectively, which were enriched for pathways linked to angiogenesis (e.g., VEGF, PDGFR, angiopoietin, and WNT signaling pathways) and inflammation (e.g., interleukin, cytokine signaling). Conclusions: Our results indicate that the retinal vasculature may serve as a biomarker for future cardiometabolic and ocular disease and provide insights on genes and biological pathways influencing microvascular indices. Moreover, such a framework highlights how deep learning of images can quantify an interpretable phenotype for integration with electronic health records, biomarker, and genetic data to inform risk prediction and risk modification.
Magno MS, Olafsson J, Beining M, Moschowits E, Lagali N, Wolffsohn JS, Craig JP, Dartt DA, Vehof J, Utheim TP. Chambered warm moist air eyelid warming devices - a review. Acta Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
BACKGROUND: Eyelid warming is an important treatment for meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). Specialized chambered devices, using warm moist air have been developed. PURPOSE: To critically evaluate the literature on the safety and efficacy of chambered warm moist air devices in MGD treatment and pinpoint areas of future research. METHODS: PubMed and Embase were searched on 06 June 2021. The search term was '(warm OR heat OR steam OR goggle OR spectacle OR moist air) AND (meibomian OR MGD OR blepharitis OR eyelid OR dry eye OR DED)'. All relevant articles with available English full text were included. RESULTS: Eighteen articles assessing the application of chambered warm moist air eyelid warming devices were identified. In single-application studies, steam-based eyelid warming increased the eyelid temperature and improved symptoms, lipid layer thickness, and tear film breakup time (TBUT). In treatment studies, the steam-based devices improved TBUT and symptom scores. However, in the only randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing chambered steam-based heat to hot towel treatment, there was no difference between groups for the primary outcome measure; the proportion of subjects noting symptom improvement after 4 weeks. CONCLUSION: Currently available chambered warm moist air eyelid warming devices are safe and effective at raising eyelid temperature to therapeutic levels and improving signs and symptoms of dry eye. However, it is not clear if they provide a greater benefit than other eyelid warming therapies. Further well-conducted RCTs comparing moist and dry heat devices should be conducted on patients across the range of DED severities and subtype spectrum.
Sena DF, Kilian R, Liu S-H, Rizzo S, Virgili G. Pneumatic retinopexy versus scleral buckle for repairing simple rhegmatogenous retinal detachments. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2021;11:CD008350.Abstract
BACKGROUND: A rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) is a separation of the neurosensory retina from the retinal pigment epithelium caused by a full-thickness break associated with vitreous traction. While pneumatic retinopexy (PR), scleral buckle (SB), and vitrectomy are all well-received surgical interventions for eyes with RRD, their relative effectiveness has remained controversial. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness and safety of PR versus SB or PR versus a combination treatment of SB and vitrectomy for people with RRD and to summarize any data on economic measures and quality of life. SEARCH METHODS: We searched CENTRAL; which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Trials Register; 2021, Issue 3); Ovid MEDLINE; Ovid Embase; and four other databases on 11 March 2021. We used no date or language restrictions in the electronic searches for trials. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included all randomized or quasi-randomized controlled trials comparing the effectiveness of PR versus SB (with or without vitrectomy) for eyes with RRD. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: After screening for eligibility, two review authors independently extracted study characteristics, methods, and outcomes. We followed systematic review standards as set by Cochrane. MAIN RESULTS: In this update, we identified and included one new randomized controlled trial. Together with two trials from the 2015 version of the review, we included three trials (276 eyes of 274 participants) comparing the effectiveness of PR versus SB. None compared PR versus a combined treatment of SB and vitrectomy.  Of the three trials, one was a small study (published in 1996) with 20 participants (20 eyes) enrolled in Ireland and followed for a mean of 16 months; the second (published in 1989) included 196 participants (198 eyes) in the US followed for at least six months, and the third (published in 2021) was conducted in Italy and enrolled 58 participants (58 eyes) with a follow-up of 12 months. Overall, poor reporting quality resulted in unclear or high risks of bias.  We found low-certainty evidence that PR may achieve retinal reattachment slightly less often than SB (risk ratio [RR] 0.91, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.81 to 1.02; I2 = 0%; 3 studies, 276 eyes). Eyes undergoing PR may also display a higher risk of recurrent retinal detachment (low-certainty evidence), but the RR estimates were very imprecise (RR 1.70, 95% CI 0.97 to 2.98; I2 = 0%; 3 studies, 276 eyes). All three studies described the final visual acuity (VA) after the two procedures. However, the results were reported using different metrics and could not be combined. One study (196 participants) reported the proportion of eyes with a final VA of 20/40 or greater and favored PR (RR 1.31, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.65; low-certainty evidence), whereas in the 2021 study, both groups showed an improvement in final VA and there was no evidence of a difference between the two (mean difference [MD] -0.03, 95% CI -0.25 to 0.19; low-certainty evidence). No study reported data on quality of life or economic measures. Postoperative safety outcomes generally favored PR versus SB (low/very low-certainty evidence); however, there was considerable uncertainty regarding the risk of any operative ocular adverse events (RR 0.55 CI 0.28 to 1.11; 276 eyes), glaucoma (RR 0.31, 95% CI 0.01 to 7.46; 198 eyes), macular pucker (RR 0.65, 95% CI 0.20 to 2.11; 256 eyes), proliferative vitreoretinopathy (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.30 to 2.96; 276 eyes), and persistent diplopia (RR 0.24, 95% CI 0.03 to 2.09; 256 eyes). Eyes undergoing PR experienced fewer postoperative cataract developments (RR 0.40, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.75; 153 eyes), choroidal detachments (RR 0.17, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.57; 198 eyes), and myopic shift (RR 0.03, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.10; 256 eyes). AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The current update confirms the findings of the previous review. PR may result in lower rates of reattachment and higher rates of recurrence than SB, but carries a lower burden of postoperative complications. The effects of these two procedures on other functional outcomes and quality of life remain uncertain. The available evidence remains insufficient and of low quality.

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