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Ashkenazy N, Patel NA, Sridhar J, Yannuzzi NA, Belin PJ, Kaplan R, Kothari N, Benitez Bajandas GA, Kohly RP, Roizenblatt R, Pinhas A, Mundae R, Rosen RB, Ryan EH, Chiang A, Chang LK, Khurana RN, Finn AP. Hemi- and Central Retinal Vein Occlusion Associated with COVID-19 Infection in Young Patients without Known Risk Factors. Ophthalmol Retina 2022;6(6):520-530.Abstract
PURPOSE: Venous thromboembolic complications have been reported in association with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. We raised awareness regarding a potential temporal association between COVID-19 infection and retinal vein occlusion (RVO). DESIGN: Multicenter, retrospective, nonconsecutive case series. SUBJECTS: Patients presenting with hemi-RVO (HRVO) or central RVO (CRVO) between March 2020 and March 2021, with confirmed COVID-19 infection, were included. The exclusion criteria were as follows: age >50 years, hypertension, diabetes, glaucoma, obesity, underlying hypercoagulable states, and those requiring intubation during hospitalization. METHODS: This was a multicenter, retrospective, nonconsecutive case series including patients presenting with hemi-RVO (HRVO) or central RVO (CRVO) between March 2020 and March 2021, with confirmed COVID-19 infection. The exclusion criteria were as follows: age >50 years, hypertension, diabetes, glaucoma, obesity, underlying hypercoagulable states, and those requiring intubation during hospitalization. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Ophthalmic findings, including presenting and final visual acuity (VA), imaging findings, and clinical course. RESULTS: Twelve eyes of 12 patients with CRVO (9 of 12) or HRVO (3 of 12) after COVID-19 infection were included. The median age was 32 years (range, 18-50 years). Three patients were hospitalized, but none were intubated. The median time from COVID-19 diagnosis to ophthalmic symptoms was 6.9 weeks. The presenting VA ranged from 20/20 to counting fingers, with over half (7 of 12) having a VA of ≥20/40. OCT revealed macular edema in 42% of the eyes; of these, 80% (4 of 5) were treated with anti-VEGF injections. Ninety-two percent (11 of 12) had partial or complete resolution of ocular findings at final follow-up. Four eyes (33%) had retinal thinning, as determined using OCT, by the end of the study interval. The final VA ranged from 20/20 to 20/60, with 11 of the 12 (92%) eyes achieving a VA of ≥20/40 at a median final follow-up period of 13 weeks (range, 4-52 weeks). CONCLUSIONS: Although we acknowledge the high seroprevalence of COVID-19 and that a causal relationship cannot be established, we reported this series to raise awareness regarding the potential risk of retinal vascular events due to a heightened thromboinflammatory state associated with COVID-19 infection.
Ponsetto MK, Elhusseiny AM, Kwan J, Saeed HN. Corneal stromal deposits in connective tissue disease, a case series. Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep 2022;25:101264.Abstract
Purpose: We report two cases of refractile, peripheral, corneal stromal deposition in two patients with arterial tortuosity syndrome (ATS) and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), two closely related connective tissue diseases (CTDs). Observations: Patient 1: A 21-year-old man with history of ATS and keratoectasia presented with bilateral peripheral corneal neovascularization with numerous whitish brown, refractile, deep stromal opacities that were circumferential along the inferotemporal cornea. After 3 years of follow-up, the corneal deposits did not progress, but the ectasia did, with significant bilateral corneal steepening and thinning for which the patient was recommended to undergo repeat corneal collagen cross linking. Patient 2: A 26-year-old man with presumed diagnosis of EDS presented with numerous whitish brown, refractile, deep stromal opacities that were circumferential along the temporal cornea in the right eye, and superiorly in the left eye. The left eye had a pseudopterygium involving 50% of the cornea. After 2 years of follow-up, the corneal opacities did not progress; however, the patient underwent primary excision of the pseudopterygium and subsequently had conjunctivalization of the entire cornea. The lesions in both cases resembled those seen in Terrien's marginal degeneration. Conclusions and importance: Peripheral corneal stromal deposits have never been reported before in EDS or ATS or other connective tissue diseases. This case series may prompt further inquiry and characterization of these findings in patients with CTDs.
Gostimir M, Liou V, Yoon MK. Safety of Botulinum Toxin A Injections for Facial Rejuvenation: A Meta-Analysis of 9,669 Patients. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg 2022;Abstract
PURPOSE: To quantitatively evaluate safety profile for botulinum toxin A (BTX-A) injections among patients undergoing treatment for cosmetic indications is produced, with special attention to clinically relevant covariates and their relative impact on safety. METHODS: A systematic literature search was performed using PubMed (1996-January 2020) and Embase (1947-January 2020) to identify all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that reported safety data for patients receiving BTX-A for cosmetic indications compared to placebo. A meta-analysis was performed to determine pooled risk ratios (RR) for treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) and for specific adverse events. Meta-regression and additional analyses were performed for significant and/or clinically relevant covariates. RESULTS: Following the review of 8,690 studies, 32 RCTs involving 9,669 patients were included. The pooled RR of any TRAE occurring after BTX-A injection compared to placebo injection was 1.53 (95% CI, 1.33-1.77; p < 0.001). Statistically significant covariates included individual injection volume and total injection volume. The type of BTX-A formulation, treatment site, total BTX-A units, and BTX-A units per injection were not significant. Specific adverse events more likely to occur following BTX-A injection rather than placebo injection included eyelid/eyebrow malposition (RR 3.55; p < 0.001), facial paresis (RR 2.42; p = 0.316), and headache (RR 1.45; p = 0.003). Injection site reactions and injection site bruising occurred at similar rates in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: The overall safety profile of BTX-A is acceptable and consistent with previous publications. The authors' additional analyses provide a relative comparison of the impact of various treatment parameters on safety.
Salongcay RP, Aquino LAC, Salva CMG, Saunar AV, Alog GP, Sun JK, Peto T, Silva PS. Comparison of Handheld Retinal Imaging with ETDRS 7-Standard Field Photography for Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Macular Edema. Ophthalmol Retina 2022;6(7):548-556.Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare nonmydriatic (NM) and mydriatic (MD) handheld retinal imaging with standard ETDRS 7-field color fundus photography (ETDRS photographs) for the assessment of diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME). DESIGN: Prospective, comparative, instrument validation study. SUBJECTS: A total of 225 eyes from 116 patients with diabetes mellitus. METHODS: Following a standardized protocol, NM and MD images were acquired using handheld retinal cameras (NM images: Aurora, Smartscope, and RetinaVue-700; MD images: Aurora, Smartscope, RetinaVue-700, and iNview) and dilated ETDRS photographs. Grading was performed at a centralized reading center using the International Clinical Classification for DR and DME. Kappa statistics (simple [K], weighted [Kw]) assessed the level of agreement for DR and DME. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated for any DR, referable DR (refDR), and vision-threatening DR (vtDR). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Agreement for DR and DME; sensitivity and specificity for any DR, refDR, and vtDR; ungradable rates. RESULTS: Severity by ETDRS photographs: no DR, 33.3%; mild nonproliferative DR, 20.4%; moderate DR, 14.2%; severe DR, 11.6%; proliferative DR, 20.4%; no DME, 68.0%; DME, 9.3%; non-center involving clinically significant DME, 4.9%; center-involving clinically significant DME, 12.4%; and ungradable, 5.3%. For NM handheld retinal imaging, Kw was 0.70 to 0.73 for DR and 0.76 to 0.83 for DME. For MD handheld retinal imaging, Kw was 0.68 to 0.75 for DR and 0.77 to 0.91 for DME. Thresholds for sensitivity (0.80) and specificity (0.95) were met by NM images acquired using Smartscope and MD images acquired using Aurora and RetinaVue-700 cameras for any DR and by MD images acquired using Aurora and RetinaVue-700 cameras for refDR. Thresholds for sensitivity and specificity were met by MD images acquired using Aurora and RetinaVue-700 for DME. Nonmydriatic and MD ungradable rates for DR were 15.1% to 38.3% and 0% to 33.8%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Following standardized protocols, NM and MD handheld retinal imaging devices have substantial agreement levels for DR and DME. With mydriasis, not all handheld retinal imaging devices meet standards for sensitivity and specificity in identifying any DR and refDR. None of the handheld devices met the established 95% specificity for vtDR, suggesting that lower referral thresholds should be used if handheld devices must be utilized. When using handheld devices, the ungradable rate is significantly reduced with mydriasis and DME sensitivity thresholds are only achieved following dilation.
Yeung V, Zhang TC, Yuan L, Parekh M, Cortinas JA, Delavogia E, Hutcheon AEK, Guo X, Ciolino JB. Extracellular Vesicles Secreted by Corneal Myofibroblasts Promote Corneal Epithelial Cell Migration. Int J Mol Sci 2022;23(6)Abstract
Corneal epithelial wound healing is a multifaceted process that encompasses cell proliferation, migration, and communication from the corneal stroma. Upon corneal injury, bidirectional crosstalk between the epithelium and stroma via extracellular vesicles (EVs) has been reported. However, the mechanisms by which the EVs from human corneal keratocytes (HCKs), fibroblasts (HCFs), and/or myofibroblasts (HCMs) exert their effects on the corneal epithelium remain unclear. In this study, HCK-, HCF-, and HCM-EVs were isolated and characterized, and human corneal epithelial (HCE) cell migration was assessed in a scratch assay following PKH26-labeled HCK-, HCF-, or HCM-EV treatment. HCE cells proliferative and apoptotic activity following EV treatment was assessed. HCF-/HCM-EVs were enriched for CD63, CD81, ITGAV, and THBS1 compared to HCK-EV. All EVs were negative for GM130 and showed minimal differences in biophysical properties. At the proteomic level, we showed HCM-EV with a log &gt;two-fold change in CXCL6, CXCL12, MMP1, and MMP2 expression compared to HCK-/HCF-EVs; these proteins are associated with cellular movement pathways. Upon HCM-EV treatment, HCE cell migration, velocity, and proliferation were significantly increased compared to HCK-/HCF-EVs. This study concludes that the HCM-EV protein cargo influences HCE cell migration and proliferation, and understanding these elements may provide a novel therapeutic avenue for corneal wound healing.
Vongsachang H, Fliotsos MJ, Lorch AC, Singman EL, Woreta FA, Justin GA. The impact of COVID-19 on ophthalmology resident surgical experience: a retrospective cross-sectional analysis. BMC Med Educ 2022;22(1):142.Abstract
BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused significant disruption to in-office and surgical procedures in the field of ophthalmology. The magnitude of the impact of the pandemic on surgical training among ophthalmology residents is not known. This study aims to quantify changes in average case logs among United States (U.S.) ophthalmology residency graduates prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of aggregate, national data on case logs of U.S. ophthalmology residency graduates from 2012 to 2020. The yearly percent change in the average number of procedures performed in the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) ophthalmology resident case logs were analyzed using linear regression on log-transformed dependent variables. The average percent change from 2019 to 2020 was compared to the average yearly percent change from 2012 to 2019 for procedures performed as the primary surgeon, and primary surgeon and surgical assistant (S + A), as well as procedures for which there are ACGME minimum graduating numbers. RESULTS: Across all procedures and roles, average case logs in 2020 were lower than the averages in 2019. While average total cases logged as primary surgeon increased yearly by 3.2% (95% CI: 2.7, 3.8%, p < 0.001) from 2012 to 2019, total primary surgeon case logs decreased by 11.2% from 2019 to 2020. Cataract (-22.0%) and keratorefractive (-21.1%) surgery experienced the greatest percent decrease in average primary surgeon cases logged from 2019 to 2020. Average total cases logged as S + A experienced an average yearly increase by 1.2% (95% CI: 0.9,1.6%, p < 0.001) prior to 2020, but decreased by 9.6% from 2019 to 2020. For ACGME minimum requirements, similar changes were observed. Specifically, the average case logs in YAG, SLT, filtering (glaucoma), and intravitreal injections had been increasing significantly prior to 2020 (p < 0.05 for all) but decreased in 2020. CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate the vulnerability of ophthalmology residency programs to a significant interruption in surgical volume. There is a critical need for development of competency-based, rather than volume-based, requirements to evaluate readiness for independent practice.
Tran JA, Jurkunas UV, Yin J, Davies EC, Sola-Del Valle DA, Chen TC, Lin MM. Netarsudil-associated reticular corneal epithelial edema. Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep 2022;25:101287.Abstract
Purpose: To describe 8 cases of reversible reticular corneal epithelial edema of the cornea that developed after use of the topical Rho-kinase inhibitor netarsudil. Methods: This is a retrospective chart review case series of 8 patients treated with netarsudil at an academic medical center. Observations: Patients had predisposing corneal conditions including penetrating keratoplasty, corneal decompensation after trabeculectomy-associated endophthalmitis, congenital glaucoma with Haab striae, aphakic bullous keratopathy, history of Ahmed valve and silicone oil, and Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy undergoing Descemet stripping only. One patient did not have clear predisposing corneal disease other than low endothelial cell density and a history of trabeculectomy. All patients developed reticular corneal epithelial edema, which appeared as collections of moderate sized superficial epithelial bullae arranged in a reticular pattern resembling a honeycomb. Most developed these changes within weeks of initiating netarsudil, but unique to this series are 2 cases in which netarsudil was tolerated by the cornea for months before developing reticular corneal epithelial edema after diode laser cyclophotocoagulation. In cases which underwent anterior segment optical coherence tomography, the imaging demonstrated that the corneal stroma was not edematous, and the reticular corneal epithelial edema involved both host and donor corneal epithelium in cases of penetrating keratoplasty. This fully resolved in all cases upon cessation of netarsudil, and this series is the first to document resolution via a pattern in which the individual bullae become smaller and more widely spaced apart. Conclusion: Netarsudil can cause a reversible reticular corneal epithelial edema.
Amamoto R, Wallick GK, Cepko CL. Retinoic acid signaling mediates peripheral cone photoreceptor survival in a mouse model of retina degeneration. Elife 2022;11Abstract
Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a progressive, debilitating visual disorder caused by mutations in a diverse set of genes. In both humans with RP and mouse models of RP, rod photoreceptor dysfunction leads to loss of night vision, and is followed by secondary cone photoreceptor dysfunction and degeneration, leading to loss of daylight color vision. A strategy to prevent secondary cone death could provide a general RP therapy to preserve daylight color vision regardless of the underlying mutation. In mouse models of RP, cones in the peripheral retina survive long-term, despite complete rod loss. The mechanism for such peripheral cone survival had not been explored. Here, we found that active retinoic acid (RA) signaling in peripheral Muller glia is necessary for the abnormally long survival of these peripheral cones. RA depletion by conditional knockout of RA synthesis enzymes, or overexpression of an RA degradation enzyme, abrogated the extended survival of peripheral cones. Conversely, constitutive activation of RA signaling in the central retina promoted long-term cone survival. These results indicate that RA signaling mediates the prolonged peripheral cone survival in the rd1 mouse model of retinal degeneration, and provide a basis for a generic strategy for cone survival in the many diseases that lead to loss of cone-mediated vision.
Reshef ER, Freitag SK, Lee NG. Orbital Inflammation Following COVID-19 Vaccination. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg 2022;38(3):e67-e70.Abstract
Three patients presented with periorbital swelling, pain with extraocular movements, and binocular diplopia 1-4 days after receiving an mRNA Coronavirus Infectious Disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccine (BNT162b2, Pfizer/BioNTech; mRNA-1273, Moderna). All patients had a normal afferent function, unilateral limitation of extraocular motility, proptosis, and periorbital inflammation. Neuroimaging of the orbits with contrast revealed inflammation and enlargement of extraocular muscles in 2 cases and the lacrimal gland in 1 case. In all 3 cases, an extensive infectious and inflammatory laboratory work-up was unremarkable and signs and symptoms of orbital inflammation rapidly improved to complete resolution after treatment with high-dose oral prednisone. This is the first reported series of orbital inflammation occurring shortly after administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. Clinicians may consider an inflammatory postvaccine etiology as an alternative to presumed idiopathic diagnosis in such cases.
Ichhpujani P, Thakur S, Singh T, Singh RB, Kumar S. Effect of laser peripheral iridotomy on contrast sensitivity using Spaeth/Richman Contrast Sensitivity test. Ther Adv Ophthalmol 2022;14:25158414221078142.Abstract
Background: Laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) is the current standard of care for primary angle-closure glaucoma. The existing literature lacks evidence regarding the effects of LPI on contrast sensitivity (CS) after the procedure. Objective: This study evaluates central and peripheral CS in patients undergoing LPI using the computer-based, Spaeth/Richman Contrast Sensitivity (SPARCS) test. Methods: We performed a pilot, prospective, interventional cohort study including 30 patients of primary angle-closure suspect (PACS) or primary angle closure (PAC) in both eyes. LPI was performed after a detailed history and clinical examination using standard procedure in all eyes. Intraocular pressure (IOP) and CS testing using SPARCS was performed before, 2 weeks and 3 months after LPI. Results: Data analyses revealed female predominance (66.67%, 20/30); the mean age of enrolled patients was 49.93 ± 10.43 years, and presenting acuity was 0.02 ± 0.06 (Log of Minimum Angle of Resolution [LogMAR]). The mean vertical cup-to-disc ratio (VCDR), mean deviation (MD in dB) and pattern standard deviation (PSD in dB) were 0.34 ± 0.09, -2.36 ± 1.72 and 2.34 ± 0.81, respectively. There was a statistically significant decrease between the pre- (15.17 ± 3.83 mmHg) and 2 weeks post-LPI (11.70 ± 1.53 mmHg) IOP (p < 0.001). However, CS in the pre- (73.47 ± 9.88) and 3 months post-LPI (75.20 ± 11.98) SPARCS scores did not reveal any statistical difference. The group-wise analysis showed a similar trend between PAC and PACS patients. Conclusion: LPI does not affect central as well as peripheral CS assessment in patients with the primary angle-closure disease.
Grotz S, Schäfer J, Wunderlich KA, Ellederova Z, Auch H, Bähr A, Runa-Vochozkova P, Fadl J, Arnold V, Ardan T, Veith M, Santamaria G, Dhom G, Hitzl W, Kessler B, Eckardt C, Klein J, Brymova A, Linnert J, Kurome M, Zakharchenko V, Fischer A, Blutke A, Döring A, Suchankova S, Popelar J, Rodríguez-Bocanegra E, Dlugaiczyk J, Straka H, May-Simera H, Wang W, Laugwitz K-L, Vandenberghe LH, Wolf E, Nagel-Wolfrum K, Peters T, Motlik J, Fischer DM, Wolfrum U, Klymiuk N. Early disruption of photoreceptor cell architecture and loss of vision in a humanized pig model of usher syndromes. EMBO Mol Med 2022;14(4):e14817.Abstract
Usher syndrome (USH) is the most common form of monogenic deaf-blindness. Loss of vision is untreatable and there are no suitable animal models for testing therapeutic strategies of the ocular constituent of USH, so far. By introducing a human mutation into the harmonin-encoding USH1C gene in pigs, we generated the first translational animal model for USH type 1 with characteristic hearing defect, vestibular dysfunction, and visual impairment. Changes in photoreceptor architecture, quantitative motion analysis, and electroretinography were characteristics of the reduced retinal virtue in USH1C pigs. Fibroblasts from USH1C pigs or USH1C patients showed significantly elongated primary cilia, confirming USH as a true and general ciliopathy. Primary cells also proved their capacity for assessing the therapeutic potential of CRISPR/Cas-mediated gene repair or gene therapy in vitro. AAV-based delivery of harmonin into the eye of USH1C pigs indicated therapeutic efficacy in vivo.
Neerukonda VK, Kim IK, Stagner AM. Primary vitreoretinal involvement and immunopositivity for BRAFV600E help distinguish metastatic from primary intraocular melanoma: a detailed histopathologic study of metastatic cutaneous melanoma to the eye. Histopathology 2022;80(7):1061-1070.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinicopathologic characteristics of metastatic cutaneous melanoma to the eye and identify potential distinguishing characteristics from the more common primary uveal melanoma; particularly, tumour location within the eye, cytomorphology and immunohistochemical/specific molecular genetic features. METHODS: A retrospective observational case series using surgical enucleation and diagnostic vitrectomy cytologic specimens from seven patients with suspected intraocular melanoma, eventually diagnosed as metastatic melanoma, was conducted. Haematoxylin and eosin-stained sections of tumour and immunohistochemical (IHC) stains for BRAFV600E and Ki-67 were critically reviewed; BAP1 IHC was also evaluated in cases where additional tissue was available. Clinical imaging studies and medical records were reviewed. RESULTS: The majority of patients (86%) with metastatic melanoma have primary vitreoretinal (not uveal) involvement and epithelioid, highly malignant cytomorphology (100%); many (50%) harbour BRAFV600E mutations, a finding not seen in large cohorts of primary uveal melanoma. CONCLUSIONS: Characteristics favouring or defining metastatic intraocular melanoma over primary uveal melanoma include high-grade epithelioid cytology, predominant involvement of the vitreous cavity and/or retina, and presence of positive immunostaining for BRAFV600E.
Zheng J, Schjetnan AGP, Yebra M, Gomes BA, Mosher CP, Kalia SK, Valiante TA, Mamelak AN, Kreiman G, Rutishauser U. Neurons detect cognitive boundaries to structure episodic memories in humans. Nat Neurosci 2022;25(3):358-368.Abstract
While experience is continuous, memories are organized as discrete events. Cognitive boundaries are thought to segment experience and structure memory, but how this process is implemented remains unclear. We recorded the activity of single neurons in the human medial temporal lobe (MTL) during the formation and retrieval of memories with complex narratives. Here, we show that neurons responded to abstract cognitive boundaries between different episodes. Boundary-induced neural state changes during encoding predicted subsequent recognition accuracy but impaired event order memory, mirroring a fundamental behavioral tradeoff between content and time memory. Furthermore, the neural state following boundaries was reinstated during both successful retrieval and false memories. These findings reveal a neuronal substrate for detecting cognitive boundaries that transform experience into mnemonic episodes and structure mental time travel during retrieval.

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