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Jacoba CMP, Ashraf M, Cavallerano JD, Tolson AM, Tolls D, Pellegrini E, Fleming A, Sun JK, Aiello LP, Silva PS. Association of Maximizing Visible Retinal Area by Manual Eyelid Lifting With Grading of Diabetic Retinopathy Severity and Detection of Predominantly Peripheral Lesions When Using Ultra-Widefield Imaging. JAMA Ophthalmol 2022;140(4):421-425.Abstract
Importance: Methods that increase visible retinal area (VRA; measured in millimeters squared) may improve identification of diabetic retinopathy (DR) lesions. Objective: To evaluate the association of dilation and manual eyelid lifting (MLL) with VRA on ultra-widefield imaging (UWFI) and the association of VRA with grading of DR severity and detection of predominantly peripheral lesions (PPLs). Design, Setting, and Participants: Retrospective, comparative case-control study at the Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, Massachusetts. Nonmydriatic UWFI with MLL was acquired from a DR teleophthalmology program (Joslin Vision Network [JVN]). A second cohort of mydriatic UWFI was acquired at an academic retina practice (Beetham Eye Institute [BEI]) from November 6, 2017, to November 6, 2018, and with MLL thereafter until November 6, 2019. Fully automated algorithms determined VRA and hemorrhage and/or microaneurysm (HMA) counts. Predominantly peripheral lesions and HMAs were defined as present when at least 1 field had greater HMA number in the peripheral retina than within the corresponding Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study field. Participants included 3014 consecutive patients (5919 eyes) undergoing retinal imaging at JVN and BEI. Exposures: Dilation and MLL performed at the time of UWFI. Main Outcomes and Measures: Visible retinal area, DR severity, and presence of PPLs. Results: Of the 3014 participants, mean (SD) age was 56.1 (14.5) years, 1302 (43.2%) were female, 2450 (81.3%) were White, and mean (SD) diabetes duration was 15.9 (11.4) years. All images from 5919 eyes with UWFI were analyzed. Mean (SD) VRA was 665.1 (167.6) mm2 for all eyes (theoretical maximal VRA, 923.9 mm2), 550.8 (240.7) mm2 for nonmydriatic JVN with MLL (1418 eyes [24.0%]), 688.1 (119.9) mm2 for mydriatic BEI images (3650 eyes [61.7%]), and 757.0 (69.7) mm2 for mydriatic and MLL BEI images (851 eyes [14.4%]). Dilation increased VRA by 25% (P < .001) and MLL increased VRA an additional 10% (P < .001). Nonmydriatic MLL increased VRA by 11.0%. With MLL, HMA counts in UWFI fields increased by 41.7% (from 4.8 to 6.8; P < .001). Visible retinal area was moderately associated with increasing PPL-HMA overall and in each cohort (all, r = 0.33; BEI, r = 0.29; JVN, r = 0.36; P < .001). In JVN images, increasing VRA was associated with more PPL-HMA (quartile 1 [Q1], 23.7%; Q2, 45.8%; Q3, 60.6%; and Q4, 69.2%; P < .001). Conclusions and Relevance: Using fully automated VRA and HMA detection algorithms, pupillary dilation and eyelid lifting were shown to substantially increase VRA and PLL-HMA detection. Given the importance of HMA and PPL for determining risk of DR progression, these findings emphasize the importance of maximizing VRA for optimal risk assessment in clinical trials and teleophthalmology programs.
Wang J, Zhao L, Gu X, Xue Y, Wang S, Xiao R, Vandenberghe LH, Peng KA, Shu Y, Li H. Efficient Delivery of Adeno-Associated Virus into Inner Ear In Vivo Through Trans-Stapes Route in Adult Guinea Pig. Hum Gene Ther 2022;33(13-14):719-728.Abstract
Adeno-associated virus (AAV) are potent vectors to achieve treatment against hearing loss resulting from genetic defects. However, the effects of delivery routes and the corresponding transduction efficiencies for clinical applications remain elusive. In this study, we screened AAV vectors of three serotypes (AAV 8 and 9 and Anc80L65) into the inner ears of adult normal guinea pigs through trans-stapes (oval window) and trans-round window delivery routes in vivo. Trans-stapes route is akin to stape surgeries in humans. Then, auditory brainstem response (ABR) measurements were conducted to evaluate postoperative hearing, and inner ear tissues were harvested for transduction efficiency analysis. Results showed that AAV8 targeted partial inner hair cells (IHCs) in cochlear basal turn; AAV9 targeted IHCs in cochlear basal and second turn, also a part of vestibular hair cells (VHCs). In contrast, Anc80L65 contributed to green fluorescent proteins (GFP) signals of 80 - 95% IHCs and 67 - 91% outer hair cells (OHCs), as well as 69% VHCs through the trans-round window route, with 15-20 decibel (dB) ABR threshold shifts. And, through the trans-stapes (oval window) route, there were 71 - 90% IHCs and 42 - 81% OHCs, along with 64% VHCs demonstrating GFP positive, and the ABR threshold shifts were within 10 dB. This study revealed AAV could be efficiently delivered into mammalian inner ear cells in vivo through the trans-stapes (oval window) route with postoperative hearing preservation, and both delivery routes showed promise of virus-based clinical translation of hearing impairment treatment.
Kuht HJ, Maconachie GDE, Han J, Kessel L, van Genderen MM, McLean RJ, Hisaund M, Tu Z, Hertle RW, Gronskov K, Bai D, Wei A, Li W, Jiao Y, Smirnov V, Choi J-H, Tobin MD, Sheth V, Purohit R, Dawar B, Girach A, Strul S, May L, Chen FK, Heath Jeffery RC, Aamir A, Sano R, Jin J, Brooks BP, Kohl S, Arveiler B, Montoliu L, Engle EC, Proudlock FA, Nishad G, Pani P, Varma G, Gottlob I, Thomas MG. Genotypic and Phenotypic Spectrum of Foveal Hypoplasia: A Multicenter Study. Ophthalmology 2022;129(6):708-718.Abstract
PURPOSE: To characterize the genotypic and phenotypic spectrum of foveal hypoplasia (FH). DESIGN: Multicenter, observational study. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 907 patients with a confirmed molecular diagnosis of albinism, PAX6, SLC38A8, FRMD7, AHR, or achromatopsia from 12 centers in 9 countries (n = 523) or extracted from publicly available datasets from previously reported literature (n = 384). METHODS: Individuals with a confirmed molecular diagnosis and availability of foveal OCT scans were identified from 12 centers or from the literature between January 2011 and March 2021. A genetic diagnosis was confirmed by sequence analysis. Grading of FH was derived from OCT scans. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Grade of FH, presence or absence of photoreceptor specialization (PRS+ vs. PRS-), molecular diagnosis, and visual acuity (VA). RESULTS: The most common genetic etiology for typical FH in our cohort was albinism (67.5%), followed by PAX6 (21.8%), SLC38A8 (6.8%), and FRMD7 (3.5%) variants. AHR variants were rare (0.4%). Atypical FH was seen in 67.4% of achromatopsia cases. Atypical FH in achromatopsia had significantly worse VA than typical FH (P < 0.0001). There was a significant difference in the spectrum of FH grades based on the molecular diagnosis (chi-square = 60.4, P < 0.0001). All SLC38A8 cases were PRS- (P = 0.003), whereas all FRMD7 cases were PRS+ (P < 0.0001). Analysis of albinism subtypes revealed a significant difference in the grade of FH (chi-square = 31.4, P < 0.0001) and VA (P = 0.0003) between oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) compared with ocular albinism (OA) and Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS). Ocular albinism and HPS demonstrated higher grades of FH and worse VA than OCA. There was a significant difference (P < 0.0001) in VA between FRMD7 variants compared with other diagnoses associated with FH. CONCLUSIONS: We characterized the phenotypic and genotypic spectrum of FH. Atypical FH is associated with a worse prognosis than all other forms of FH. In typical FH, our data suggest that arrested retinal development occurs earlier in SLC38A8, OA, HPS, and AHR variants and later in FRMD7 variants. The defined time period of foveal developmental arrest for OCA and PAX6 variants seems to demonstrate more variability. Our findings provide mechanistic insight into disorders associated with FH and have significant prognostic and diagnostic value.
Gardiner SK, Kinast RM, Chen TC, Strouthidis NG, De Moraes CG, Nouri-Mahdavi K, Myers JS, Jeoung JW, Lind JT, Rhodes LA, Budenz DL, Mansberger SL. Clinicians' Use of Quantitative Information when Assessing the Rate of Structural Progression in Glaucoma. Ophthalmol Glaucoma 2022;Abstract
PURPOSE: OCT scans contain large amounts of information, but clinicians often rely on reported layer thicknesses when assessing the rate of glaucomatous progression. We sought to determine which of these quantifications most closely relate to the subjective assessment of glaucoma experts who had all the diagnostic information available. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Eleven glaucoma specialists independently scored the rate of structural progression from series of 5 biannual clinical OCT printouts. METHODS: 100 glaucoma or glaucoma suspect eyes of 51 participants were included; 20 were scored twice to assess repeatability. Scores ranged from 1 (improvement) to 7 (very rapid progression). Generalized estimating equation linear models were used to predict the mean clinician score from the rates of change of Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness (RNFLT) or Minimum Rim Width (MRW), either globally or in the most rapidly thinning of six sectors. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The correlation between objective rates of change and the average of the 11 clinicians' scores. RESULTS: Average RNFLT within series of study eyes was 79.3μm (range: 41.4 to 126.6). 95% of individual clinician scores varied by ≤1 point when repeated. The mean clinician score was more strongly correlated with the rate of change of RNFLT in the most rapidly changing sector in %/y (pseudo-R2=0.657) than the rate of global RNFLT (0.372). The rate of MRW in the most rapidly changing sector had pseudo-R2=0.149. CONCLUSIONS: The rate of change of RNFLT in the most rapidly changing sector predicted experts' assessment of the rate of structural progression better than global rates or MRW. Sectoral rates may be a useful addition to current clinical printouts.
Schreur V, Larsen MB, Sobrin L, Bhavsar AR, den Hollander AI, Klevering JB, Hoyng CB, de Jong EK, Grauslund J, Peto T. Imaging diabetic retinal disease: clinical imaging requirements. Acta Ophthalmol 2022;Abstract
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a sight-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus (DM) and it contributes substantially to the burden of disease globally. During the last decades, the development of multiple imaging modalities to evaluate DR, combined with emerging treatment possibilities, has led to the implementation of large-scale screening programmes resulting in improved prevention of vision loss. However, not all patients are able to participate in such programmes and not all are at equal risk of DR development and progression. In this review, we discuss the relevance of the currently available imaging modalities for the evaluation of DR: colour fundus photography (CFP), ultrawide-field photography (UWFP), fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA), optical coherence tomography (OCT), OCT angiography (OCTA) and functional testing. Furthermore, we suggest where a particular imaging technique of DR may aid the evaluation of the disease in different clinical settings. Combining information from various imaging modalities may enable the design of more personalized care including the initiation of treatment and understanding the progression of disease more adequately.
Margeta MA, Ratanawongphaibul K, Tsikata E, Zemplenyi M, Ondeck CL, Kim J, Coleman AL, Yu F, de Boer JF, Chen TC. Disc Hemorrhages Are Associated With Localized Three-Dimensional Neuroretinal Rim Thickness Progression in Open-Angle Glaucoma. Am J Ophthalmol 2022;234:188-198.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the relationship between the occurrence of optic disc hemorrhages (DH) and glaucoma progression as determined by multiple glaucoma testing modalities. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. METHODS: A longitudinal study was undertaken of 124 open-angle glaucoma patients who had yearly disc photography, visual fields (VFs), spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness scans, and optic nerve volume scans (Spectralis), all performed on the same day over a 5-year period. The minimum distance band (MDB) thickness, a 3-dimensional (3D) neuroretinal rim parameter, was calculated from optic nerve volume scans. Patients were classified as glaucoma progressors or glaucoma nonprogressors using event-based analysis. RESULTS: Of 124 open-angle glaucoma patients, 19 (15.3%) had 1 or more DHs on yearly disc photographs. Presence of a DH was associated with localized 3D neuroretinal rim thickness progression (superior MDB progression; odds ratio: 3.96; P = .04) but not with global or inferior MDB progression (P = .14 and .81, respectively), DP progression (P = .08), VF progression (P = .45), or RNFL global, inferior, or superior progression (P = .17, .26, and .76, respectively). In the majority of patients with MDB progression (14/17 or 82%), the progression was noted before or concurrently with the first instance of DH. CONCLUSIONS: Glaucoma progression detected by high-density 3D SD-OCT neuroretinal rim measurements preceded DH occurrence in the majority of patients. These findings support the hypothesis that DHs are indicators of ongoing glaucoma progression rather than discrete events that cause subsequent progression.
Heckel E, Cagnone G, Agnihotri T, Cakir B, Das A, Kim JS, Kim N, Lavoie G, Situ A, Pundir S, Sun Y, Wünnemann F, Pierce KA, Dennis C, Mitchell GA, Chemtob S, Rezende FA, Andelfinger G, Clish CB, Roux PP, Sapieha P, Smith LEH, Joyal J-S. Triglyceride-derived fatty acids reduce autophagy in a model of retinal angiomatous proliferation. JCI Insight 2022;7(6)Abstract
Dyslipidemia and autophagy have been implicated in the pathogenesis of blinding neovascular age-related macular degeneration (NV-AMD). VLDL receptor (VLDLR), expressed in photoreceptors with a high metabolic rate, facilitates the uptake of triglyceride-derived fatty acids. Since fatty acid uptake is reduced in Vldlr-/- tissues, more remain in circulation, and the retina is fuel deficient, driving the formation in mice of neovascular lesions reminiscent of retinal angiomatous proliferation (RAP), a subtype of NV-AMD. Nutrient scarcity and energy failure are classically mitigated by increasing autophagy. We found that excess circulating lipids restrained retinal autophagy, which contributed to pathological angiogenesis in the Vldlr-/- RAP model. Triglyceride-derived fatty acid sensed by free fatty acid receptor 1 (FFAR1) restricted autophagy and oxidative metabolism in photoreceptors. FFAR1 suppressed transcription factor EB (TFEB), a master regulator of autophagy and lipid metabolism. Reduced TFEB, in turn, decreased sirtuin-3 expression and mitochondrial respiration. Metabolomic signatures of mouse RAP-like retinas were consistent with a role in promoting angiogenesis. This signature was also found in human NV-AMD vitreous. Restoring photoreceptor autophagy in Vldlr-/- retinas, either pharmacologically or by deleting Ffar1, enhanced metabolic efficiency and suppressed pathological angiogenesis. Dysregulated autophagy by circulating lipids might therefore contribute to the energy failure of photoreceptors driving neovascular eye diseases, and FFAR1 may be a target for intervention.
Levine RS, Sapieha P, Dutta S, Sun JK, Gardner TW. It is time for a moonshot to find "Cures" for diabetic retinal disease. Prog Retin Eye Res 2022;:101051.Abstract
Diabetic retinal disease (DRD), the most common complication of diabetes and a leading cause of blindness in working age individuals, is now understood to be a form of sensory neuropathy or neurovascular degeneration. Current treatments are focused on advanced vision-threatening disease and a single molecular target, vascular endothelial growth factor, has an approved therapy. We trace the evolution of understanding of DRD pathogenesis, identify new approaches to clinical assessment, trials infrastructure and design, and target identification to accelerate selection and evaluation of new therapeutics that will speed development of potentially curative interventions. Critically, the "Restoring Vision Moonshot" framework will address gaps in knowledge to be filled to achieve the goal of restoring sight and preventing vision loss in persons with diabetes.
Sun T, Shu H-Y, Wu J-L, Su T, Liu Y-J, Zhang L-J, Li Q-Y, Pan Y-C, Ge Q-M, Shao Y. Investigation of changes in the activity and function of dry eye-associated brain regions using the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations method. Biosci Rep 2022;42(1)Abstract
OBJECTIVE: The local characteristics of spontaneous brain activity in patients with dry eye (DE) and its relationship with clinical characteristics were evaluated using the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) method. METHODS: A total of 27 patients with DE (10 males and 17 females) and 28 healthy controls (HCs) (10 males and 18 females) were recruited, matched according to sex, age, weight and height, classified into the DE and HC groups, and examined using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans. Spontaneous brain activity changes were recorded using ALFF technology. Data were recorded and plotted on the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, reflecting changes in activity in different brain areas. Finally, Pearson correlation analysis was used to calculate the potential relationship between spontaneous brain activity abnormalities in multiple brain regions and clinical features in patients with DE. GraphPad Prism 8 (GraphPad Software, Inc.) was used to analyze the linear correlation between the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and ALFF value. RESULTS: Compared with HCs, the ALFF values of patients with DE were decreased in the right middle frontal gyrus (MFG)/right inferior orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), left triangle inferior frontal gyrus, left MFG, and right superior frontal gyrus. In contrast, the ALFF value of patients with DE was increased in the left calcarine. CONCLUSION: There are significant fluctuations in the ALFF value of specific brain regions in patients with DE versus HCs. This corroborates previous evidence showing that the symptoms of ocular surface damage in patients with DE are related to dysfunction in specific brain areas.
Fote GM, Geller NR, Efstathiou NE, Hendricks N, Vavvas DG, Reidling JC, Thompson LM, Steffan JS. Isoform-dependent lysosomal degradation and internalization of apolipoprotein E requires autophagy proteins. J Cell Sci 2022;135(2)Abstract
The human apolipoprotein E4 isoform (APOE4) is the strongest genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD), and lysosomal dysfunction has been implicated in AD pathogenesis. We found, by examining cells stably expressing each APOE isoform, that APOE4 increases lysosomal trafficking, accumulates in enlarged lysosomes and late endosomes, alters autophagic flux and the abundance of autophagy proteins and lipid droplets, and alters the proteomic contents of lysosomes following internalization. We investigated APOE-related lysosomal trafficking further in cell culture, and found that APOE from the post-Golgi compartment is degraded through autophagy. We found that this autophagic process requires the lysosomal membrane protein LAMP2 in immortalized neuron-like and hepatic cells, and in mouse brain tissue. Several macroautophagy-associated proteins were also required for autophagic degradation and internalization of APOE in hepatic cells. The dysregulated autophagic flux and lysosomal trafficking of APOE4 that we observed suggest a possible novel mechanism that might contribute to AD pathogenesis. This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.
Silpa-Archa S, Sriyuttagrai W, Foster SC. Treatment for Epstein-Barr Virus-associated uveitis confirmed by polymerase chain reaction: Efficacy of Anti-Viral Agents and a literature review. J Clin Virol 2022;147:105079.Abstract
BACKGROUND: There are still many research challenges and unanswered questions in relation to Epstein-Barr virus-associated uveitis. These include the presence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA in asymptomatic patients, its pathogenicity in the uveitis eye, and the role of antiviral therapy for EBV-associated intraocular inflammation. METHODS: This was a retrospective review of prospectively collected data from the Ophthalmology Department, Rajavithi Hospital between 2015 and 2020. A qualitative assay using multiplex real-time PCR was performed to detect pathogen genes from specimens obtained from a total of 344 patients. The main outcome measure was treatment success defined by clinical improvement and absence of viral DNA confirmed by PCR. RESULTS: Of the 35 cases, 24 with complete data were enrolled in the study, including 22 with post-treatment PCR results. Sixty-seven percent were HIV-infected, and other plausible causes or coinfection with other pathogens were found in 75% of patients. Cytomegalovirus (38%) was the most common co-infecting pathogen. The most commonly employed regimen was a combination of systemic acyclovir and intravitreal ganciclovir injection (58%). Of the 22 cases who had post-treatment PCR results, absence of detection of the virus by PCR in the intraocular fluid after treatment was demonstrated in 73% of patients. CONCLUSION: Patients with EBV infection can be simultaneously co-infected with other pathogens. Systemic acyclovir and ganciclovir achieved clinical improvement in most cases, and EBV infection was cured in the majority of patients.
Silpa-Archa S, Hoopholerb T, Foster CS. Appraisal of vitreous syphilis antibody as a novel biomarker for the diagnosis of syphilitic uveitis: a prospective case-control study. Eye (Lond) 2022;Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the sensitivity and specificity of syphilis antibody tests in vitreous samples and to propose an algorithm using vitreous syphilis antibody as a supplementary test to confirm syphilitic uveitis (SU). METHODS: A prospective case-control study was conducted at the Retina and Uveitis Clinic from May 2017 to January 2020. Initially, patients were classified based on syphilis serology into group 1 (positive testing) and group 2 (negative testing). Group 1 was further divided into 2 subgroups (group 1A and 1B) depending on their relevant clinical manifestations and clinical improvement. Group 2 served as a control group. RESULTS: Thirty-eight patients were enrolled in the study: 14 in group 1A, 5 in group 1B, and 19 in group 2B. No patient was assigned to group 2A. All patients in group 1A, representing definite SU, completed syphilis test (rapid plasma reagin [RPR], enzyme immunoassay [EIA], and fluorescent treponemal antibody-absorption [FTA-ABS]) for vitreous, and all vitreous samples yielded positive results. Of the 5 subjects in group 1B, 3 cases were considered to be not SU with different conditions, and 2 were indeterminate for SU. They presented with different features not typical of SU, and they had variable and fewer positive syphilis antibody responses. The most sensitive test for detecting syphilis antibodies in vitreous was EIA (90.9%), followed by RPR (80.0%) and FTA-ABS IgG (78.9%). EIA and FTA-ABS had the highest specificity, detecting 100% of the syphilis antibody. CONCLUSIONS: Vitreous analysis of syphilis antibody can serve as a supplementary test to confirm SU in selected cases as the proposed algorithm.
Solli E, Doshi H, Elze T, Pasquale L, Wall M, Kupersmith M. Archetypal Analysis Reveals Quantifiable Patterns of Visual Field Loss in Optic Neuritis. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2022;11(1):27.Abstract
Purpose: Identifying and monitoring visual field (VF) defects due to optic neuritis (ON) relies on qualitative clinician interpretation. Archetypal analysis (AA), a form of unsupervised machine learning, is used to quantify VF defects in glaucoma. We hypothesized that AA can identify quantifiable, ON-specific patterns (as archetypes [ATs]) of VF loss that resemble known ON VF defects. Methods: We applied AA to a dataset of 3892 VFs prospectively collected from 456 eyes in the Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial (ONTT), and decomposed each VF into component ATs (total weight = 100%). AA of 568 VFs from 61 control eyes was used to define a minimum meaningful (≤7%) AT weight and weight change. We correlated baseline ON AT weights with global VF indices, visual acuity, and contrast sensitivity. For eyes with a dominant AT (weight ≥50%), we compared the ONTT VF classification with the AT pattern. Results: AA generated a set of 16 ATs containing patterns seen in the ONTT. These were distinct from control ATs. Baseline study eye VFs were decomposed into 2.9 ± 1.5 ATs. AT2, a global dysfunction pattern, had the highest mean weight at baseline (36%; 95% confidence interval, 33%-40%), and showed the strongest correlation with MD (r = -0.91; P < 0.001), visual acuity (r = 0.70; P < 0.001), and contrast sensitivity (r = -0.77; P < 0.001). Of 191 baseline VFs with a dominant AT, 81% matched the descriptive classifications. Conclusions: AA identifies and quantifies archetypal, ON-specific patterns of VF loss. Translational Relevance: AA is a quantitative, objective method for demonstrating and monitoring change in regional VF deficits in ON.

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