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Grassi CM, Crnej A, Paschalis EI, Colby KA, Dohlman CH, Chodosh J. Idiopathic vitritis in the setting of Boston keratoprosthesis. Cornea 2015;34(2):165-70.Abstract

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to revisit the clinical paradigm attributed to Boston keratoprosthesis recipients presenting with idiopathic vitreous inflammation. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was performed of keratoprosthesis recipients at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, from January 2000 to August 2013, for demographic data, indication(s) for surgery, timing and presentation of vitreous inflammation, and best-corrected visual acuity at baseline, on presentation, and after resolution of vitritis. RESULTS: Twenty-three (23 eyes) of 346 patients developed idiopathic vitreous inflammation after keratoprosthesis implantation. Six of 23 patients presented with signs and symptoms similar to infectious endophthalmitis but were culture negative. The proportion of patients who fit the previous paradigm of sudden painless loss of vision without external signs of infection ("sterile vitritis") at their first presentation with vitritis was only 4 of 23. Vision decline was variable (median, 9 lines on Snellen chart; range, 0-24), as was time to recovery of best vision (median, 8.9 weeks; range, 0.9-36.7). Nine eyes had repeat bouts (43 episodes in 23 patients). Ten of 43 episodes did not recover to baseline vision. Seventeen of 23 eyes with idiopathic vitritis after keratoprosthesis later developed other complications. CONCLUSIONS: The current paradigm for idiopathic vitritis after keratoprosthesis implantation includes sudden painless loss of vision with full recovery of vision on treatment with periocular corticosteroids. However, idiopathic vitritis after keratoprosthesis can also mimic infectious endophthalmitis with pain and external signs of inflammation. Visual loss can be gradual. Vision may not recover to baseline despite treatment. Vitritis may be a part of a common pathway of chronic inflammation after keratoprosthesis.

Liu Y, Simavli H, Que CJ, Rizzo JL, Tsikata E, Maurer R, Chen TC. Patient characteristics associated with artifacts in Spectralis optical coherence tomography imaging of the retinal nerve fiber layer in glaucoma. Am J Ophthalmol 2015;159(3):565-76.e2.Abstract

PURPOSE: To determine patient factors and eye conditions associated with artifacts in Spectralis optical coherence tomography (OCT) retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) scans. DESIGN: Retrospective cross-sectional study. METHODS: The prevalence of 12 artifact types were described in this review of 2313 eye scans from 1188 patients who underwent a complete eye examination with Spectralis OCT scanning during the period of September 2009 to July 2013. The generalized estimating equations model was used to analyze associations between increased artifact prevalence and 10 patient characteristics, which included age, sex, race, visual acuity, refractive error, astigmatism, cataract status, glaucoma staging, visual field reliability, and glaucoma diagnosis. RESULTS: A total of 1070 or 46.3% of the 2313 eye scans had at least 1 artifact. Decentration error was the most common artifact (27.8%), followed by posterior vitreous detachment artifacts (14.4%). Visual acuity of less than 20/40 (P < .0001), presence of moderate to severe cataracts (P < .0001), advanced stage of glaucoma (P < .0001), and a diagnosis of open-angle glaucoma (P = .0003) were associated with increased prevalence of artifacts. CONCLUSIONS: Clinicians should first assess scans for artifacts before making therapeutic decisions based on RNFL thickness measurements.

Choi W, Byun YJ, Jung E, Noh H, Hajrasouliha AR, Sadrai Z, Chang EJ, Lee JH, Lee HK. Chemokine decoy receptor D6 mimicking trap (D6MT) prevents allosensitization and immune rejection in murine corneal allograft model. J Leukoc Biol 2015;97(2):413-24.Abstract

Although corneal allotransplantation is performed in the immune-privileged cornea, many grafts are still rejected after transplantation. This study examined the role of chemokine receptor D6 expression in a corneal allograft rejection, investigated the modulation of D6 expression in cells, and determined the effect of D6 on graft survival. Interestingly, D6 was highly expressed in CD45 -: cells and the corneal epithelium of accepted corneal allografts. From the mouse corneal allograft model, TGF-β was found to play a key role in D6 up-regulation, leading to reduced CCL2, CCL5, and CCL3. To modulate D6 chemokine binding, a D6MT was developed and showed effective chemokine trapping through SPR and FACS assays. By treating corneal allografts with D6MT, the allograft survival rate was improved, and (lymph) angiogenesis was reduced. Direct allosensitization and DC LN homing was drastically reduced in the mouse corneal allograft model. These findings suggest that TGF-β is a positive regulator of D6 expression, and it is a potential therapeutic target to enhance the survival of corneal allografts.

Bauer C, Yazzolino L, Hirsch G, Cattaneo Z, Vecchi T, Merabet LB. Neural correlates associated with superior tactile symmetry perception in the early blind. Cortex 2015;63:104-117.Abstract
Symmetry is an organizational principle that is ubiquitous throughout the visual world. However, this property can also be detected through non-visual modalities such as touch. The role of prior visual experience on detecting tactile patterns containing symmetry remains unclear. We compared the behavioral performance of early blind and sighted (blindfolded) controls on a tactile symmetry detection task. The tactile patterns used were similar in design and complexity as in previous visual perceptual studies. The neural correlates associated with this behavioral task were identified with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In line with growing evidence demonstrating enhanced tactile processing abilities in the blind, we found that early blind individuals showed significantly superior performance in detecting tactile symmetric patterns compared to sighted controls. Furthermore, comparing patterns of activation between these two groups identified common areas of activation (e.g. superior parietal cortex) but key differences also emerged. In particular, tactile symmetry detection in the early blind was also associated with activation that included peri-calcarine cortex, lateral occipital (LO), and middle temporal (MT) cortex, as well as inferior temporal and fusiform cortex. These results contribute to the growing evidence supporting superior behavioral abilities in the blind, and the neural correlates associated with crossmodal neuroplasticity following visual deprivation.
Liu Q, Hu Y, Yu H, Yuan L, Hu J, Atik A, Guan M, Li D, Li X, Tang S. Comparison of intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide versus intravitreal bevacizumab as the primary treatment of clinically significant macular edema. Retina 2015;35(2):272-9.Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the short-term efficacy of triamcinolone acetonide versus bevacizumab for the treatment of diabetic, clinically significant, macular edema with different optical coherence tomography findings. METHODS: Fifty eyes of 45 consecutive patients with diabetic, clinically significant, macular edema were incorporated in this prospective interventional case series. Patients were divided into 3 groups according to findings on optical coherence tomography: 1) macular edema combined with serous retinal detachment (Group 1), 2) diffused macular thickening (Group 2), and 3) cystoid macular edema (Group 3). Patients from each group were treated with a single intravitreal injection of triamcinolone (IVTA) or 2 intravitreal injections of bevacizumab (IVB) with an interval of 6 weeks. Patients were observed at 6, 12, and 24 weeks after IVTA or the first IVB injection. Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and central retinal thickness (CRT) were examined at each visit. Repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to compare the efficacy of the treatment groups. RESULTS: In Group 1, IVTA showed more favorable effects on CRT reduction and BCVA improvement compared with IVB at 6, 12, and 24 weeks (P = 0.002, 0.001, 0.027 and P = 0.036, 0.001, 0.027), respectively. In Group 2, IVB had more CRT reduction than IVTA at 6 and 12 weeks (P = 0.013 and 0.036), although there was no significant difference in BCVA improvement between the 2 groups (P > 0.05). In Group 3, IVTA and IVB did not have significant effects on CRT reduction and BCVA improvement (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION: The short-term efficacy of IVTA and IVB on treating clinically significant macular edema varied with different optical coherence tomography findings. In clinically significant macular edema combined with serous retinal detachment, IVTA may be more favorable than IVB in CRT reduction and BCVA improvement. In patients with diffused macular thickening, IVB may be better than IVTA in macular thickness reduction, although this does not translate to a significant improvement in BCVA.

Bujakowska KM, Zhang Q, Siemiatkowska AM, Liu Q, Place E, Falk MJ, Consugar M, Lancelot M-E, Antonio A, Lonjou C, Carpentier W, Mohand-Saïd S, den Hollander AI, Cremers FPM, Leroy BP, Gai X, Sahel J-A, van den Born IL, Collin RWJ, Zeitz C, Audo I, Pierce EA. Mutations in IFT172 cause isolated retinal degeneration and Bardet-Biedl syndrome. Hum Mol Genet 2015;24(1):230-42.Abstract
Primary cilia are sensory organelles present on most mammalian cells. The assembly and maintenance of primary cilia are facilitated by intraflagellar transport (IFT), a bidirectional protein trafficking along the cilium. Mutations in genes coding for IFT components have been associated with a group of diseases called ciliopathies. These genetic disorders can affect a variety of organs including the retina. Using whole exome sequencing in three families, we identified mutations in Intraflagellar Transport 172 Homolog [IFT172 (Chlamydomonas)] that underlie an isolated retinal degeneration and Bardet-Biedl syndrome. Extensive functional analyses of the identified mutations in cell culture, rat retina and in zebrafish demonstrated their hypomorphic or null nature. It has recently been reported that mutations in IFT172 cause a severe ciliopathy syndrome involving skeletal, renal, hepatic and retinal abnormalities (Jeune and Mainzer-Saldino syndromes). Here, we report for the first time that mutations in this gene can also lead to an isolated form of retinal degeneration. The functional data for the mutations can partially explain milder phenotypes; however, the involvement of modifying alleles in the IFT172-associated phenotypes cannot be excluded. These findings expand the spectrum of disease associated with mutations in IFT172 and suggest that mutations in genes originally reported to be associated with syndromic ciliopathies should also be considered in subjects with non-syndromic retinal dystrophy.
Modjtahedi BS, Rong A, Bobinski M, McGahan J, Morse LS. Imaging characteristics of intraocular foreign bodies: a comparative study of plain film X-ray, computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging. Retina 2015;35(1):95-104.Abstract

PURPOSE: To determine the imaging features of common intraocular foreign bodies (IOFBs) and the ability to differentiate types of IOFBs. METHODS: Four-mm IOFBs were inserted via through pars plana approach into cadaveric lamb eyes. Six metallic (aluminum, brass, copper, silver, steel, and lead) and seven nonmetallic (plastic [CF6 spectacle plastic and polyvinyl chloride pipe], glass [bottle glass and windshield glass], wood [dry and wet poplar], and stone [slate]) IOFBs were imaged using plain film x-ray, computed tomography scan, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (T1, T2, and gradient echo sequences). RESULTS: Plain film x-ray had limited ability to differentiate most IOFBs. Computed tomography findings can be divided into low attenuation objects (wood), moderate attenuation (CF6 spectacle plastic), high attenuation without surrounding artifact (polyvinyl chloride, slate, bottle glass, windshield glass, and aluminum), high attenuation with shadow artifact and minimal edge streak artifact (steel, brass, copper), and high attenuation with significant shadow artifact and prominent streak artifact (silver and lead). Density (in Hounsfield units) aided in differentiating the types of IOFBs. Gradient echo sequences on magnetic resonance imaging also held utility. Ultrasound images had considerable overlap in appearances. CONCLUSION: Imaging techniques can significantly aid in determining the IOFBs type, with computed tomography serving as the best initial modality. X-ray holds limited utility while ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging are best reserved as adjunctive tests.

Duncker T, Tsang SH, Lee W, Zernant J, Allikmets R, Delori FC, Sparrow JR. Quantitative Fundus Autofluorescence Distinguishes ABCA4-Associated and Non-ABCA4-Associated Bull's-Eye Maculopathy. Ophthalmology 2015;122(2):345-55.Abstract

PURPOSE: Quantitative fundus autofluorescence (qAF) and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD OCT) were performed in patients with bull's-eye maculopathy (BEM) to identify phenotypic markers that can aid in the differentiation of ABCA4-associated and non-ABCA4-associated disease. DESIGN: Prospective cross-sectional study at an academic referral center. SUBJECTS: Thirty-seven BEM patients (age range, 8-60 years) were studied. All patients exhibited a localized macular lesion exhibiting a smooth contour and qualitatively normal-appearing surrounding retina without flecks. Control values consisted of previously published data from 277 healthy subjects (374 eyes; age range, 5-60 years) without a family history of retinal dystrophy. METHODS: Autofluorescence (AF) images (30°, 488-nm excitation) were acquired with a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope equipped with an internal fluorescent reference to account for variable laser power and detector sensitivity. The grey levels (GLs) from 8 circularly arranged segments positioned at an eccentricity of approximately 7° to 9° in each image were calibrated to the reference (0 GL), magnification, and normative optical media density to yield qAF. In addition, horizontal SD OCT images through the fovea were obtained. All patients were screened for ABCA4 mutations using the ABCR600 microarray, next-generation sequencing, or both. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Quantitative AF, correlations between AF and SD OCT, and genotyping for ABCA4 variants. RESULTS: ABCA4 mutations were identified in 22 patients, who tended to be younger (mean age, 21.9±8.3 years) than patients without ABCA4 mutations (mean age, 42.1±14.9 years). Whereas phenotypic differences were not obvious on the basis of qualitative fundus AF and SD OCT imaging, with qAF, the 2 groups of patients were clearly distinguishable. In the ABCA4-positive group, 37 of 41 eyes (19 of 22 patients) had qAF8 of more than the 95% confidence interval for age. Conversely, in the ABCA4-negative group, 22 of 26 eyes (13 of 15 patients) had qAF8 within the normal range. CONCLUSIONS: The qAF method can differentiate between ABCA4-associated and non-ABCA4-associated BEM and may guide clinical diagnosis and genetic testing.

Papakostas TD, Le H-G, Chodosh J, Jacobs DS. Prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem as treatment for ocular surface disease in patients with a history of stevens-johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis. Ophthalmology 2015;122(2):248-53.Abstract

PURPOSE: To report the visual outcomes of prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem (PROSE) treatment in patients with ocular surface disease related to Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN). DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SUBJECTS: We included 86 patients (167 eyes) with history of SJS/TEN who underwent PROSE treatment from January 1, 2006, to January 1, 2011. METHODS: Etiology, previous interventions, change in visual acuity, change in visual function, and duration of follow-up are reported. Paired t test and Friedman test with Dunn's post hoc test for multiple comparisons were used for statistical analysis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Visual acuity at last follow-up and visual function based on the National Eye Institute 25-item Visual Functioning Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25) at 6 months. RESULTS: We treated 35 males and 51 females with a history of SJS/TENS; median age was 36 years. The most common reported etiologies for SJS/TENS were antibiotics (n = 25), ibuprofen (n = 15), and lamotrigine (n = 11). The median visual acuity at the initial visit was 20/60 (range, 20/400-20/25; 0.48 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution [logMAR]), and the visual acuity at completion of customization was 20/25 (range, 20/200-20/20; 0.096 logMAR; P < 0.001), with no decline in median acuity at the end of follow-up. Median duration of follow-up was 16 months. There was a significant improvement in the visual function of the patients based on the NEI VFQ-25 questionnaire (mean of 48 points at baseline vs. mean of 72 points at 6 months; P < 0.001). In addition, there was also an improvement in the self-reported general health of the patients (mean of 57 points at baseline vs. mean of 65 points at 6 months; P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In a large cohort of patients with chronic ocular surface disease related to SJS/TEN, PROSE treatment offers sustained and significant large improvement in visual function and acuity.

Chauhan SK, Jurkunas U, Funaki T, Dastjerdi M, Dana R. Quantification of allospecific and nonspecific corneal endothelial cell damage after corneal transplantation. Eye (Lond) 2015;29(1):136-44.Abstract

PURPOSE: To investigate the effect of host immunity (allospecific) and surgical manipulation (non-allospecific) on corneal endothelial cells (CECs) in corneal transplantation. METHODS: Draining lymph nodes and grafted C57BL/6 corneas were harvested from syngeneic recipients, allograft acceptors, and allograft rejectors (BALB/c) 1, 3, and 8 weeks after transplantation. We analyzed CEC apoptosis using an ex vivo cornea-in-the-cup assay, and visualized cell-to-cell junctions using immunohistochemical staining (ZO-1). Automatic cell analysis using Confoscan software was used to measure CEC density as well as changes in CEC morphology by quantifying the coefficient of variation in cell size (polymegethism) and shape (pleomorphism). RESULTS: The cornea-in-the-cup assay showed that allogeneic acceptor T cells and to an even greater extent rejector T cells (but not syngeneic T cells) induced CEC apoptosis. CEC density after corneal transplantation was significantly reduced in allogeneic acceptors compared with syngeneic grafts (P<0.001), and CEC density was even further reduced in the allo-rejector group compared with the allo-acceptor group. Allogeneic grafts showed a greater increase in the coefficient of variation in cell size (polymegethism) when compared with syngeneic grafts 1 week after transplantation (P=P<0.001). However, pleomorphism was not significantly different between syngeneic and allo-acceptor grafts, indicating that polymegethism (but not pleomorphism or cell density) is a sensitive indicator of the effect of alloimmunity on CECs. CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that host alloimmunity rather than surgical manipulation alone is the major cause of CEC damage in corneal transplantation, and such morphologic changes of CECs can be detected before the clinically visible onset of allograft rejection.

Carvalho LS, Vandenberghe LH. Promising and delivering gene therapies for vision loss. Vision Res 2015;111(Pt B):124-33.Abstract
The maturity in our understanding of the genetics and the pathogenesis of disease in degenerative retinal disorders has intersected in past years with a novel treatment paradigm in which a genetic intervention may lead to sustained therapeutic benefit, and in some cases even restoration of vision. Here, we review this prospect of retinal gene therapy, discuss the enabling technologies that have led to first-in-human demonstrations of efficacy and safety, and the road that led to this exciting point in time.
Qian CX, Hassanaly S, Harissi-Dagher M. Anterior Segment Optical Coherence Tomography in the Long-Term Follow-up andDetection of Glaucoma in Boston TypeIKeratoprosthesis. Ophthalmology 2015;122(2):317-25.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the role of anterior segment (AS) optical coherence tomography (OCT) as a standardized method of imaging Boston type I keratoprosthesis (KPro) after surgery, particularly in the visualization of iris and angle structures. DESIGN: Prospective case series. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty patients who underwent KPro implantation in 1 eye. METHODS: Patients underwent AS OCT imaging before surgery. After KPro implantation, patients were imaged using the AS single, dual, and quad scans to obtain transverse images of the eye every 15° over 360°. High-resolution, corneal quad, and anterior chamber scans were also obtained. This imaging protocol allowed juxtaposition and comparison of the same imaging coordinates obtained before surgery and 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Postoperative visual acuity (VA), glaucoma progression on clinical examination and formal visual field testing, and anatomic angle changes on AS OCT defined by angle closure, peripheral anterior synechiae (PAS), iris-KPro backplate touch, and graft-host interface changes over time. RESULTS: Mean follow-up was 18.8±3.2 months. The average preoperative VA was 1.9±0.5 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution. After surgery, VA improved to 1.0±0.9 at last follow-up (P = 0.002). Fourteen of 20 patients had glaucoma before surgery. After surgery, 5 of these patients deteriorated clinically and 1 de novo diagnosis of glaucoma was made. On OCT, the average total degrees of angle closure for all patients increased from 158.5±158.9° before surgery to 205.4±154.0° after surgery (P = 0.04). The number of eyes with 360° of PAS increased from 6 of 20 before surgery to 9 of 20 after surgery. Iris-backplate touch was demonstrated in 5 of 20 patients, with an average area of involvement of 24.2±36.2°. Overall, of the 12 of 20 patients with clear signs of anatomic angle narrowing and synechiae progression on imaging, 3 had glaucoma deterioration detected by clinical examination. In the other 9 patients, angle changes on OCT were not accompanied by any detectable clinical signs of glaucomatous deterioration. CONCLUSIONS: Anterior segment OCT can be used to observe anatomic changes after KPro implantation that cannot be detected otherwise. We were unable to demonstrate a correlation between anatomic features and clinical progression.

Papakostas TD, Lee NG, Callahan AB, Freitag SK. Reactivation of thyroid associated orbitopathy following trauma with intraorbital foreign body. Orbit 2015;34(1):6-9.Abstract

A 63-year-old female with mild, bilateral, stable thyroid-associated orbitopathy sustained trauma resulting in glass foreign bodies embedded on the left ocular surface and left lateral orbital extraconal and intraconal space. After 2 orbitotomies including a failed attempt to remove the intraconal foreign body and poor response to oral steroids, she developed severe, progressive left periorbital edema and 9 mm of relative proptosis. Serial, post-operative imaging demonstrated worsening inflammatory changes along the surgical tract, which slowly improved over several months, with simultaneously worsening proptosis and enlargement of the left inferior and medial rectus muscles consistent with worsening thyroid orbitopathy. She subsequently underwent unilateral 3-wall orbital decompression with improvement in her symptoms. Periorbital trauma with orbital foreign bodies and related surgical trauma may result in reactivation of thyroid-associated orbitopathy.

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