Kloek CE, Borboli-Gerogiannis S, Chang K, Kuperwaser M, Newman LR, Lane AM, Loewenstein JI. A broadly applicable surgical teaching method: evaluation of a stepwise introduction to cataract surgery. J Surg Educ 2014;71(2):169-75.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Although cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the country, it is a microsurgical procedure that is difficult to learn and to teach. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of a new method for introducing postgraduate year (PGY)-3 ophthalmology residents to cataract surgery. SETTING: Hospital-based ophthalmology residency program. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents of the Harvard Medical School Ophthalmology Residency from graduating years 2010 to 2012. RESULTS: In July 2009, a new method of teaching PGY-3 ophthalmology residents cataract surgery was introduced, which was termed "the stepwise introduction to cataract surgery." This curriculum aimed to train residents to perform steps of cataract surgery by deliberately practicing each of the steps of surgery under a structured curriculum with faculty feedback. Assessment methods included surveys administered to the PGY-4 residents who graduated before the implementation of these measures (n = 7), the residents who participated in the first and second years of the new curriculum (n = 16), faculty who teach PGY-4 residents cataract surgery (n = 8), and review of resident Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education surgical logs. Resident survey response rate was 100%. Residents who participated in the new curriculum performed more of each step of cataract surgery in the operating room, spent more time practicing each step of cataract surgery on a cataract surgery simulator during the PGY-3 year, and performed more primary cataract surgeries during the PGY-3 year than those who did not. Faculty survey response rate was 63%. Faculty noted an increase in resident preparedness following implementation of the new curriculum. There was no statistical difference between the precurriculum and postcurriculum groups in the percentage turnover of cataracts for the first 2 cataract surgery rotations of the PGY-4 year of training. CONCLUSIONS: The introduction of cataract surgery to PGY-3 residents in an organized, stepwise manner improved resident preparedness for the PGY-4 year of residency. This surgical teaching method can be easily applied to other surgical specialties.
Yonekawa Y, Hacker HD, Lehman RE, Beal CJ, Veldman PB, Vyas NM, Shah AS, Wu D, Eliott D, Gardiner MF, Kuperwaser MC, Rosa RH, Ramsey JE, Miller JW, Mazzoli RA, Lawrence MG, Arroyo JG. Ocular blast injuries in mass-casualty incidents: the marathon bombing in Boston, Massachusetts, and the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. Ophthalmology 2014;121(9):1670-6.e1.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report the ocular injuries sustained by survivors of the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombing and the April 17, 2013, fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. DESIGN: Multicenter, cross-sectional, retrospective, comparative case series. PARTICIPANTS: Seventy-two eyes of 36 patients treated at 12 institutions were included in the study. METHODS: Ocular and systemic trauma data were collected from medical records. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Types and severity of ocular and systemic trauma and associations with mechanisms of injury. RESULTS: In the Boston cohort, 164 of 264 casualties were transported to level 1 trauma centers, and 22 (13.4%) required ophthalmology consultations. In the West cohort, 218 of 263 total casualties were transported to participating centers, of which 14 (6.4%) required ophthalmology consultations. Boston had significantly shorter mean distances to treating facilities (1.6 miles vs. 53.6 miles; P = 0.004). Overall, rigid eye shields were more likely not to have been provided than to have been provided on the scene (P<0.001). Isolated upper body and facial wounds were more common in West largely because of shattered windows (75.0% vs. 13.6%; P = 0.001), resulting in more open-globe injuries (42.9% vs. 4.5%; P = 0.008). Patients in Boston sustained more lower extremity injuries because of the ground-level bomb. Overall, 27.8% of consultations were called from emergency rooms, whereas the rest occurred afterward. Challenges in logistics and communications were identified. CONCLUSIONS: Ocular injuries are common and potentially blinding in mass-casualty incidents. Systemic and ocular polytrauma is the rule in terrorism, whereas isolated ocular injuries are more common in other calamities. Key lessons learned included educating the public to stay away from windows during disasters, promoting use of rigid eye shields by first responders, the importance of reliable communications, deepening the ophthalmology call algorithm, the significance of visual incapacitation resulting from loss of spectacles, improving the rate of early detection of ocular injuries in emergency departments, and integrating ophthalmology services into trauma teams as well as maintaining a voice in hospital-wide and community-based disaster planning.
Yang S, MacKinnon S, Dagi LR, Hunter DG. Superior rectus transposition vs medial rectus recession for treatment of esotropic Duane syndrome. JAMA Ophthalmol 2014;132(6):669-75.Abstract
IMPORTANCE: Superior rectus transposition (SRT) with or without medial rectus recession (MRc) has been introduced as an alternative to MRc alone for treatment of esotropic Duane syndrome; however, the effectiveness of these procedures has not been compared previously. OBJECTIVE: To compare the safety and efficacy of MRc and SRT in treatment of Duane syndrome. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Retrospective medical record review of all patients with esotropic Duane syndrome who underwent surgical treatment from January 1, 2006, through December 31, 2012, in a multispecialty, hospital-based pediatric ophthalmology/adult strabismus practice at Boston Children's Hospital. Patients in the SRT group underwent SRT with or without MRc; those in the non-SRT group underwent unilateral or bilateral MRc. EXPOSURES: Surgical treatment of esotropic Duane syndrome. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Binocular alignment, ocular ductions, head position, stereopsis, and fundus torsion were recorded before surgery and at the 2-month and final postoperative visits. We also evaluated postoperative drift. RESULTS: The medical record review identified 36 patients who underwent 37 procedures, including 19 in the SRT group (13 SRT + MRc and 6 SRT alone) and 18 in the non-SRT group (11 unilateral MRc and 7 bilateral medial rectus resession). Mean MRc was smaller when performed with SRT (3.3 vs 5.3 mm; P = .004). Although the initial deviation was larger in the SRT group, both groups had a similar improvement in esotropia and head turn. Abduction improved by at least 1 unit in 15 of 19 patients in the SRT group (79%) vs 5 of 18 in the non-SRT group (28%). In 24 patients followed up for more than 6 months, mean esotropia decreased from 8.2 to 6.1 prism diopters (Δ) in the SRT group (n = 12) but increased from 7.2 to 10.9Δ in the non-SRT group (n = 12). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: The combination of SRT and MRc was more effective than MRc or bilateral medial rectus resession at improving abduction while allowing for a smaller recession to align the eyes and eliminate a compensatory head posture. Although any surgery on the vertical rectus muscles should in theory increase the risk for vertical or torsional complications, to date this theory has not been borne out in our patients. Patients treated with SRT appear to have a reduced likelihood of long-term undercorrection. We therefore recommend SRT with adjustable MRc for treatment of Duane syndrome in patients with larger amounts of esotropia.
Wan MJ, Adebona O, Benson LA, Gorman MP, Heidary G. Visual outcomes in pediatric optic neuritis. Am J Ophthalmol 2014;158(3):503-7.e2.Abstract
PURPOSE: To describe the visual outcomes of a large cohort of pediatric patients presenting to a tertiary care pediatric hospital with first-episode optic neuritis. DESIGN: Retrospective, observational cohort study. METHODS: In a tertiary care pediatric hospital, patients with first-episode optic neuritis and at least 3 months of follow-up over a 10-year period were assessed and followed-up in the ophthalmology department. The main outcome measures were visual acuity at 3 months and 1 year of follow-up, with analysis of risk factors for poor visual outcomes and the time course of visual recovery. RESULTS: Of the 59 pediatric patients with first-episode optic neuritis, 46 had at least 3 months of follow-up and 36 had at least 1 year of follow-up. The mean age was 12.6 years old; 72% were female, 41% had bilateral involvement, 52% had or developed an underlying diagnosis (39% multiple sclerosis, 7% acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, 7% neuromyelitis optica), and 91% received treatment (85% steroids, 7% multimodal). At 1 year, 81% were at least 20/20 and 89% were at least 20/40. A poor visual outcome at 1 year (<20/40) was associated with vision of <20/20 at 3 months (P = 0.041). Other clinical characteristics, including visual acuity at presentation, sex, bilateral involvement, optic nerve edema, and underlying diagnoses were not significantly associated with poor visual outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort of pediatric patients with optic neuritis, the majority of patients regained normal visual acuity at 1 year, regardless of baseline clinical characteristics.
Ribeiro AG, Rodrigues RAM, Guerreiro AM, Regatieri CVS. A teleophthalmology system for the diagnosis of ocular urgency in remote areas of Brazil. Arq Bras Oftalmol 2014;77(4):214-8.Abstract
PURPOSES: To validate a teleophthalmology mobile system aimed at improving and providing eye urgency screenings in remote and poor area settings in Brazil. The system enables one or more ophthalmologists to remotely examine a patient's condition and submit a decision describing the gravity of the case. If necessary, the patient can be forwarded to a hospital for further consultation. METHODS: A cellphone (Nexus One model, with a 5 megapixel camera) was used to collect data and pictures from 100 randomly selected patients at the Ophthalmology Emergency Room located at the General Hospital of the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP). Data was then sent remotely to an online recording system to be reviewed by an ophthalmologist who provided feedback regarding the state of ocular urgency. RESULTS were then compared to the gold standard diagnosis provided at the hospital. RESULTS: The diagnosis of urgency was given by two ophthalmologists: one in the hospital (gold standard) and one remotely. When we compared both diagnoses we obtained results of 81.94% specificity, 92.85% sensitivity, and 85% accuracy, with a negative predictive value of 96.72%. This work also included a processing time analysis, resulting in an average time of 8.6 min per patient for remote consultations. CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first that has used only a cellphone for diagnosing the urgency of ocular cases. Based on our results, the system can provide a reliable distinction between urgent and non-urgent situations and can offer a viable alternative for the servicing of underprivileged areas. In screening techniques, the most important outcome is to identify urgent cases with a high level of sensitivity and predictive negative value. Thus, our results demonstrate that this tool is robust and we suggest that a major study aimed to verify its efficiency in resource-poor areas should be initiated.
Srinivasan PP, Kim LA, Mettu PS, Cousins SW, Comer GM, Izatt JA, Farsiu S. Fully automated detection of diabetic macular edema and dry age-related macular degeneration from optical coherence tomography images. Biomed Opt Express 2014;5(10):3568-77.Abstract

We present a novel fully automated algorithm for the detection of retinal diseases via optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging. Our algorithm utilizes multiscale histograms of oriented gradient descriptors as feature vectors of a support vector machine based classifier. The spectral domain OCT data sets used for cross-validation consisted of volumetric scans acquired from 45 subjects: 15 normal subjects, 15 patients with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and 15 patients with diabetic macular edema (DME). Our classifier correctly identified 100% of cases with AMD, 100% cases with DME, and 86.67% cases of normal subjects. This algorithm is a potentially impactful tool for the remote diagnosis of ophthalmic diseases.

Kwon MY, Lu Z-L, Miller A, Kazlas M, Hunter DG, Bex PJ. Assessing binocular interaction in amblyopia and its clinical feasibility. PLoS One 2014;9(6):e100156.Abstract
PURPOSE: To measure binocular interaction in amblyopes using a rapid and patient-friendly computer-based method, and to test the feasibility of the assessment in the clinic. METHODS: Binocular interaction was assessed in subjects with strabismic amblyopia (n = 7), anisometropic amblyopia (n = 6), strabismus without amblyopia (n = 15) and normal vision (n = 40). Binocular interaction was measured with a dichoptic phase matching task in which subjects matched the position of a binocular probe to the cyclopean perceived phase of a dichoptic pair of gratings whose contrast ratios were systematically varied. The resulting effective contrast ratio of the weak eye was taken as an indicator of interocular imbalance. Testing was performed in an ophthalmology clinic under 8 mins. We examined the relationships between our binocular interaction measure and standard clinical measures indicating abnormal binocularity such as interocular acuity difference and stereoacuity. The test-retest reliability of the testing method was also evaluated. RESULTS: Compared to normally-sighted controls, amblyopes exhibited significantly reduced effective contrast (∼20%) of the weak eye, suggesting a higher contrast requirement for the amblyopic eye compared to the fellow eye. We found that the effective contrast ratio of the weak eye covaried with standard clincal measures of binocular vision. Our results showed that there was a high correlation between the 1st and 2nd measurements (r = 0.94, p<0.001) but without any significant bias between the two. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that abnormal binocular interaction can be reliably captured by measuring the effective contrast ratio of the weak eye and quantitative assessment of binocular interaction is a quick and simple test that can be performed in the clinic. We believe that reliable and timely assessment of deficits in a binocular interaction may improve detection and treatment of amblyopia.
Sun JK, Lin MM, Lammer J, Prager S, Sarangi R, Silva PS, Aiello LP. Disorganization of the retinal inner layers as a predictor of visual acuity in eyes with center-involved diabetic macular edema. JAMA Ophthalmol 2014;132(11):1309-16.Abstract

IMPORTANCE: Biomarkers that predict future visual acuity (VA) in eyes with baseline diabetic macular edema (DME) would substantively improve risk assessment, management decisions, and selection of eyes for clinical studies targeting DME. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether baseline or early change in the novel spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) parameter disorganization of the retinal inner layers (DRIL) is predictive of VA in eyes with center-involved DME. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: At a tertiary care referral center for diabetic eye disease, a retrospective, longitudinal cohort study obtained demographics, VA, and SD-OCT images from baseline, 4-month, and 8-month visits in 96 participants (120 eyes) with diabetes mellitus and baseline center-involved DME (SD-OCT central subfield thickness, ≥ 320 µm for men and ≥ 305 µm for women). Exclusion criteria included substantial media opacity, cataract surgery within 6 months, and nondiabetic retinal pathology affecting VA. On SD-OCT, the 1-mm-wide retinal area centered on the fovea was evaluated by masked graders for DRIL extent, cysts, hyperreflective foci, microaneurysms, cone outer segment tip visibility, and external limiting membrane or photoreceptor disruption and reflectivity. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Visual acuity and SD-OCT-derived retinal morphology. RESULTS: Greater DRIL extent at baseline correlated with worse baseline VA (point estimate, 0.04; 95% CI, 0.02-0.05 per 100 µm; P < .001). An increase in DRIL during 4 months was associated with VA worsening at 8 months (point estimate, 0.03; 95% CI, 0.02-0.05 per 100 µm; P < .001). A multivariate model that included a 4-month change in VA, DRIL, and external limiting membrane disruption was predictive of an 8-month VA change (r = 0.80). Each approximately 300-µm DRIL increase during 4 months predicted a 1-line, 8-month VA decline. When DRIL increased at least 250 µm at 4 months, no eyes had VA improvement of at least 1 line at 8 months. When DRIL decreased at least 250 µm at 4 months, no eyes had VA decline of at least 1 line at 8 months, and 77.7% had VA improvement of at least 1 line. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Disorganization of the retinal inner layers in the 1-mm foveal area is associated with VA, and change in DRIL predicts future change in VA. Early change in DRIL prospectively identifies eyes with a high likelihood of subsequent VA improvement or decline. Therefore, DRIL warrants further study as a robust, readily obtained, and noninvasive biomarker of future VA response in eyes with DME.

Wiecek E, Lashkari K, Dakin S, Bex PJ. Novel Quantitative Assessment of Metamorphopsia in Maculopathy. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;Abstract

Purpose: Patients with macular disease often report experiencing metamorphopsia (visual distortion). Although typically measured with Amsler charts, more objective and quantitative assessments of perceived distortion are desirable to effectively monitor the presence, progression and remediation of visual impairment. Methods: Participants with binocular (n = 33) and monocular (n= 50) maculopathy across seven disease groups, and control participants (n = 10) with no identifiable retinal disease completed a modified Amsler Grid assessment (presented on a computer screen with eye tracking to ensure fixation compliance) and two novel objective measures of metamorphopsia in the central five degrees of visual field. 81% (67/83) of participants completed a task requiring them to configure eight dots in the shape of a square, and 64% (32/50) of participants experiencing monocular distortion completed a spatial alignment task using dichoptic stimuli. 10 controls completed all tasks. Results: Horizontal and vertical distortion magnitudes were calculated for each of the three assessments. Distortion magnitudes were significantly higher in patients than controls in all assessments. There was no significant difference in magnitude of distortion across different macular diseases. Among patients, there were no significant correlations between overall magnitude of distortion among any of the three measures and no significant correlations in localized measures of distortion. Conclusions: Three alternative quantifications of monocular spatial distortion in the central visual field generated uncorrelated estimates of visual distortion. It is therefore unlikely that metamorphopsia is caused solely by displacement of photoreceptors in the retina, but instead involves additional top-down information, knowledge about the scene, and perhaps, cortical reorganization.

Salcone EM, Hamdy S, Melki S, Hunter DG. Scleral perforations during routine traction test in a patient with osteogenesis imperfecta. J AAPOS 2014;18(6):610-2.Abstract

Osteogenesis imperfecta comprises a rare group of genetic disorders caused by abnormal collagen that results in increased bone fragility and other sequelae. We describe a 37-year-old woman with osteogenesis imperfecta in whom two full-thickness scleral perforations were created by adjacent teeth of 0.5 mm forceps during traction testing while undergoing routine strabismus surgery. This case reviews the ocular findings of osteogenesis imperfecta and highlights the potential risk of ocular surgical complications in these patients.

Yao J, Ko CW, Baranov PY, Regatieri CV, Redenti S, Tucker BA, Mighty J, Tao SL, Young MJ. Enhanced differentiation and delivery of mouse retinal progenitor cells using a micropatterned biodegradable thin-film polycaprolactone scaffold. Tissue Eng Part A 2014;Abstract

The deterioration of retinal tissue in advanced stages of retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration and the lack of signaling cues for laminar regeneration are significant challenges highlighting the need for a tissue-engineering approach to retinal repair. In this study, we fabricated a biodegradable thin-film polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffold with varying surface topographies using microfabrication techniques. Mouse retinal progenitor cells (mRPC) cultured on PCL scaffolds exhibited enhanced potential to differentiate towards a photoreceptor fate in comparison to mRPCs cultured on control substrates, suggesting that PCL scaffolds are promising as substrates to guide differentiation of mRPCs towards a photoreceptor fate in vitro prior to transplantation. When co-cultured with the retinal explants of rhodopsin null mice, mRPC/PCL constructs showed increased mRPC integration rates compared to directly applied dissociated mRPCs. Moreover, these mRPC/PCL constructs could be delivered into the sub-retinal space of rhodopsin null mice with minimal disturbance of the host retina. Whether co-cultured with retinal explants or transplanted into the sub-retinal space, newly integrated mRPCs localized to the outer nuclear layer and expressed appropriate markers of photoreceptor fate. Thus, the PCL scaffold provides a platform to guide differentiation and organized deliver of mRPCs as a practical strategy to repair damaged retina.

Yoon MK, Piluek WJ, Ruggiero JP, McDermott MW, McCulley TJ. Orbital cerebrospinal fluid accumulation after complicated pterional-orbitozygomatic craniotomy. J Neuroophthalmol 2014;34(4):346-9.Abstract

We describe 2 patients who developed postoperative orbital cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection after orbitozygomatic pterional craniotomy. An 18-year-old woman underwent exploratory pterional-orbitozygomatic craniotomy. Five days postoperatively, after removal of a lumbar drain, proptosis and a compressive optic neuropathy developed. Computed tomography demonstrated a CSF collection contiguous with the craniotomy site. Resolution followed percutaneous aspiration and replacement of the lumbar drain. A 57-year-old woman underwent a pterional-orbitozygomatic craniotomy for removal of a left anterior clinoid meningioma, complicated by a large left hemorrhagic stroke requiring decompressive hemicraniectomy. Extracranial CSF collections accumulated in both the orbit and subgaleal spaces. Resolution followed placement of an external ventricular drain. Based on these cases, the mechanism seems to be the combination of iatrogenic formation of a communication with the subarachnoid space and elevated intracranial pressure. Resolution was achieved by normalizing intracranial pressure.

Robert M-C, Arafat SN, Ciolino JB. Collagen cross-linking of the Boston keratoprosthesis donor carrier to prevent corneal melting in high-risk patients. Eye Contact Lens 2014;40(6):376-81.Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine the clinical relevance and pathophysiology of Boston keratoprosthesis (B-KPro)-related corneal keratolysis (cornea melt) and to describe a novel method of preventing corneal melt using ex vivo crosslinked cornea tissue carrier. METHODS: A review of B-KPro literature was performed to highlight cases of corneal melt. Studies examining the effect of corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) on the biomechanical properties of corneal tissue are summarized. The use of crosslinked corneal tissue as a carrier to the B-KPro is illustrated with a case. RESULTS: Corneal melting after B-KPro is a relatively rare event, occurring in 3% of eyes during the first 3 years of postoperative follow-up. The risk of post-KPro corneal melting is heightened in eyes with chronic ocular surface inflammation such as eyes with Stevens-Johnson syndrome and mucous membrane pemphigoid. This chronic inflammation results in high tear levels of matrix metalloproteinases, the enzymes responsible for collagenolysis and corneal melt. Crosslinked corneal tissue has been shown to have stiffer biomechanical properties and to be more resistant to degradation by collagenolytic enzymes. We have previously optimized the technique for ex vivo corneal CXL and are currently studying its impact on the prevention of corneal melting after B-KPro surgery in high-risk eyes. Crosslinked carrier tissue was used in a 52-year-old man with familial aniridia and severe post-KPro corneal melt. The patient maintained his visual acuity and showed no evidence of corneal thinning or melt in the first postoperative year. CONCLUSION: Collagen crosslinking was previously shown to halt the enzymatic degradation of corneal buttons ex vivo. This study demonstrates the safety and potential benefit of using crosslinked corneal grafts as carriers for the B-KPro, especially in eyes at higher risk of postoperative melt.

Li J, Liu C-H, Sun Y, Gong Y, Fu Z, Evans LP, Tian KT, Juan AM, Hurst CG, Mammoto A, Chen J. Endothelial TWIST1 Promotes Pathological Ocular Angiogenesis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(12):8267-77.Abstract

PURPOSE: Pathological neovessel formation impacts many blinding vascular eye diseases. Identification of molecular signatures distinguishing pathological neovascularization from normal quiescent vessels is critical for developing new interventions. Twist-related protein 1 (TWIST1) is a transcription factor important in tumor and pulmonary angiogenesis. This study investigated the potential role of TWIST1 in modulating pathological ocular angiogenesis in mice. METHODS: Twist1 expression and localization were analyzed in a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). Pathological ocular angiogenesis in Tie2-driven conditional Twist1 knockout mice were evaluated in both OIR and laser-induced choroidal neovascularization models. In addition, the effects of TWIST1 on angiogenesis and endothelial cell function were analyzed in sprouting assays of aortic rings and choroidal explants isolated from Twist1 knockout mice, and in human retinal microvascular endothelial cells treated with TWIST1 small interfering RNA (siRNA). RESULTS: TWIST1 is highly enriched in pathological neovessels in OIR retinas. Conditional Tie2-driven depletion of Twist1 significantly suppressed pathological neovessels in OIR without impacting developmental retinal angiogenesis. In a laser-induced choroidal neovascularization model, Twist1 deficiency also resulted in significantly smaller lesions with decreased vascular leakage. In addition, loss of Twist1 significantly decreased vascular sprouting in both aortic ring and choroid explants. Knockdown of TWIST1 in endothelial cells led to dampened expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) and decreased endothelial cell proliferation. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that TWIST1 is a novel regulator of pathologic ocular angiogenesis and may represent a new molecular target for developing potential therapeutic treatments to suppress pathological neovascularization in vascular eye diseases.