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Antonetti DA, Silva PS, Stitt AW. Current understanding of the molecular and cellular pathology of diabetic retinopathy. Nat Rev Endocrinol 2021;17(4):195-206.Abstract
Diabetes mellitus has profound effects on multiple organ systems; however, the loss of vision caused by diabetic retinopathy might be one of the most impactful in a patient's life. The retina is a highly metabolically active tissue that requires a complex interaction of cells, spanning light sensing photoreceptors to neurons that transfer the electrochemical signal to the brain with support by glia and vascular tissue. Neuronal function depends on a complex inter-dependency of retinal cells that includes the formation of a blood-retinal barrier. This dynamic system is negatively affected by diabetes mellitus, which alters normal cell-cell interactions and leads to profound vascular abnormalities, loss of the blood-retinal barrier and impaired neuronal function. Understanding the normal cell signalling interactions and how they are altered by diabetes mellitus has already led to novel therapies that have improved visual outcomes in many patients. Research highlighted in this Review has led to a new understanding of retinal pathophysiology during diabetes mellitus and has uncovered potential new therapeutic avenues to treat this debilitating disease.
Ludwig CA, Jabbehdari S, Ji M, Vail D, Al-Moujahed A, Rosenblatt T, Azad AD, Veerappan M, Callaway NF, Moshfeghi DM. Higher prevalence of fundus haemorrhages in early-screened (NEST Study) as compared to late-screened (SUNDROP Study) newborn populations. Br J Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
BACKGROUND/AIMS: To determine whether timing of ophthalmic screening influences prevalence of neonatal fundus haemorrhages. We compared the prevalence of fundus haemorrhages in two populations: term newborns screened early (less than 72 hours) and preterm newborns screened late (4-11 weeks). Additionally, we reviewed the literature on timing and prevalence of newborn haemorrhages. METHODS: Retrospective observational cohort study. Infants who underwent wide-angle ophthalmic digital imaging over one overlapping year in the Newborn Eye Screen Testing (NEST) or Stanford University Network for Diagnosis of Retinopathy of Prematurity (SUNDROP) programme were included. The PubMed database was filtered to include English-language articles dating back to 1950. Nine articles were selected for review based on inclusion of the prevalence of newborn fundus haemorrhages at multiple time points. RESULTS: A total of 202 patients received early imaging in the NEST cohort and 73 patients received late imaging in the SUNDROP cohort. In the NEST cohort, 20.2% of newborns had haemorrhages. In contrast, we found haemorrhages in only one case or 1.4% of the SUNDROP cohort. Using prevalence data from nine additional studies, we developed a predicted probabilities model of newborn haemorrhages. Per this model, the probability of seeing a haemorrhage if you screen an infant at 1 hour is 18.8%, at 2 weeks is 2.9% and at 1 month is 0.28%. CONCLUSION: We found a significant difference in the prevalence of fundus haemorrhages between the early-screened NEST cohort and the late-screened, preterm SUNDROP cohort. Likely, this difference is due to the transient nature of most newborn haemorrhages.
Arranz-Romera A, Hernandez M, Checa-Casalengua P, Garcia-Layana A, Molina-Martinez IT, Recalde S, Young MJ, Tucker BA, Herrero-Vanrell R, Fernandez-Robredo P, Bravo-Osuna I. A Safe GDNF and GDNF/BDNF Controlled Delivery System Improves Migration in Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells and Survival in Retinal Ganglion Cells: Potential Usefulness in Degenerative Retinal Pathologies. Pharmaceuticals (Basel) 2021;14(1)Abstract
We assessed the sustained delivery effect of poly (lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA)/vitamin E (VitE) microspheres (MSs) loaded with glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) alone (GDNF-MSs) or combined with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF; GDNF/BDNF-MSs) on migration of the human adult retinal pigment epithelial cell-line-19 (ARPE-19) cells, primate choroidal endothelial (RF/6A) cells, and the survival of isolated mouse retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). The morphology of the MSs, particle size, and encapsulation efficiencies of the active substances were evaluated. In vitro release, 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) cell viability, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) deoxyuridine dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) apoptosis, functional wound healing migration (ARPE-19; migration), and (RF/6A; angiogenesis) assays were conducted. The safety of MS intravitreal injection was assessed using hematoxylin and eosin, neuronal nuclei (NeuN) immunolabeling, and TUNEL assays, and RGC in vitro survival was analyzed. MSs delivered GDNF and co-delivered GDNF/BDNF in a sustained manner over 77 days. The BDNF/GDNF combination increased RPE cell migration, whereas no effect was observed on RF/6A. MSs did not alter cell viability, apoptosis was absent in vitro, and RGCs survived in vitro for seven weeks. In mice, retinal toxicity and apoptosis was absent in histologic sections. This delivery strategy could be useful as a potential co-therapy in retinal degenerations and glaucoma, in line with future personalized long-term intravitreal treatment as different amounts (doses) of microparticles can be administered according to patients' needs.
Ruiz-Lozano RE, Garza-Garza LA, Davila-Cavazos O, Foster SC, Rodriguez-Garcia A. The clinical and pathogenic spectrum of surgically-induced scleral necrosis: A review. Surv Ophthalmol 2021;66(4):594-611.Abstract
The onset of scleral necrosis after ocular surgery may have catastrophic ocular and systemic consequences. The two most frequent surgeries causing surgically-induced scleral necrosis (SISN) are pterygium excision and cataract extraction. Several pathogenic mechanisms are involved in surgically induced scleral necrosis. All of them are poorly understood. Ocular trauma increasing lytic action of collagenases with subsequent collagen degradation, vascular disruption leading to local ischemia, and immune complex deposition activating the complement system represents some of the events that lead to scleral necrosis. The complex cascade of events involving different pathogenic mechanisms and the patient's abnormal immune response frequently leads to delayed wound healing that predisposes the development of scleral necrosis. The management of SISN ranges from short-term systemic anti-inflammatory drugs to aggressive immunosuppressive therapy and surgical repair. Therefore, before performing any ocular surgery involving the sclera, a thorough ophthalmic and systemic evaluation must be done to identify high-risk patients that may develop SISN.
Singh RB, Blanco T, Mittal SK, Alemi H, Chauhan SK, Chen Y, Dana R. Pigment Epithelium-Derived Factor Enhances the Suppressive Phenotype of Regulatory T Cells in a Murine Model of Dry Eye Disease. Am J Pathol 2021;191(4):720-729.Abstract
Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) is a widely expressed 50-kDa glycoprotein belonging to the serine protease inhibitor family, with well-established anti-inflammatory functions. Recently, we demonstrated the immunoregulatory role played by PEDF in dry eye disease (DED) by suppressing the maturation of antigen-presenting cells at the ocular surface following exposure to the desiccating stress. In this study, we evaluated the effect of PEDF on the immunosuppressive characteristics of regulatory T cells (Tregs), which are functionally impaired in DED. In the presence of PEDF, the in vitro cultures prevented proinflammatory cytokine (associated with type 17 helper T cells)-induced loss of frequency and suppressive phenotype of Tregs derived from normal mice. Similarly, PEDF maintained the in vitro frequency and enhanced the suppressive phenotype of Tregs derived from DED mice. On systemically treating DED mice with PEDF, moderately higher frequencies and significantly enhanced suppressive function of Tregs were observed in the draining lymphoid tissues, leading to the efficacious amelioration of the disease. Our results demonstrate that PEDF promotes the suppressive capability of Tregs and attenuates their type 17 helper T-cell-mediated dysfunction in DED, thereby playing a role in the suppression of DED.
E J-Y, Mihailovic A, Schrack JA, Li T, Friedman DS, West SK, Gitlin LN, Ramulu PY. Characterizing Longitudinal Changes in Physical Activity and Fear of Falling after Falls in Glaucoma. J Am Geriatr Soc 2021;69(5):1249-1256.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Older adults with visual impairments experience a higher risk of falling, and are more vulnerable to adverse health consequences associated with falls than those with normal vision. This study characterizes longitudinal changes in objectively measured physical activity and fear of falling (FoF) occurring after various types of falls in visually impaired older adults. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Hospital-based enrollment. PARTICIPANTS: People with glaucoma or suspected glaucoma. MEASUREMENTS: Falls were defined as unintentionally coming to rest on the ground or a lower level, and injurious falls were determined though follow-up calls. Study participants were categorized into three groups-fallers with injurious consequences, fallers without injurious consequences, and non-fallers based on fall status in the first year. Physical activity was assessed by waist-bound accelerometer. FoF was evaluated by questionnaire, with Rasch modeling generating FoF scores where higher scores reflected worse FoF. The 3-year longitudinal changes of physical activity and FoF were modeled using mixed-effects models. RESULTS: In linear models fully adjusted for visual field damage and other covariates, physical activity among injurious fallers showed greater annual (per year) declines in daily steps (-425 steps/d, 95% confidence interval (CI) = -793, -57), daily active minutes (-13 min/d, 95% CI = -21, -6), and daily moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) minutes (-3 MVPA minutes/d, 95% CI = -5, 0) over the 3-year period as compared to non-fallers; however, physical activity did not significantly decline among non-injurious fallers. No longitudinal increases in FoF scores were observed in injurious or non-injurious fallers when compared to non-fallers. CONCLUSION: Among visually impaired older adults, injurious falls identified prospectively over 12 months contributed to a significant decline in physical activity over a 3-year period, while minimal changes were observed in FoF.
Lehky T, Joseph R, Toro C, Wu T, Van Ryzin C, Gropman A, Facio FM, Webb BD, Jabs EW, Barry BS, Engle EC, Collins FS, Manoli I, Manoli I. Differentiating Moebius syndrome and other congenital facial weakness disorders with electrodiagnostic studies. Muscle Nerve 2021;63(4):516-524.Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Congenital facial weakness (CFW) can result from facial nerve paresis with or without other cranial nerve and systemic involvement, or generalized neuropathic and myopathic disorders. Moebius syndrome is one type of CFW. In this study we explored the utility of electrodiagnostic studies (EDx) in the evaluation of individuals with CFW. METHODS: Forty-three subjects enrolled prospectively into a dedicated clinical protocol and had EDx evaluations, including blink reflex and facial and peripheral nerve conduction studies, with optional needle electromyography. RESULTS: MBS and hereditary congenital facial paresis (HCFP) subjects had low-amplitude cranial nerve 7 responses without other neuropathic or myopathic findings. Carriers of specific pathogenic variants in TUBB3 had, in addition, a generalized sensorimotor axonal polyneuropathy with demyelinating features. Myopathic findings were detected in individuals with Carey-Fineman-Ziter syndrome, myotonic dystrophy, other undefined myopathies, or CFW with arthrogryposis, ophthalmoplegia, and other system involvement. DISCUSSION: EDx in CFW subjects can assist in characterizing the underlying pathogenesis, as well as guide diagnosis and genetic counseling.
E J-Y, Schrack JA, Mihailovic A, Wanigatunga AA, West SK, Friedman DS, Gitlin LN, Li T, Ramulu PY. Patterns of Daily Physical Activity across the Spectrum of Visual Field Damage in Glaucoma Patients. Ophthalmology 2021;128(1):70-77.Abstract
PURPOSE: To define and quantify patterns of objectively measured daily physical activity by level of visual field (VF) damage in glaucoma patients including: (1) activity fragmentation, a metric of health and physiologic decline, and (2) diurnal patterns of activity, a measure of rest and activity rhythms. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Older adults diagnosed with glaucoma or suspected glaucoma. METHODS: Degree of VF damage was defined by the average VF sensitivity within the integrated VF (IVF). Each participant wore a hip accelerometer for 1 week to measure daily minute-by-minute activity for 7 consecutive days. Activity fragmentation was calculated as the reciprocal of the average activity bout duration in minutes, with higher fragmentation indicating more transient, rather than sustained, activity. Multivariate linear regression was used to test for cross-sectional associations between VF damage and activity fragmentation. Multivariate linear mixed-effects models were used to assess the associations between VF damage and accumulation of activity across 6 3-hour intervals from 5 am to 11 pm. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Activity fragmentation and amount of activity (steps) over the course of the day. RESULTS: Each 5-dB decrement in IVF sensitivity was associated with 16.3 fewer active minutes/day (P < 0.05) and 2% higher activity fragmentation (P < 0.05), but not with the number of active bouts per day (P = 0.30). In time-of-day analyses, lower IVF sensitivity was associated with fewer steps over the 11 am to 2 pm, 2 pm to 5 pm, and 5 pm to 8 pm periods (106.6, 93.1, and 89.2 fewer steps, respectively; P < 0.05 for all), but not over other periods. The activity midpoint (the time at which half of the daily activity is completed) did not vary across level of VF damage. CONCLUSIONS: At worse levels of VF damage, glaucoma patients demonstrate shorter, more fragmented bouts of physical activity throughout the day and lower activity levels during typical waking hours, reflecting low physiologic functioning. Further work is needed to establish the temporality of this association and whether glaucoma patients with such activity patterns are at a greater risk of adverse health outcomes associated with activity fragmentation.
Keilty M, Houston KE, Collins C, Trehan R, Chen Y-T, Merabet L, Watts A, Pundlik S, Luo G. Inpatient Virtual Vision Clinic Improves Access to Vision Rehabilitation Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Arch Rehabil Res Clin Transl 2021;3(1):100100.Abstract
Objective: To describe and evaluate a secure video call system combined with a suite of iPad vision testing apps to improve access to vision rehabilitation assessment for inpatients. Design: Retrospective. Setting: Two acute care inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and 1 long-term acute care (LTAC) hospital. Participants: Records of inpatients seen by the vision service. Interventions: Records from a 1-year telemedicine pilot performed at acute rehabilitation (AR) hospital 1 and then expanded to AR hospital 2 and LTAC hospital during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were reviewed. In the virtual visits, an occupational therapist measured the patients' vision with the iPad applications and forwarded results to the off-site Doctor of Optometry (OD) for review prior to a video visit. The OD provided diagnosis and education, press-on prism application supervision, strategies and modifications, and follow-up recommendations. Providers completed the telehealth usability questionnaire (10-point scale). Main Outcome Measures: Vision examinations per month at AR hospital 1 before and with telemedicine. Results: With telemedicine at AR hospital 1, mean visits per month significantly increased from 10.7±5 to 14.9±5 (=.002). Prism was trialed in 40% of cases of which 83% were successful, similar to previously reported in-person success rates. COVID-19 caused only a marginal decrease in visits per month (=.08) at AR1, whereas the site without an established program (AR hospital 2) had a 3-4 week gap in care while the program was initiated. Cases at the LTAC hospital tended to be more complex and difficult to manage virtually. The telehealth usability questionnaire median category scores were 7 for , 8 for , 6 for , and 9 for . Conclusions: The virtual vision clinic process improved inpatient access to eye and visual neurorehabilitation assessment before and during the COVID-19 quarantine and was well accepted by providers and patients.
Kim J, Aschard H, Kang JH, Lentjes MA, Do R, Wiggs JL, Khawaja AP, Pasquale LR, for Collaboration MRFG. Intraocular Pressure, Glaucoma, and Dietary Caffeine Consumption: A Gene-Diet Interaction Study from the UK Biobank. Ophthalmology 2021;128(6):866-876.Abstract
PURPOSE: We examined the association of habitual caffeine intake with intraocular pressure (IOP) and glaucoma and whether genetic predisposition to higher IOP modified these associations. We also assessed whether genetic predisposition to higher coffee consumption was related to IOP. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study in the UK Biobank. PARTICIPANTS: We included 121 374 participants (baseline ages, 39-73 years) with data on coffee and tea intake (collected 2006-2010) and corneal-compensated IOP measurements in 2009. In a subset of 77 906 participants with up to 5 web-based 24-hour-recall food frequency questionnaires (2009-2012), we evaluated total caffeine intake. We also assessed the same relationships with glaucoma (9286 cases and 189 763 controls). METHODS: We evaluated multivariable-adjusted associations with IOP using linear regression and with glaucoma using logistic regression. For both outcomes, we examined gene-diet interactions using a polygenic risk score (PRS) that combined the effects of 111 genetic variants associated with IOP. We also performed Mendelian randomization using 8 genetic variants associated with coffee intake to assess potential causal effects of coffee consumption on IOP. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Intraocular pressure and glaucoma. RESULTS: Mendelian randomization analysis did not support a causal effect of coffee drinking on IOP (P > 0.1). Greater caffeine intake was associated weakly with lower IOP: the highest (≥232 mg/day) versus lowest (<87 mg/day) caffeine consumption was associated with a 0.10-mmHg lower IOP (Ptrend = 0.01). However, the IOP PRS modified this association: among those in the highest IOP PRS quartile, consuming > 480 mg/day versus < 80 mg/day was associated with a 0.35-mmHg higher IOP (Pinteraction = 0.01). The relationship between caffeine intake and glaucoma was null (P ≥ 0.1). However, the IOP PRS also modified this relationship: compared with those in the lowest IOP PRS quartile consuming no caffeine, those in the highest IOP PRS quartile consuming ≥ 321 mg/day showed a 3.90-fold higher glaucoma prevalence (Pinteraction = 0.0003). CONCLUSIONS: Habitual caffeine consumption was associated weakly with lower IOP, and the association between caffeine consumption and glaucoma was null. However, among participants with the strongest genetic predisposition to elevated IOP, greater caffeine consumption was associated with higher IOP and higher glaucoma prevalence.
Morrison DG, Binenbaum G, Chang MY, Heidary G, Trivedi RH, Galvin JA, Pineles SL. Office- or Facility-Based Probing for Congenital Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction: A Report by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Ophthalmology 2021;128(6):920-927.Abstract
PURPOSE: To review the published literature assessing the efficacy and safety of in-office probing compared with facility-based probing to treat congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction (NLDO). METHODS: Literature searches were conducted in March 2020 in the PubMed database with no date restrictions and limited to studies published in English and in the Cochrane Library database with no restrictions. The combined searches yielded 281 citations. Of these, 21 articles were deemed appropriate for inclusion in this assessment and assigned a level of evidence rating by the panel methodologist. Four articles were rated level I, 2 articles were rated level II, and 15 articles were rated level III. RESULTS: Treatments consisted of observation, in-office nasolacrimal probing, or facility-based nasolacrimal probing. Success rates and complications or recurrences were recorded from 1 week to 6 months after surgery. Complete resolution of symptoms after surgery ranged from 66% to 95.6% for office-based procedures versus 50% to 97.7% for facility-based procedures. Level I evidence indicated that 66% of cases spontaneously resolved after 6 months of observation in infants between 6 and 10 months of age. Success rates for in-office probing were lower for bilateral than for unilateral NLDO (67% vs. 82%), whereas success rates were high in both unilateral (83%) and bilateral (82%) patients who underwent facility-based probing after 6 months of observation. Cost data did not indicate a definitive cost savings of either treatment method ($562 for in-office vs. $701 for facility-based, depending on cost models predicting spontaneous resolution rates at different ages). No serious adverse events with treatment or anesthesia were reported for either treatment method. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence supports the efficacy and safety of both in-office and facility-based surgery for congenital NLDO. However, treating bilateral NLDO in a facility setting may be better. Because a significant percentage of children achieved resolution spontaneously before 12 months of age, deferring treatment until 12 to 18 months of age is a reasonable option. Additional research may address symptom burden on families and the impact of anesthesia and emotional trauma of nonsedated office probings on patients and may explore further the cost of treatment for each treatment method.
Dixit A, Yohannan J, Boland MV. Assessing Glaucoma Progression Using Machine Learning Trained on Longitudinal Visual Field and Clinical Data. Ophthalmology 2021;128(7):1016-1026.Abstract
PURPOSE: Rule-based approaches to determining glaucoma progression from visual fields (VFs) alone are discordant and have tradeoffs. To detect better when glaucoma progression is occurring, we used a longitudinal data set of merged VF and clinical data to assess the performance of a convolutional long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of longitudinal clinical and VF data. PARTICIPANTS: From 2 initial datasets of 672 123 VF results from 213 254 eyes and 350 437 samples of clinical data, persons at the intersection of both datasets with 4 or more VF results and corresponding baseline clinical data (cup-to-disc ratio, central corneal thickness, and intraocular pressure) were included. After exclusion criteria-specifically the removal of VFs with high false-positive and false-negative rates and entries with missing data-were applied to ensure reliable data, 11 242 eyes remained. METHODS: Three commonly used glaucoma progression algorithms (VF index slope, mean deviation slope, and pointwise linear regression) were used to define eyes as stable or progressing. Two machine learning models, one exclusively trained on VF data and another trained on both VF and clinical data, were tested. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and area under the precision-recall curve (AUPRC) calculated on a held-out test set and mean accuracies from threefold cross-validation were used to compare the performance of the machine learning models. RESULTS: The convolutional LSTM network demonstrated 91% to 93% accuracy with respect to the different conventional glaucoma progression algorithms given 4 consecutive VF results for each participant. The model that was trained on both VF and clinical data (AUC, 0.89-0.93) showed better diagnostic ability than a model exclusively trained on VF results (AUC, 0.79-0.82; P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: A convolutional LSTM architecture can capture local and global trends in VFs over time. It is well suited to assessing glaucoma progression because of its ability to extract spatiotemporal features that other algorithms cannot. Supplementing VF results with clinical data improves the model's ability to assess glaucoma progression and better reflects the way clinicians manage data when managing glaucoma.
Fickweiler W, Wolfson EA, Paniagua SM, Yu MG, Adam A, Bahnam V, Sampani K, Wu I-H, Musen G, Aiello LP, Shah H, Sun JK, King GL. Association of Cognitive Function and Retinal Neural and Vascular Structure in Type 1 Diabetes. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021;106(4):1139-1149.Abstract
CONTEXT: Cognitive dysfunction is a growing and understudied public health issue in the aging type 1 diabetic population and is difficult and time-consuming to diagnose. Studies in long duration type 1 diabetes have reported the presence of proliferative diabetic retinopathy was associated with cognitive dysfunction. OBJECTIVE: This study assessed whether structural and vascular abnormalities of the retina, representing an extension of the central nervous system, are associated with cognitive impairment and other complications of type 1 diabetes. METHODS: An observational cross-sectional study of individuals with 50 or more years of type 1 diabetes (Joslin Medalist Study) was conducted at a university hospital in the United States. The study included 129 participants with complete cognitive testing. Validated cognitive testing measures included psychomotor speed, and immediate, and delayed memory. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) and OCT angiography (OCTA) were performed to obtain neural retinal layer thicknesses and vascular density for superficial (SCP) and deep retinal capillary plexus (DCP). Multivariable modeling was adjusted for potential confounders associated with outcomes in unadjusted analyses. RESULTS: Decreased vessel density of the SCP and DCP was associated with worse delayed memory (DCP: P = .002) and dominant hand psychomotor speed (SCP: P = .01). Thinning of the retinal outer nuclear layer was associated with worse psychomotor speed both in nondominant and dominant hands (P = .01 and P = .05, respectively). Outer plexiform layer thickness was associated with delayed memory (P = .04). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that noninvasive retinal imaging using OCT and OCTA may assist in estimating the risks for cognitive dysfunction in people with type 1 diabetes.

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