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Ghaffarieh A, Ciolino JB. Potential of Application of Iron Chelating Agents in Ophthalmic Diseases. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):157-161.Abstract
The investigations discussed in this review indicate that iron may exacerbate different eye diseases. Therefore, it is plausible that reducing cellular or body iron stores could influence disease pathogenesis, so it is logical to consider the iron chelators' potential protective role in the various ophthalmic diseases in the form of topical eye drops or slow releasing injectable compounds as an adjuvant treatment.
Wu F, Goldenberg PC, Mukai S. Bilateral anterior segment dysgenesis and peripheral avascular retina with tractional retinal detachment in an infant with multiple congenital anomalies-hypotony-seizures syndrome 3. Ophthalmic Genet 2021;42(3):334-337.Abstract
Background: Multiple congenital anomalies-hypotony-seizures syndrome 3 (MCAHS3) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in the PIGT gene. PIGT encodes phosphatidylinositol-glycan biosynthesis class T, which plays a crucial role in protein anchoring to cell membranes. The clinical presentation of MCAHS3 is variable in expression and severity, but can be characterized by developmental delay, seizures, hypotonia, facial dysmorphism, and other abnormalities.Materials and Methods: Case report.Results: We report unusual ocular findings including bilateral anterior segment dysgenesis, avascular retinal periphery, and tractional retinal detachment in a 1-month-old male infant with compound heterozygous PIGT mutations consistent with MCAHS3. Whole-exome sequencing did not detect any other genetic abnormalities.Conclusions: This case expands the clinical spectrum of MCAHS3 to include anomalies in ocular anterior segment and retinal vascular development. Given the rarity and the genetic heterogeneity of MCAHS3, giving rise to varied non-ocular phenotypes, it is possible that milder intraocular phenotypes could have gone unrecognized in the past.
Imamura M, Takahashi A, Matsunami M, Horikoshi M, Iwata M, Araki S-I, Toyoda M, Susarla G, Ahn J, Park KH, Kong J, Moon S, Sobrin L, and (iDRAGON) IDRGCON, Yamauchi T, Tobe K, Maegawa H, Kadowaki T, Maeda S. Genome-wide association studies identify two novel loci conferring susceptibility to diabetic retinopathy in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes. Hum Mol Genet 2021;30(8):716-726.Abstract
Several reports have suggested that genetic susceptibility contributes to the development and progression of diabetic retinopathy. We aimed to identify genetic loci that confer susceptibility to diabetic retinopathy in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes. We analysed 5 790 508 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 8880 Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes, 4839 retinopathy cases and 4041 controls, as well as 2217 independent Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes, 693 retinopathy cases and 1524 controls. The results of these two genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were combined with an inverse variance meta-analysis (Stage-1), followed by de novo genotyping for the candidate SNP loci (P < 1.0 × 10-4) in an independent case-control study (Stage-2, 2260 cases and 723 controls). After combining the association data (Stages 1 and 2) using meta-analysis, the associations of two loci reached a genome-wide significance level: rs12630354 near STT3B on chromosome 3, P = 1.62 × 10-9, odds ratio (OR) = 1.17, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11-1.23, and rs140508424 within PALM2 on chromosome 9, P = 4.19 × 10-8, OR = 1.61, 95% CI 1.36-1.91. However, the association of these two loci was not replicated in Korean, European or African American populations. Gene-based analysis using Stage-1 GWAS data identified a gene-level association of EHD3 with susceptibility to diabetic retinopathy (P = 2.17 × 10-6). In conclusion, we identified two novel SNP loci, STT3B and PALM2, and a novel gene, EHD3, that confers susceptibility to diabetic retinopathy; however, further replication studies are required to validate these associations.
Ballios BG, Pierce EA, Huckfeldt RM. Gene editing technology: Towards precision medicine in inherited retinal diseases. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):176-184.Abstract
Purpose: To review preclinical and clinical advances in gene therapy, with a focus on gene editing technologies, and application to inherited retinal disease.Methods: A narrative overview of the literature, summarizing the state-of-the-art in clinical gene therapy for inherited retinal disease, as well as the science and application of new gene editing technology.Results: The last three years has seen the first FDA approval of an in vivo gene replacement therapy for a hereditary blinding eye disease and, recently, the first clinical application of an in vivo gene editing technique. Limitations and challenges in this evolving field are highlighted, as well as new technologies developed to address the multitude of molecular mechanisms of disease.Conclusion: Genetic therapy for the treatment of inherited retinal disease is a rapidly expanding area of ophthalmology. New technologies have revolutionized the field of genome engineering and rekindled an interest in precision medicines for these conditions.
Milante RR, Guo X, Neitzel AJ, Kretz AM, Mukherjee RM, Friedman DS, Repka MX, Collins ME. Analysis of vision screening failures in a school-based vision program (2016-19). J AAPOS 2021;Abstract
BACKGROUND: Vision screenings of a school-based program were conducted in state-mandated grades (pre-kindergarten [pre-K] or kindergarten [K], 1st and 8th grade), and nonmandated grades (2nd to 7th). METHODS: During school years 2016-19, 51,593 pre-K to 8th grade students from 123 Baltimore City Public Schools underwent vision screenings, with 85% of the schools qualifying for Free and Reduced Price Meals. Assessments included distance visual acuity, Spot photoscreening, stereopsis, and cover testing. Screening failures were analyzed by grade using aggregate data. Failure rates for mandated and nonmandated grades were compared using a logistic regression model, and visual acuity distributions were analyzed using individual data. RESULTS: Over the 3-year period, 17,414 (34%) of students failed vision screening. Failure rates by grade ranged from 28% to 38%. Children in kindergarten and 3rd grade and higher were statistically more likely to fail screening than those in 1st grade. Reduced visual acuity was the most common reason for failure (91%). Failure rates were significantly higher in nonmandated grades than in state-mandated testing grades (34.7% vs 32.5% [P < 0.001]). Mean visual acuity of all students who failed vision screening was 20/50 in the worse-seeing eye and was 20/40 in the better-seeing eye. CONCLUSIONS: One-third of students failed vision screening. High screening failure rates across all grades suggest that screening in select grade levels, as currently mandated in Maryland schools, is inadequate for detecting vision problems in the low-income communities served by this program.
Ehrenberg M, Bagdonite-Bejarano L, Fulton AB, Orenstein N, Yahalom C. Genetic causes of nystagmus, foveal hypoplasia and subnormal visual acuity- other than albinism. Ophthalmic Genet 2021;42(3):243-251.Abstract
Background: To describe genetic molecular findings in individuals with congenital nystagmus, foveal hypoplasia, and subnormal vision, with normal ocular pigmentation (absence of diffuse transillumination or transparent retinal pigment typical for albinism).Methods: This is a retrospective, multicenter study of ophthalmic, systemic, and genetic features, as collected from medical records of patients diagnosed with infantile nystagmus and foveal hypoplasia. Ophthalmic findings include best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), biomicroscopic examination, cycloplegic refraction, retinal examination, macular optical coherence tomography, and electroretinography. Genetic information was retrieved from the participating genetic clinics and included ethnicity and molecular diagnosis.Results: Thirty-one individuals met the inclusion criteria and had a secure molecular diagnosis. Mutations in two genes predominated, constituting 77.4% of all the represented genes: SLC38A8 (45.1%) and PAX6 (32.3%). Seventy-eight percent of the subjects who had a measurable BCVA had moderate and severe visual impairment (range 20/80 to 20/270). Most patients with a mutation in SLC38A8 had mild to moderate astigmatism, while most patients with PAX6 mutation had moderate and severe myopia. Patients in the PAX6 group had variable degrees of anterior segment manifestations.Conclusion: In our cohort, the main causative genes for congenital nystagmus and foveal hypoplasia in normally pigmented eyes were SLC38A8 and PAX6. A mild phenotype in PAX6 mutations may be an under-diagnosed cause of nystagmus and foveal hypoplasia. Reaching an accurate genetic diagnosis is essential for both the patients and their family members. This enables predicting disease prognosis, tailoring correct follow-up, and providing genetic counseling and family planning to affected families.
Rodríguez-Valdés PJ, Rehak M, Zur D, Sala-Puigdollers A, Fraser-Bell S, Lupidi M, Chhablani J, Cebeci Z, Laíns I, Chaikitmongkol V, Fung AT, Okada M, Unterlauft JD, Smadar L, Loewenstein A, Iglicki M, Busch C. GRAding of functional and anatomical response to DExamethasone implant in patients with Diabetic Macular Edema: GRADE-DME Study. Sci Rep 2021;11(1):4738.Abstract
To analyze functional and anatomical response patterns to dexamethasone (DEX) implant in diabetic macular edema (DME), to describe proportion of responders and non-responders, and to propose a new DME grading system. Retrospective, multicenter, observational cohort study. Naïve and non-naïve DME patients were treated with DEX, with visual acuity (VA) ≥ 0.2 logMAR and central subfield thickness (CST) of ≥ 300 µm. Functional and anatomical responses were graded after 2 and 4 months, and categorized as early and stable improvement, early and progressive improvement, pendular response, delayed improvement, and persistent non-response. 417 eyes were included (175 treatment naïve eyes). Compared to non-naïve eyes, naïve eyes showed a very good functional response (VA gain ≥ 10 letters) more frequently after 2 and 4 months (56% and 57% [naïve] vs. 33% and 28% [non-naïve], p < 0.001). A VA gain < 5 letters (non-response) after 2 and 4 months was seen in 18% and 16% of naïve eyes, and in 49% and 53% of non-naïve eyes (p < 0.001). A lack of anatomical response was rare in both groups, but more frequently in non-naïve eyes (12% vs. 4%, p = 0.003). Functionally and anatomically, naïve eyes showed most frequently an early and stable improvement (functionally: 77/175 44%; anatomically: 123/175 eyes, 70%). Most non-naïve eyes experienced no significant improvement functionally (97/242 eyes, 40%), despite a mostly early and stable improvement anatomical response pattern (102/242 eyes, 42%). Functional but not anatomical response patterns were influenced by baseline VA. Naïve and non-naïve eyes show different functional and anatomical response patterns to DEX implant. Functional non-responders are rare in naïve eyes, whereas anatomical non-response is unusual in both groups.
Hong GJ, Koerner JC, Weinert MC, Stinnett SS, Freedman SF, Wallace DK, Riggins WJ, Gallaher KJ, Prakalapakorn GS. Quantitatively comparing weekly changes in retinal vascular characteristics of eyes eventually treated versus not treated for retinopathy of prematurity. J AAPOS 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: To quantitatively compare retinal vascular characteristics over time in eyes eventually treated versus not treated for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), using ROPtool analysis of narrow-field retinal images. METHODS: This longitudinal study used prospectively collected narrow-field retinal images of infants screened for ROP, prior to treatment, if needed. Images were analyzed using a methodology that combines quadrant-level measures from several images of the same eye. For the longitudinal analysis, one examination per postmenstrual age (PMA) was included per eye. We compared the following ROPtool indices and their change per week between eyes eventually treated versus not treated for ROP: tortuosity index (TI), dilation index (DI), sum of adjusted indices (SAI), and tortuosity-weighted plus (TWP). Analysis was performed on three levels: eye (mean value/eye), quadrant (highest quadrant value/eye), and blood vessel (highest blood vessel value/eye). RESULTS: Of 832 examinations (99 infants), 745 images (89.5%) had 3-4 quadrants analyzable by ROPtool. On the eye level, ROPtool indices differed between eyes eventually treated versus not treated at PMA of 33-35 and 37 weeks for TI, SAI, and TWP, and at PMA of 33-34 and 37 weeks for DI (P ≤ 0.0014), and change per week differed between eyes eventually treated versus not treated only for SAI at PMA of 32 weeks (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Quantitative analysis of retinal vascular characteristics using ROPtool can help predict eventual need for treatment for ROP as early as 32 weeks PMA. ROPtool index values were more useful than change in these indices to predict eyes that would eventually need treatment for ROP.
Agrawal R, Testi I, Bodaghi B, Barisani-Asenbauer T, McCluskey P, Agarwal A, Kempen JH, Gupta A, Smith JR, De Smet MD, Yuen YS, Mahajan S, Kon OM, Nguyen QD, Pavesio C, Gupta V, Gupta V. Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study Consensus Guidelines on the Management of Tubercular Uveitis-Report 2: Guidelines for Initiating Antitubercular Therapy in Anterior Uveitis, Intermediate Uveitis, Panuveitis, and Retinal Vasculitis. Ophthalmology 2021;128(2):277-287.Abstract
TOPIC: The Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS), supported by the International Ocular Inflammation Society, International Uveitis Study Group, and Foster Ocular Immunological Society, set up an international, expert-led consensus project to develop evidence- and experience-based guidelines for the management of tubercular uveitis (TBU). CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The absence of international agreement on the use of antitubercular therapy (ATT) in patients with TBU contributes to a significant heterogeneity in the approach to the management of this condition. METHODS: Consensus statements for the initiation of ATT in TBU were generated using a 2-step modified Delphi technique. In Delphi step 1, a smart web-based survey based on background evidence from published literature was prepared to collect the opinion of 81 international experts on the use of ATT in different clinical scenarios. The survey included 324 questions related to tubercular anterior uveitis (TAU), tubercular intermediate uveitis (TIU), tubercular panuveitis (TPU), and tubercular retinal vasculitis (TRV) administered by the experts, after which the COTS group met in November 2019 for a systematic and critical discussion of the statements in accordance with the second round of the modified Delphi process. RESULTS: Forty-four consensus statements on the initiation of ATT in TAU, TIU, TPU, and TRV were obtained, based on ocular phenotypes suggestive of TBU and corroborative evidence of tuberculosis, provided by several combinations of immunologic and radiologic test results. Experts agreed on initiating ATT in recurrent TAU, TIU, TPU, and active TRV depending on the TB endemicity. In the presence of positive results for any 1 of the immunologic tests along with radiologic features suggestive of past evidence of tuberculosis infection. In patients with a first episode of TAU, consensus to initiate ATT was reached only if both immunologic and radiologic test results were positive. DISCUSSION: The COTS consensus guidelines were generated based on the evidence from published literature, specialists' opinions, and logic construction to address the initiation of ATT in TBU. The guidelines also should inform public policy by adding specific types of TBU to the list of conditions that should be treated as tuberculosis.
Sobrin L, Yu Y, Li A, Kempen JH, Hubbard RA, VanderBeek BL. Angiotensin Converting Enzyme-Inhibitors and Incidence of Non-infectious Uveitis in a Large Healthcare Claims Database. Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2021;:1-6.Abstract
: To determine if angiotensin converting enzyme-inhibitors (ACE-I) alter the incidence of non-infectious uveitis (NIU). Patients in a large healthcare claims database who initiated ACE-I (n = 695,557) were compared to patients who initiated angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB, n = 354,295). A second comparison was also made between patients who initiated ACE-I (n = 505,958) and those who initiated beta-blockers (BB, n = 538,109). The primary outcome was incident NIU defined as a first diagnosis code for NIU followed by a second instance of a NIU code within 120 days. For the secondary outcome, a corticosteroid prescription or code for an ocular corticosteroid injection within 120 days of the NIU diagnosis code was used instead of the second NIU diagnosis code. Data were analyzed using Cox regression modeling with inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW). Sub-analyses were performed by anatomic subtype. When comparing ACE-I to ARB initiators, the hazard ratio (HR) for incident NIU was not significantly different for the primary outcome [HR = 0.95, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.85-1.07, = .41] or secondary outcome [HR = 0.96, 95% CI: 0.86-1.07, = .44]. Similarly, in the ACE-I and BB initiators comparison, the HR for incident NIU was not significantly different comparing ACE-I and BB initiators for either outcome definition or any of the NIU anatomical subtypes. Our results suggest there is no evidence that ACE-I have a protective effect on NIU.
Burton MJ, Ramke J, Marques AP, Bourne RRA, Congdon N, Jones I, Ah Tong BAM, Arunga S, Bachani D, Bascaran C, Bastawrous A, Blanchet K, Braithwaite T, Buchan JC, Cairns J, Cama A, Chagunda M, Chuluunkhuu C, Cooper A, Crofts-Lawrence J, Dean WH, Denniston AK, Ehrlich JR, Emerson PM, Evans JR, Frick KD, Friedman DS, Furtado JM, Gichangi MM, Gichuhi S, Gilbert SS, Gurung R, Habtamu E, Holland P, Jonas JB, Keane PA, Keay L, Khanna RC, Khaw PT, Kuper H, Kyari F, Lansingh VC, Mactaggart I, Mafwiri MM, Mathenge W, McCormick I, Morjaria P, Mowatt L, Muirhead D, Murthy GVS, Mwangi N, Patel DB, Peto T, Qureshi BM, Salomão SR, Sarah V, Shilio BR, Solomon AW, Swenor BK, Taylor HR, Wang N, Webson A, West SK, Wong TY, Wormald R, Yasmin S, Yusufu M, Silva JC, Resnikoff S, Ravilla T, Gilbert CE, Foster A, Faal HB. The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health: vision beyond 2020. Lancet Glob Health 2021;9(4):e489-e551.
Rossin EJ, Sobrin L, Kim LA. Single-cell RNA sequencing: An overview for the ophthalmologist. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):191-197.Abstract
Understanding the molecular composition of pathogenic tissues is a critical step in understanding the pathophysiology of disease and designing therapeutics. First described in 2009, single cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) is a methodology whereby thousands of cells are simultaneously isolated into individual micro-environments that can be altered experimentally and the genome-wide RNA expression of each cell is captured. It has undergone significant technological improvement over the last decade and gained tremendous popularity. scRNAseq is an improvement over prior pooled RNA analyses which cannot identify the cellular composition and heterogeneity of a tissue of interest. This new approach offers new opportunity for new discovery, as tissue samples can now be sub-categorized into groups of cell types based on genome-wide gene expression in an unbiased fashion. As ophthalmologists, we are uniquely positioned to obtain pathologic samples from the eye for further study. ScRNAseq has already been applied in ophthalmology to characterize retinal tissue, and it may offer the key to understanding various pathological processes in the future.
Hellgren G, Lundgren P, Pivodic A, Löfqvist C, Nilsson AK, Ley D, Sävman K, Smith LE, Hellström A. Decreased Platelet Counts and Serum Levels of VEGF-A, PDGF-BB, and BDNF in Extremely Preterm Infants Developing Severe ROP. Neonatology 2021;:1-10.Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Thrombocytopenia has been identified as an independent risk factor for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), although underlying mechanisms are unknown. In this study, the association of platelet count and serum platelet-derived factors with ROP was investigated. METHODS: Data for 78 infants born at gestational age (GA) <28 weeks were included. Infants were classified as having no/mild ROP or severe ROP. Serum levels of vascular endothelial growth factor A, platelet-derived growth factor BB, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor were measured in serum samples collected from birth until postmenstrual age (PMA) 40 weeks. Platelet counts were obtained from samples taken for clinical indication. RESULTS: Postnatal platelet counts and serum concentrations of the 3 growth factors followed the same postnatal pattern, with lower levels in infants developing severe ROP at PMA 32 and 36 weeks (p < 0.05-0.001). With adjustment for GA, low platelet counts and low serum concentrations of all 3 factors at PMA 32 weeks were significantly associated with severe ROP. Serum concentrations of all 3 factors also strongly correlated with platelet count (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: In this article, we show that ROP, platelet counts, and specific pro-angiogenic factors correlate. These data suggest that platelet-released factors might be involved in the regulation of retinal and systemic angiogenesis after extremely preterm birth. Further investigations are needed.

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