Huang G, Melki S. Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE): Myths and Realities. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):140-148.Abstract
The emergence of SMILE in the last decade has provided an alternative to LASIK for patients considering cornea laser refractive surgery. SMILE offers a novel approach using the femtosecond laser to create an intrastromal lenticule that can be removed through a small three to four millimeter incision.The purpose of this study is to review the recent literature on popular SMILE claims - reduced iatrogenic dry eye, better recovery of corneal sensation, and a biomechanically stronger cornea - summarize the published outcomes, and determine which claims are myths versus realities.SMILE is still in its infancy as a refractive technique in the US after recent USFDA approval for its treatment of myopia astigmatism in October 2018. Future randomized controlled studies are needed to compare its outcomes to LASIK, which has well-documented good visual outcomes, rapid postoperative recovery, and good safety profile.
Chang EK, Gupta S, Chachanidze M, Hall N, Chang TC, Solá-Del Valle D. Safety and efficacy of microinvasive glaucoma surgery with cataract extraction in patients with normal-tension glaucoma. Sci Rep 2021;11(1):8910.Abstract
This study assesses the safety and efficacy of microinvasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) with cataract extraction in patients with normal-tension glaucoma (NTG). In our sample of 45 NTG patients, mean intraocular pressure (IOP) decreased from 13.7 to 12.3 mmHg at 2.5 years, and mean medication burden decreased from 2.0 to 1.1 at 1.5 years. For success defined as IOP reduction ≥ 30% from baseline IOP with medication burden reduction from preoperative levels, success probability was 5.4% at 1.5 years. For success defined as medication burden reduction with an IOP reaching goal IOP as determined by the glaucoma specialist, success probabilities were 67.2% at 1.5 years and 29.4% at 2.5 years. At the last follow-up visit, eyes with two MIGS procedures with different mechanisms of action achieved successful medication reduction 68.8% of the time versus 35.7% achieved by a single MIGS procedure (p = 0.052). At their last visit, visual acuity was unchanged or improved in all eyes (100%). MIGS with cataract surgery results in modest reductions in IOP and medication burden in NTG patients, which may lead to lower costs and better therapeutic compliance. A combination of two MIGS procedures with different mechanisms of action may potentially be more effective in reducing medication burden than a single MIGS procedure in NTG patients. Further research is necessary to ascertain whether MIGS for NTG patients may help decrease medication burden while helping achieve goal IOP.
Xue Y, Wang SK, Rana P, West ER, Hong CM, Feng H, Wu DM, Cepko CL. AAV-Txnip prolongs cone survival and vision in mouse models of retinitis pigmentosa. Elife 2021;10Abstract
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is an inherited retinal disease affecting >20 million people worldwide. Loss of daylight vision typically occurs due to the dysfunction/loss of cone photoreceptors, the cell type that initiates our color and high-acuity vision. Currently, there is no effective treatment for RP, other than gene therapy for a limited number of specific disease genes. To develop a disease gene-agnostic therapy, we screened 20 genes for their ability to prolong cone photoreceptor survival in vivo. Here, we report an adeno-associated virus vector expressing Txnip, which prolongs the survival of cone photoreceptors and improves visual acuity in RP mouse models. A allele, C247S, which blocks the association of Txnip with thioredoxin, provides an even greater benefit. Additionally, the rescue effect of Txnip depends on lactate dehydrogenase b (Ldhb) and correlates with the presence of healthier mitochondria, suggesting that Txnip saves RP cones by enhancing their lactate catabolism.
Brouwer NJ, Konstantinou EK, Gragoudas ES, Marinkovic M, Luyten GPM, Kim IK, Jager MJ, Vavvas DG. Targeting the YAP/TAZ Pathway in Uveal and Conjunctival Melanoma With Verteporfin. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2021;62(4):3.Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether YAP/TAZ activation in uveal melanoma (UM) and the susceptibility of melanoma cell lines to YAP/TAZ inhibition by verteporfin (VP) is related to the tumor's genetic background. Methods: Characteristics of 144 patients with enucleated UM were analyzed together with mRNA expression levels of YAP/TAZ-related genes (80 patients from the The Cancer Genome Atlas [TCGA] project and 64 patients from Leiden, The Netherlands). VP was administered to cell lines 92.1, OMM1, Mel270, XMP46, and MM28 (UM), CRMM1 and CRMM2 (conjunctival melanoma), and OCM3 (cutaneous melanoma). Viability, growth speed, and expression of YAP1-related proteins were assessed. Results: In TCGA data, high expression of YAP1 and WWTR1 correlated with the presence of monosomy 3 (P = 0.009 and P < 0.001, respectively) and BAP1-loss (P = 0.003 and P = 0.001, respectively) in the primary UM; metastasis development correlated with higher expression of YAP1 (P = 0.05) and WWTR1 (P = 0.003). In Leiden data, downstream transcription factor TEAD4 was increased in cases with M3/BAP1-loss (P = 0.002 and P = 0.006) and related to metastasis (P = 0.004). UM cell lines 92.1, OMM1, and Mel270 (GNAQ/11-mutation, BAP1-positive) and the fast-growing cell line OCM3 (BRAF-mutation) showed decreased proliferation after exposure to VP. Two slow-growing UM cell lines XMP46 and MM28 (GNAQ/11-mutation, BAP1-negative) were not sensitive to VP, and neither were the two conjunctival melanoma cell lines (BRAF/NRAS-mutation). Conclusions: High risk UM showed an increased expression of YAP/TAZ-related genes. Although most UM cell lines responded in vitro to VP, BAP1-negative and conjunctival melanoma cell lines did not. Not only the mutational background, but also cell growth rate is an important predictor of response to YAP/TAZ inhibition by VP.
Douglas VP, Douglas KA, Reinshagen KL, Chwalisz BK. Case 292. Radiology 2021;299(1):234-236.Abstract
History A 24-year-old right-handed woman presented to a neuro-ophthalmology clinic in Massachusetts in the summer with acute binocular diplopia when looking down and to the left, which started about 1 month earlier. Her medical history was notable for Raynaud syndrome, recurrent streptococcal pharyngitis, and an allergy to amoxicillin. Three days prior to developing diplopia, she presented to an outside emergency department due to fever, chills, and back pain. She received ciprofloxacin for presumed urinary tract infection based on urinalysis, which demonstrated few bacteria and was negative for leukocyte esterase, nitrites, and white blood cells. She then presented again to an outside emergency department for diplopia evaluation. Initial MRI and MR angiography of the brain at that time did not demonstrate any relevant findings, and the patient was referred to our department for neuro-ophthalmic evaluation, where she was seen 4 weeks later. Neuro-ophthalmic examination revealed 20/20 visual acuity in both eyes, and a right hypertropia in left gaze, downgaze and right head tilt, with right eye excyclotorsion. There were no ocular signs of myasthenia gravis or thyroid eye disease, nor did the patient report ocular or systemic symptoms. She denied recent travel. High-spatial-resolution MRI of the brain and orbit were performed (Figs 1, 2).
Hanumunthadu D, Lescrauwaet B, Jaffe M, Sadda SV, Wiecek E, Hubschman JP, Patel PJ. Clinical Update on Metamorphopsia: Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Imaging. Curr Eye Res 2021;46(12):1777-1791.Abstract
Purpose: To discuss the pathophysiology of metamorphopsia, its characterisation using retinal imaging and methods of assessment of patient symptoms and visual function.Methods: A literature search of electronic databases was performedResults: Metamorphopsia has commonly been associated with vitreomacular interface disorders (such as epiretinal membrane) and has also regularly been noted in diseases of the retina and choroid, particularly age-related macular degeneration and central serous chorioretinopathy. Developments in optical coherence tomography retinal imaging have enabled improved imaging of the foveal microstructure and have led to the localisation of the pathophysiology of metamorphopsia within the retinal layers of the macula. Alteration of alignment of inner and outer retinal layers at various retinal loci has been identified using multimodal imaging in patients with metamorphopsia in a range of conditions. Although the Amsler Grid assessment of metamorphopsia is a useful clinical indicator, new emerging methods of metamorphopsia assessment with psychophysical tests such as M-CHARTS and preferential hyperacuity perimetry, have been developed.Conclusions: It appears that there is a complex relationship between visual acuity and metamorphopsia symptoms that vary between retinal conditions. Although metamorphopsia has traditionally been challenging to measure in the clinic, advances in technology promise more robust, easy-to-use tests. It is possible that home assessment of metamorphopsia, particularly in conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, may help to guide the need for further clinic evaluation and consideration of treatment.
Gjerde H, Mantagos IS. Charting the Globe: How Technologies Have Affected Our Understanding of Retinal Findings in Abusive Head Trauma/Shaken Baby Syndrome. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):205-209.Abstract
Purpose: Ocular findings such as retinal hemorrhages are common in abusive head trauma (AHT). Binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy has been the standard for assessing the eyes of children who are victims of AHT. However, technological advances have changed our understanding of retinal findings in AHT.Methods: Literature review on AHT - retinal findings, imaging technologies, models of representation, and telemedicine applications.Results: Many studies suggest vitreoretinal traction from repetitive acceleration-deceleration shearing forces during shaking plays an important role in the development of retinal findings in AHT. This is further supported by different imaging modalities [optical coherence tomography (OCT); magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); fluorescein angiography (FA)] and models of representation (animal and mechanical models; finite element analysis).Conclusion: Emerging technologies have augmented our diagnostic abilities, enhanced our understanding regarding the pathophysiology of retinal findings, and strengthened the link between vitreoretinal traction and ocular pathology in AHT. Telemedicine is also starting to play an important role in AHT.
Schill HM, Wolfe JM, Brady TF. Relationships between expertise and distinctiveness: Abnormal medical images lead to enhanced memory performance only in experts. Mem Cognit 2021;49(6):1067-1081.Abstract
Memories are encoded in a manner that depends on our knowledge and expectations ("schemas"). Consistent with this, expertise tends to improve memory: Experts have elaborated schemas in their domains of expertise, allowing them to efficiently represent information in this domain (e.g., chess experts have enhanced memory for realistic chess layouts). On the other hand, in most situations, people tend to remember abnormal or surprising items best-those that are also rare or out-of-the-ordinary occurrences (e.g., surprising-but not random-chess board configurations). This occurs, in part, because such images are distinctive relative to other images. In the current work, we ask how these factors interact in a particularly interesting case-the domain of radiology, where experts actively search for abnormalities. Abnormality in mammograms is typically focal but can be perceived in the global "gist" of the image. We ask whether, relative to novices, expert radiologists show improved memory for mammograms. We also test for any additional advantage for abnormal mammograms that can be thought of as unexpected or rare stimuli in screening. We find that experts have enhanced memory for focally abnormal images relative to normal images. However, radiologists showed no memory benefit for images of the breast that were not focally abnormal, but were only abnormal in their gist. Our results speak to the role of schemas and abnormality in expertise; the necessity for spatially localized abnormalities versus abnormalities in the gist in enhancing memory; and the nature of memory and decision-making in radiologists.
Wiegand I, Westenberg E, Wolfe JM. Order, please! Explicit sequence learning in hybrid search in younger and older age. Mem Cognit 2021;49(6):1220-1235.Abstract
Sequence learning effects in simple perceptual and motor tasks are largely unaffected by normal aging. However, less is known about sequence learning in more complex cognitive tasks that involve attention and memory processes and how this changes with age. In this study, we examined whether incidental and intentional sequence learning would facilitate hybrid visual and memory search in younger and older adults. Observers performed a hybrid search task, in which they memorized four or 16 target objects and searched for any of those target objects in displays with four or 16 objects. The memorized targets appeared either in a repeating sequential order or in random order. In the first experiment, observers were not told about the sequence before the experiment. Only a subset of younger adults and none of the older adults incidentally learned the sequence. The "learners" acquired explicit knowledge about the sequence and searched faster in the sequence compared to random condition. In the second experiment, observers were told about the sequence before the search task. Both younger and older adults searched faster in sequence blocks than random blocks. Older adults, however, showed this sequence-learning effect only in blocks with smaller target sets. Our findings indicate that explicit sequence knowledge can facilitate hybrid search, as it allows observers to predict the next target and restrict their visual and memory search. In older age, the sequence-learning effect is constrained by load, presumably due to age-related decline in executive functions.
Susanna FN, Melchior B, Paula JS, Boland MV, Myers JS, Wellik SR, Elze T, Pasquale LR, Shen LQ, Ritch R, Susanna R, Hood DC, Liebmann JM, De Moraes CG. Variability and Power to Detect Progression of Different Visual Field Patterns. Ophthalmol Glaucoma 2021;4(6):617-623.Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare the variability and ability to detect visual field (VF) progression of 24-2, central 12 locations of the 24-2 and 10-2 VF tests in eyes with abnormal VFs. DESIGN: Retrospective, multisite cohort. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 52 806 24-2 and 11 966 10-2 VF tests from 7307 eyes from the Glaucoma Research Network database were analyzed. Only eyes with ≥ 5 visits and ≥ 2 years of follow-up were included. METHODS: Linear regression models were used to calculate the rates of mean deviation (MD) change (slopes), whereas their residuals were used to assess variability across the entire MD range. Computer simulations (n = 10 000) based on real MD residuals of our sample were performed to estimate power to detect significant progression (P < 5%) at various rates of MD change. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Time required to detect progression. RESULTS: For all 3 patterns, the MD variability was highest within the -5 to -20 decibel (dB) range and consistently lower with the 10-2 compared with 24-2 or central 24-2. Overall, time to detect confirmed significant progression at 80% power was the lowest with 10-2 VF, with a decrease of 14.6% to 18.5% when compared with 24-2 and a decrease of 22.9% to 26.5% when compared with central 24-2. CONCLUSIONS: Time to detect central VF progression was reduced with 10-2 MD compared with 24-2 and C24-2 MD in glaucoma eyes in this large dataset, in part because 10-2 tests had lower variability. These findings contribute to current evidence of the potential value of 10-2 testing in the clinical management of patients with glaucoma and in clinical trial design.
Schoemaker D, Arboleda-Velasquez JF. Notch3 Signaling and Aggregation as Targets for the Treatment of CADASIL and Other NOTCH3-Associated Small-Vessel Diseases. Am J Pathol 2021;191(11):1856-1870.Abstract
Mutations in the NOTCH3 gene can lead to small-vessel disease in humans, including the well-characterized cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL), a condition caused by NOTCH3 mutations altering the number of cysteine residues in the extracellular domain of Notch3. Growing evidence indicates that other types of mutations in NOTCH3, including cysteine-sparing missense mutations or frameshift and premature stop codons, can lead to small-vessel disease phenotypes of variable severity or penetrance. There are currently no disease-modifying therapies for small-vessel disease, including those associated with NOTCH3 mutations. A deeper understanding of underlying molecular mechanisms and clearly defined targets are needed to promote the development of therapies. This review discusses two key pathophysiological mechanisms believed to contribute to the emergence and progression of small-vessel disease associated with NOTCH3 mutations: abnormal Notch3 aggregation and aberrant Notch3 signaling. This review offers a summary of the literature supporting and challenging the relevance of these mechanisms, together with an overview of available preclinical experiments derived from these mechanisms. It highlights knowledge gaps and future research directions. In view of recent evidence demonstrating the relatively high frequency of NOTCH3 mutations in the population, and their potential role in promoting small-vessel disease, progress in the development of therapies for NOTCH3-associated small-vessel disease is urgently needed.
Kitko CL, Pidala J, Schoemans HM, Lawitschka A, Flowers ME, Cowen EW, Tkaczyk E, Farhadfar N, Jain S, Steven P, Luo ZK, Ogawa Y, Stern M, Yanik GA, Cuvelier GDE, Cheng G-S, Holtan SG, Schultz KR, Martin PJ, Lee SJ, Pavletic SZ, Wolff D, Paczesny S, Blazar BR, Sarantopoulos S, Socie G, Greinix H, Cutler C. National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Project on Criteria for Clinical Trials in Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease: IIa. The 2020 Clinical Implementation and Early Diagnosis Working Group Report. Transplant Cell Ther 2021;27(7):545-557.Abstract
Recognition of the earliest signs and symptoms of chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) that lead to severe manifestations remains a challenge. The standardization provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2005 and 2014 consensus projects has helped improve diagnostic accuracy and severity scoring for clinical trials, but utilization of these tools in routine clinical practice is variable. Additionally, when patients meet the NIH diagnostic criteria, many already have significant morbidity and possibly irreversible organ damage. The goals of this early diagnosis project are 2-fold. First, we provide consensus recommendations regarding implementation of the current NIH diagnostic guidelines into routine transplant care, outside of clinical trials, aiming to enhance early clinical recognition of chronic GVHD. Second, we propose directions for future research efforts to enable discovery of new, early laboratory as well as clinical indicators of chronic GVHD, both globally and for highly morbid organ-specific manifestations. Identification of early features of chronic GVHD that have high positive predictive value for progression to more severe manifestations of the disease could potentially allow for future pre-emptive clinical trials.
Elhusseiny AM, VanderVeen DK. Early Experience With Ahmed Clear Path Glaucoma Drainage Device in Childhood Glaucoma. J Glaucoma 2021;30(7):575-578.Abstract
PURPOSE: The aim was to evaluate the short-term outcomes of Ahmed clear path (ACP) valveless glaucoma drainage device in childhood glaucoma. METHODS: Retrospective chart review of all patients 16 years or below with childhood glaucoma who had ACP implantation at Boston Children's Hospital from December 2019 to June 2020 with at least 6 months follow-up period. RESULTS: The study included 7 eyes of 5 patients implanted by a single surgeon. The median follow-up was 12 months. The mean intraocular pressure (IOP) was reduced from 36±3.5 mm Hg on a mean of 2.7±0.6 glaucoma medications preoperatively to a mean IOP of 12.4±2.8 mm Hg (P<0.001) on a mean of 0.7±0.8 medications postoperatively at final follow-up (P=0.0009). Complete success was achieved in 4 eyes while qualified success was achieved in 3 eyes. CONCLUSION: The ACP glaucoma drainage device provided good short-term IOP control and technical advantages for implantation for pediatric eyes were observed.
O'Hare M, Amarnani D, Whitmore HAB, An M, Marino C, Ramos L, Delgado-Tirado S, Hu X, Chmielewska N, Chandrahas A, Fitzek A, Heinrich F, Steurer S, Ondruschka B, Glatzel M, Krasemann S, Sepulveda-Falla D, Lagares D, Pedron J, Bushweller JH, Liu P, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Kim LA. Targeting Runt-Related Transcription Factor 1 Prevents Pulmonary Fibrosis and Reduces Expression of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Host Mediators. Am J Pathol 2021;191(7):1193-1208.Abstract
Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) can arise from unknown causes, as in idiopathic PF, or as a consequence of infections, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Current treatments for PF slow, but do not stop, disease progression. We report that treatment with a runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1) inhibitor (Ro24-7429), previously found to be safe, although ineffective, as a Tat inhibitor in patients with HIV, robustly ameliorates lung fibrosis and inflammation in the bleomycin-induced PF mouse model. RUNX1 inhibition blunted fundamental mechanisms downstream pathologic mediators of fibrosis and inflammation, including transforming growth factor-β1 and tumor necrosis factor-α, in cultured lung epithelial cells, fibroblasts, and vascular endothelial cells, indicating pleiotropic effects. RUNX1 inhibition also reduced the expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and FES Upstream Region (FURIN), host proteins critical for SARS-CoV-2 infection, in mice and in vitro. A subset of human lungs with SARS-CoV-2 infection overexpress RUNX1. These data suggest that RUNX1 inhibition via repurposing of Ro24-7429 may be beneficial for PF and to battle SARS-CoV-2, by reducing expression of viral mediators and by preventing respiratory complications.