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Sokol JT, Schechet SA, Komati R, Eliott D, Vavvas DG, Kaplan RI, Ittiara ST, Farooq AV, Sheth VS, MacCumber MW, Ke R, Gentile RC, Skondra D. Macular Hole Closure with Medical Treatment. Ophthalmol Retina 2021;5(7):711-713.
Freedman SF, Beck AD, Nizam A, VanderVeen DK, Plager DA, Morrison DG, Drews-Botsch CD, Lambert SR, Lambert SR. Glaucoma-Related Adverse Events at 10 Years in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Ophthalmol 2021;139(2):165-173.Abstract
Importance: Glaucoma-related adverse events constitute serious complications of cataract removal in infancy, yet long-term data on incidence and visual outcome remain lacking. Objective: To identify and characterize incident cases of glaucoma and glaucoma-related adverse events (glaucoma + glaucoma suspect) among children in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study (IATS) by the age of 10.5 years and to determine whether these diagnoses are associated with optic nerve head (ONH) and peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) assessment. Design, Setting, and Participants: Analysis of a multicenter randomized clinical trial of 114 infants with unilateral congenital cataract who were aged 1 to 6 months at surgery. Data on long-term glaucoma-related status and outcomes were collected when children were 10.5 years old (July 14, 2015, to July 12, 2019) and analyzed from March 30, 2019, to August 6, 2019. Interventions: Participants were randomized at cataract surgery to either primary intraocular lens (IOL), or aphakia (contact lens [CL]). Standardized definitions of glaucoma and glaucoma suspect were created for IATS and applied for surveillance and diagnosis. Main Outcomes and Measures: Development of glaucoma and glaucoma + glaucoma suspect in operated-on eyes up to age 10.5 years, plus intraocular pressure, axial length, RNFL (by optical coherence tomography), and ONH photographs. Results: In Kaplan-Meier analysis, for all study eyes combined (n = 114), risk of glaucoma after cataract removal rose from 9% (95% CI, 5%-16%) at 1 year, to 17% (95% CI, 11%-25%) at 5 years, to 22% (95% CI, 16%-31%) at 10 years. The risk of glaucoma plus  glaucoma suspect diagnosis after cataract removal rose from 12% (95% CI, 7%-20%) at 1 year, to 31% (95% CI, 24%-41%) at 5 years, to 40% (95% CI, 32%-50%) at 10 years. Risk of glaucoma and glaucoma plus glaucoma suspect diagnosis at 10 years was not significantly different between treatment groups. Eyes with glaucoma (compared with eyes with glaucoma suspect or neither) had longer axial length but relatively preserved RNFL and similar ONH appearance and visual acuity at age 10 years. Conclusions and Relevance: Risk of glaucoma-related adverse events continues to increase with longer follow-up of children following unilateral cataract removal in infancy and is not associated with primary IOL implantation. Development of glaucoma (or glaucoma suspect) after removal of unilateral congenital cataract was not associated with worse visual acuity outcomes at 10 years. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00212134.
Ung L, Jonas JB, Lietman TM, Chodosh J. COVID-19 and the Unfinished Agenda of VISION 2020. Am J Ophthalmol 2021;224:30-35.Abstract
PURPOSE: To critically evaluate the potential impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on global ophthalmology and VISION 2020. DESIGN: Perspective supplemented with epidemiologic insights from available online databases. METHODS: We extracted data from the Global Vision Database (2017) and Global Burden of Disease Study (2017) to highlight temporal trends in global blindness since 1990, and provide a narrative overview of how COVID-19 may derail progress toward the goals of VISION 2020. RESULTS: Over 2 decades of VISION 2020 advocacy and program implementation have culminated in a universal reduction of combined age-standardized prevalence of moderate-to-severe vision impairment (MSVI) across all world regions since 1990. Between 1990 and 2017, low-income countries observed large reductions in the age-standardized prevalence per 100,000 persons of vitamin A deficiency (25,155 to 19,187), undercorrected refractive disorders (2,286 to 2,040), cataract (1,846 to 1,690), onchocerciasis (5,577 to 2,871), trachoma (506 to 159), and leprosy (36 to 26). Despite these reductions, crude projections suggest that more than 700 million persons will experience MSVI or blindness by 2050, principally owing to our growing and ageing global population. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the many resounding successes of VISION 2020, the burden of global blindness and vision impairment is set to reach historic levels in the coming years. The impact of COVID-19, while yet to be fully determined, now threatens the hard-fought gains of global ophthalmology. The postpandemic years will require renewed effort and focus on vision advocacy and expanding eye care services worldwide.
Marmamula S, Barrenkala NR, Khanna RC, Challa R, Bhakki M, Kumbham TR, Modepalli SB, Yellapragada R, Friedman DS. Near vision impairment among the elderly in residential care-the Hyderabad Ocular Morbidity in Elderly Study (HOMES). Eye (Lond) 2021;35(8):2310-2315.Abstract
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: To report on the prevalence and risk factors for near vision impairment (NVI) among the elderly in residential care in Telangana State in India. METHODS: Individuals aged ≥60 years were recruited from 41 'home for the aged' centres in Hyderabad, India. All participants had complete eye examinations including presenting and best-corrected visual acuity assessment for distance and near. NVI was defined as binocular presenting near vision worse than N8 (6/15) among those who had a normal presenting distance visual acuity of 6/18 in the better eye. RESULTS: Of the 826 participants, the mean age was 74.4 years (standard deviation-8.4 years), 525 (63.6%) were women, 715 (86.6%) had at least school education. The prevalence of NVI was 51.2% (95% CI: 47.7-54.7) based on presenting vision. On applying multiple logistic regression analysis, the odds of NVI were higher in 80 years and older age (OR: 2.17; 95% CI: 3.44-13.6). Those with school education (OR: 0.58: 95% CI: 0.36-0.94) and higher education (OR: 0.38; 95% CI: 0.21-0.69) had lower odds for NVI. Similarly, those with self-reported diabetes (OR: 0.69; 95% CI: 0.49-0.97), those using spectacles (OR: 0.09; 95% CI: 0.05-0.16), and those who had undergone cataract surgery (OR: 0.51; 95% CI: 0.36-0.74) had lower odds for NVI. CONCLUSIONS: NVI was common among the elderly in residential care in homes for the aged in Hyderabad, India. As most of this NVI is correctable, a routine screening programme and dispensing of spectacles can be undertaken to address this vision loss.
Niu L, Fang Y, Yao X, Zhang Y, Wu J, Chen DF, Sun X. TNFα activates MAPK and Jak-Stat pathways to promote mouse Müller cell proliferation. Exp Eye Res 2021;202:108353.Abstract
Mouse Müller cells, considered as dormant retinal progenitors, often respond to retinal injury by undergoing reactive gliosis rather than displaying neural regenerative responses. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) is a key cytokines induced after injury and implicated in mediating inflammatory and neural regenerative responses in zebrafish. To investigate the involvement of TNFα in mouse retinal injury, adult C57BL/6J mice were subjected to light damage for 14 consecutive days. TNFα was elevated in the retina of mice exposed to light damage, which induced Müller cell proliferation in vitro. Affymetrix microarray showed that, in Müller cells, TNFα induces up-regulation of inflammatory and proliferation-related genes, including NFKB2, leukemia inhibitory factor, interleukin-6, janus kinase (Jak) 1, Jak2, signal transducer and activator of transcription (Stat) 1, Stat2, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) 7, and MAP4K4 but down-regulation of neuroprogenitor genes, including Sox9, Ascl1, Wnt2 and Hes1. Blocking the Jak/Stat and MAPK pathways attenuated TNFα-induced Müller cell proliferation. These results suggest that TNFα may drive the proliferation and inflammatory response, rather than the neural regenerative potential, of mouse Müller cells.
Hildebrandt C, Fulton A, Rodan LH. Homozygous deletion of 21q22.2 in a patient with hypotonia, developmental delay, cortical visual impairment, and retinopathy. Am J Med Genet A 2021;185(2):555-560.Abstract
21q22 contains several dosage sensitive genes that are important in neurocognitive development. Determining impacts of gene dosage alterations in this region can be useful in establishing contributions of these genes to human development and disease. We describe a 15-month-old girl with a 1,140 kb homozygous deletion in the Down Syndrome Critical Region at 21q22.2 including 4 genes; B3GALT5, IGSF5, PCP4, DSCAM, and a microRNA (MIR4760). Clinical singleton genome sequencing did not report any candidate gene variants for the patient's phenotype. She presented with hypotonia, global developmental delay, cortical visual impairment, and mild facial dysmorphism. Ophthalmological exam was suggestive of retinopathy. We propose that the absence of DSCAM and PCP4 may contribute to the patient's neurological and retinal phenotype, while the role of absent B3GALT5 and IGSF5 in her presentation remain unclear at this time.
Rossin EJ, Szypko C, Giese I, Hall N, Gardiner MF, Lorch A. Factors Associated With Increased Risk of Serious Ocular Injury in the Setting of Orbital Fracture. JAMA Ophthalmol 2021;139(1):77-83.Abstract
Importance: Orbital fractures are common in ocular trauma, and there is a need to develop predictive tools to estimate risk of concurrent ocular injury. Objective: To identify clinical and radiographic features that are associated with increased risk of substantial ocular injury in the setting of orbital fracture. Design, Setting, and Participants: Retrospective consecutive case series of patients who sustained orbital fractures between 2012 and 2018. Examinations were done at 1 of 2 level 1 trauma centers in the emergency or inpatient setting. A total of 430 consecutive patients (500 eyes) between 2012 and 2017 met inclusion criteria for the training sample. After building a predictive model, 88 additional consecutive patients (97 eyes) between 2017 and 2018 who met inclusion criteria were collected as a test sample. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome measure was substantial ocular injury distinct from orbital fracture. Results: The mean age of our patient population was 53.5 years (range, 16-100 years). The overall rate of substantial ocular injury was 20.4%, and the rate of injury requiring immediate ophthalmic attention was 14.4%. Five variables were found to be associated with increased risk of substantial ocular injury: blunt trauma with a foreign object (odds ratio [OR], 19.4; 95% CI, 6.3-64.1; P < .001), inability to count fingers (OR, 10.1; 95% CI, 2.8-41.1; P = .002), roof fracture (OR, 9.1; 95% CI, 2.8-30.0; P = .002), diplopia on primary gaze (OR, 6.7; 95% CI, 1.7-25.1; P = .003), and conjunctival hemorrhage or chemosis (OR, 4.2; 95% CI, 2.2-8.5; P < .001). The results were translated into a bedside tool that was tested in an independent group of eyes (n = 97) and found to be associated with substantial ocular injury with a 95% sensitivity (95% CI, 77.2-99.9), 40% specificity (95% CI, 28.9-52.0), 31.8% positive predictive value (95% CI, 27.5-36.5), and 96.8% negative predictive value (95% CI, 81.3-99.5). Conclusions and Relevance: A minority of patients with an orbital fracture had a substantial ocular injury. Certain radiographic and clinical findings were associated with substantial ocular injury. Testing of the algorithm in prospective longitudinal settings appears warranted.
Whitmore HAB, Amarnani D, O'Hare M, Delgado-Tirado S, Gonzalez-Buendia L, An M, Pedron J, Bushweller JH, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Kim LA. TNF-α signaling regulates RUNX1 function in endothelial cells. FASEB J 2021;35(2):e21155.Abstract
Runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1) acts as a mediator of aberrant retinal angiogenesis and has been implicated in the progression of proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). Patients with PDR, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), and wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) have been found to have elevated levels of Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-α) in the eye. In fibrovascular membranes (FVMs) taken from patients with PDR RUNX1 expression was increased in the vasculature, while in human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRMECs), TNF-α stimulation causes increased RUNX1 expression, which can be modulated by RUNX1 inhibitors. Using TNF-α pathway inhibitors, we determined that in HRMECs, TNF-α-induced RUNX1 expression occurs via JNK activation, while NF-κB and p38/MAPK inhibition did not affect RUNX1 expression. JNK inhibitors were also effective at stopping high D-glucose-stimulated RUNX1 expression. We further linked JNK to RUNX1 through Activator Protein 1 (AP-1) and investigated the JNK-AP-1-RUNX1 regulatory feedback loop, which can be modulated by VEGF. Additionally, stimulation with TNF-α and D-glucose had an additive effect on RUNX1 expression, which was downregulated by VEGF modulation. These data suggest that the downregulation of RUNX1 in conjunction with anti-VEGF agents may be important in future treatments for the management of diseases of pathologic ocular angiogenesis.
Ambrosio L, Williams JS, Gutierrez A, Swanson EA, Munro RJ, Ferguson DR, Fulton AB, Akula JD. Carbonic anhydrase inhibition in X-linked retinoschisis: An eye on the photoreceptors. Exp Eye Res 2021;202:108344.Abstract
The retinoschisin protein is encoded on the short arm of the X-chromosome by RS1, is expressed abundantly in photoreceptor inner segments and in bipolar cells, and is secreted as an octamer that maintains the structural integrity of the retina. Mutations in RS1 lead to X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS), a disease characterized by the formation of cystic spaces between boys' retinal layers that frequently present in ophthalmoscopy as a "spoke-wheel" pattern on their maculae and by progressively worsening visual acuity (VA). There is no proven therapy for XLRS, but there is mixed evidence that carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (CAIs) produce multiple beneficial effects, including improved VA and decreased volume of cystic spaces. Consequently, linear mixed-effects (LME) models were used to evaluate the effects of CAI therapy on VA and central retinal thickness (CRT, a proxy for cystic cavity volume) in a review of 19 patients' records. The mechanism of action of action of CAIs is unclear but, given that misplaced retinoschisin might accumulate in the photoreceptors, it is possible-perhaps even likely-that CAIs act to benefit the function of photoreceptors and the neighboring retinal pigment epithelium by acidification of the extracellular milieu; patients on CAIs have among the most robust photoreceptor responses. Therefore, a small subset of five subjects were recruited for imaging on a custom multimodal adaptive optics retinal imager for inspection of their parafoveal cone photoreceptors. Those cones that were visible, which numbered far fewer than in controls, were enlarged, consistent with the retinoschisin accumulation hypothesis. Results of the LME modeling found that there is an initial benefit to both VA and CRT in CAI therapy, but these wane, in both cases, after roughly two years. That said, even a short beneficial effect of CAIs on the volume of the cystic spaces may give CAI therapy an important role as pretreatment before (or immediately following) administration of gene therapy.
Sharif F, Tayebi B, Buzsáki G, Royer S, Fernandez-Ruiz A. Subcircuits of Deep and Superficial CA1 Place Cells Support Efficient Spatial Coding across Heterogeneous Environments. Neuron 2021;109(2):363-376.e6.Abstract
The hippocampus is thought to guide navigation by forming a cognitive map of space. Different environments differ in geometry and the availability of cues that can be used for navigation. Although several spatial coding mechanisms are known to coexist in the hippocampus, how they are influenced by various environmental features is not well understood. To address this issue, we examined the spatial coding characteristics of hippocampal neurons in mice and rats navigating in different environments. We found that CA1 place cells located in the superficial sublayer were more active in cue-poor environments and preferentially used a firing rate code driven by intra-hippocampal inputs. In contrast, place cells located in the deep sublayer were more active in cue-rich environments and used a phase code driven by entorhinal inputs. Switching between these two spatial coding modes was supported by the interaction between excitatory gamma inputs and local inhibition.
Abu-El-Haija A, McGowan C, Vanderveen D, Bodamer O. Autosomal-dominant WFS1-related disorder-Report of a novel WFS1 variant and review of the phenotypic spectrum of autosomal recessive and dominant forms. Am J Med Genet A 2021;185(2):528-533.Abstract
Wolfram syndrome was initially reported as an autosomal recessive (AR), progressive neurodegenerative disorder that leads to diabetes insipidus, childhood onset diabetes mellitus (DM), optic atrophy, and deafness (D) also known as DIDMOAD. However, heterozygous dominant pathogenic variants in Wolfram syndrome type 1 (WFS1) may lead to distinct, allelic conditions, described as isolated sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), syndromic SNHL, congenital cataracts, or early onset DM. We report a family with a novel dominant, likely pathogenic variant in WFS1 (NM_006005.3) c.2605_2616del12 (p.Ser869_His872del), resulting in cataracts, SNHL, and DM in a female and her mother. A maternal aunt had cataracts, DM, and SNHL but was not tested for the familial WFS1 mutation. Both the mother and maternal aunt had early menopause by age 43 years and infertility which may be a coincidental finding that has not been associated with autosomal dominant AD WFS1-related disorder to the best of our knowledge. Screening at risk individuals in families with the AR Wolfram syndrome, for DM, SNHL, and for cataracts is indicated.
Wu W, Xia X, Tang L, Yao F, Xu H, Lei H. Normal vitreous promotes angiogenesis via activation of Axl. FASEB J 2021;35(1):e21152.Abstract
Vitreous has been reported to prevent tumor angiogenesis, but our previous findings indicate that vitreous activate the signaling pathway of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt, which plays a critical role in angiogenesis. The goal of this research is to determine which role of vitreous plays in angiogenesis-related cellular responses in vitro. We found that in human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRECs) vitreous activates a number of receptor tyrosine kinases including Anexelekto (Axl), which plays an important role in angiogenesis. Subsequently, we discovered that depletion of Axl using CRISPR/Cas9 and an Axl-specific inhibitor R428 suppress vitreous-induced Akt activation and cell proliferation, migration, and tuber formation of HRECs. Therefore, this line of research not only demonstrate that vitreous promotes angiogenesis in vitro, but also reveal that Axl is one of receptor tyrosine kinases to mediate vitreous-induced angiogenesis in vitro, thereby providing a molecular basis for removal of vitreous as cleanly as possible when vitrectomy is performed in treating patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
Monés J, Srivastava SK, Jaffe GJ, Tadayoni R, Albini TA, Kaiser PK, Holz FG, Korobelnik J-F, Kim IK, Pruente C, Murray TG, Heier JS. Risk of Inflammation, Retinal Vasculitis, and Retinal Occlusion-Related Events with Brolucizumab: Post Hoc Review of HAWK and HARRIER. Ophthalmology 2021;128(7):1050-1059.Abstract
PURPOSE: An independent Safety Review Committee (SRC), supported by Novartis Pharma AG, analyzed investigator-reported cases of intraocular inflammation (IOI), endophthalmitis, and retinal arterial occlusion in the phase 3 HAWK and HARRIER trials of brolucizumab versus aflibercept in neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD). DESIGN: A post hoc analysis of a subset of data from two 2-year, double-masked, multicenter, active-controlled randomized phase 3 trials (NCT02307682, NCT02434328). PARTICIPANTS: Patients (N = 1817) with untreated, active choroidal neovascularization due to age-related macular degeneration in the study eye were randomized and treated in HAWK/HARRIER. The SRC reviewed data from cases of investigator-reported IOI (60/1088 brolucizumab-treated eyes; 8/729 aflibercept-treated eyes). METHODS: The SRC received details and images (color fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, and OCT) for all investigator-determined cases of IOI, retinal arterial occlusion, and endophthalmitis. Cases were reviewed in detail by ≥2 readers, then adjudicated by the SRC as a group. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Within this patient subset: incidence of IOI, signs and incidence of retinal vasculitis and/or retinal vascular occlusion, and visual acuity loss; time since first brolucizumab injection to IOI event onset; and frequency of visual acuity loss after brolucizumab injection by time of first IOI event onset. RESULTS: Fifty brolucizumab-treated eyes were considered to have definite/probable drug-related events within the spectrum of IOI, retinal vasculitis, and/or vascular occlusion. On the basis of these cases, incidence of definite/probable IOI was 4.6% (IOI + vasculitis, 3.3%; IOI + vasculitis + occlusion, 2.1%). There were 8 cases (incidence 0.74%) of at least moderate visual acuity loss (≥15 ETDRS letters) in eyes with IOI (7 in eyes with IOI + vasculitis + occlusion). Of the 8 cases, 5 experienced their first IOI-related event within 3 months of the first brolucizumab injection (increasing to 7/8 within 6 months). Incidence of IOI in aflibercept-treated eyes was 1.1%, with at least moderate visual acuity loss in 0.14%. CONCLUSIONS: This analysis of IOI cases after brolucizumab injection identified signs of retinal vasculitis with or without retinal vascular occlusion and an associated risk of visual acuity loss. The findings will help physicians to evaluate the risks and benefits of brolucizumab treatment for nAMD.
Silpa-Archa S, Ittharat W, Chotcomwongse P, Preble JM, Foster SC. Analysis of Three-Dimensional Choroidal Volume with Enhanced Depth Imaging Findings in Patients with Recurrent Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada Disease. Curr Eye Res 2021;46(7):1010-1017.Abstract
Purpose: To demonstrate changes in three-dimensional choroidal volume with enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography (EDI-OCT) in patients with recurrent stage of Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease (VKH).Materials and Methods: This prospective comparative case series included 9 patients with recurrent VKH, 10 patients with quiet VKH, and 15 healthy controls after sample size was calculated. All VKH cases with recurrences underwent raster scanning with EDI-OCT at active and inactive stages of the disease.Results: All choroidal parameters in the active stage significantly reduced when the inflammation subsided: total choroidal volume (P = .02), central choroidal volume (P = .01), central choroidal thickness (P = .03). The changes in central choroidal volume over the resolution phase were more pronounced than the changes in central choroidal thickness in 56% of cases. Two cases presenting with only subclinical posterior segment recurrence had their choroidal parameters recovered after prompt treatment.Conclusions: In the recurrent stage of VKH, alteration in choroidal volume was evident by EDI-OCT even in an absence of anterior segment inflammation. Central choroidal volume may serve as a biomarker for detecting choroidal morphological change.

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