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Rageh A, Ashraf M, Fleming A, Silva PS. Automated Microaneurysm Counts on Ultrawide Field Color and Fluorescein Angiography Images. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):315-321.Abstract
BACKGROUND: The severity and extent of microaneurysms (MAs) have been used to determine diabetic retinopathy (DR) severity and estimate the risk of DR progression over time. The recent introduction of ultrawide field (UWF) imaging has allowed ophthalmologists to readily image nearly the entire retina. Manual counting of MAs, especially on UWF images, is laborious and time-consuming, limiting its potential use in clinical settings. Automated MA counting techniques are potentially more accurate and reproducible compared to manual methods. METHOD: Review of available literature on current techniques of automated MA counting techniques on both ultrawide field (UWF) color images (CI) and fluorescein angiography (FA) images. RESULTS: Automated MA counting techniques on UWF images are still in the early phases of development with UWF-FA counts being further along. Early studies have demonstrated that these techniques are accurate and reproducible. CONCLUSION: Automated techniques may be an appropriate option for detecting and quantifying MAs on UWF images, especially in eyes with earlier DR severity. Larger studies are needed to appropriately validate these techniques and determine if they add substantially to clinical practice compared to standard DR grading.
Muus C, Luecken MD, Eraslan G, Sikkema L, Waghray A, Heimberg G, Kobayashi Y, Vaishnav ED, Subramanian A, Smillie C, Jagadeesh KA, Duong ET, Fiskin E, Triglia ET, Ansari M, Cai P, Lin B, Buchanan J, Chen S, Shu J, Haber AL, Chung H, Montoro DT, Adams T, Aliee H, Allon SJ, Andrusivova Z, Angelidis I, Ashenberg O, Bassler K, Bécavin C, Benhar I, Bergenstråhle J, Bergenstråhle L, Bolt L, Braun E, Bui LT, Callori S, Chaffin M, Chichelnitskiy E, Chiou J, Conlon TM, Cuoco MS, Cuomo ASE, Deprez M, Duclos G, Fine D, Fischer DS, Ghazanfar S, Gillich A, Giotti B, Gould J, Guo M, Gutierrez AJ, Habermann AC, Harvey T, He P, Hou X, Hu L, Hu Y, Jaiswal A, Ji L, Jiang P, Kapellos TS, Kuo CS, Larsson L, Leney-Greene MA, Lim K, Litviňuková M, Ludwig LS, Lukassen S, Luo W, Maatz H, Madissoon E, Mamanova L, Manakongtreecheep K, Leroy S, Mayr CH, Mbano IM, McAdams AM, Nabhan AN, Nyquist SK, Penland L, Poirion OB, Poli S, Qi CC, Queen R, Reichart D, Rosas I, Schupp JC, Shea CV, Shi X, Sinha R, Sit RV, Slowikowski K, Slyper M, Smith NP, Sountoulidis A, Strunz M, Sullivan TB, Sun D, Talavera-López C, Tan P, Tantivit J, Travaglini KJ, Tucker NR, Vernon KA, Wadsworth MH, Waldman J, Wang X, Xu K, Yan W, Zhao W, Ziegler CGK, Ziegler CGK, Ziegler CGK. Single-cell meta-analysis of SARS-CoV-2 entry genes across tissues and demographics. Nat Med 2021;27(3):546-559.Abstract
Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and accessory proteases (TMPRSS2 and CTSL) are needed for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) cellular entry, and their expression may shed light on viral tropism and impact across the body. We assessed the cell-type-specific expression of ACE2, TMPRSS2 and CTSL across 107 single-cell RNA-sequencing studies from different tissues. ACE2, TMPRSS2 and CTSL are coexpressed in specific subsets of respiratory epithelial cells in the nasal passages, airways and alveoli, and in cells from other organs associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission or pathology. We performed a meta-analysis of 31 lung single-cell RNA-sequencing studies with 1,320,896 cells from 377 nasal, airway and lung parenchyma samples from 228 individuals. This revealed cell-type-specific associations of age, sex and smoking with expression levels of ACE2, TMPRSS2 and CTSL. Expression of entry factors increased with age and in males, including in airway secretory cells and alveolar type 2 cells. Expression programs shared by ACE2TMPRSS2 cells in nasal, lung and gut tissues included genes that may mediate viral entry, key immune functions and epithelial-macrophage cross-talk, such as genes involved in the interleukin-6, interleukin-1, tumor necrosis factor and complement pathways. Cell-type-specific expression patterns may contribute to the pathogenesis of COVID-19, and our work highlights putative molecular pathways for therapeutic intervention.
Minkus CL, Pistilli M, Dreger KA, Fitzgerald TD, Payal AR, Begum H, Kaçmaz OR, Jabs DA, Nussenblatt RB, Rosenbaum JT, Levy-Clarke GA, Sen NH, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, Bhatt NP, Foster SC, Buchanich JM, Kempen JH, for Group SITED (SITE) CSR. Risk of Cataract in Intermediate Uveitis. Am J Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the incidence of and predictive factors for cataract in intermediate uveitis. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study METHODS: Patients were identified from the Systemic Immunosuppressive Therapy for Eye Diseases (SITE) Cohort Study, in which medical records were reviewed to determine demographic and clinical data of every eye/patient at every visit at five participating United States tertiary care uveitis centers. The primary outcome was development of vision-compromising cataract as defined by a decrease in visual acuity to 20/40 or less, or requiring cataract surgery. Survival analysis assessed visually defined cataract to avoid bias due to timing of surgery vis-à-vis inflammatory status. RESULTS: Among 2,190 eyes of 1,302 patients with intermediate uveitis the cumulative incidence of cataract formation was 7.6% by one year (95% CI=6.2-9.1%), increasing to 36.6% by ten years (95% CI=31.2-41.6%). Increased cataract risk was observed in eyes with concurrent anterior uveitis causing posterior synechiae (HR=2.68, 95% CI=2.00-3.59, p<0.001), and in eyes with epiretinal membrane formation (HR=1.54, 95% CI=1.15-2.07, p=0.004). Higher dose corticosteroid therapy was associated with significantly higher incidence of cataract, especially time-updated use of topical corticosteroids ≥2 times/day or ≥4 periocular corticosteroid injections. Low dose corticosteroid medications (oral prednisone 7.5mg daily or less, or topical corticosteroid drops <2 times/day) were not associated with increased cataract risk. CONCLUSIONS: Our study found that the incidence of clinically important cataract in intermediate uveitis is moderate. The risk is higher with markers of severity, and with higher doses of corticosteroid medications, the latter being potentially modifiable.
Scelfo C, Mantagos IS. Neurotrophic Keratopathy in Pediatric Patients. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):289-295.Abstract
Purpose: This review provides an overview of the causes and treatment of neurotrophic keratopathy in the pediatric population.Methods: A thorough review of the current literature discussing neurotrophic keratopathy was conducted then summarized.Results:Fourty-nine papers were reviewed. Congenital and acquired causes of neurotrophic keratopathy exist in the pediatric population. Both medical and surgical approaches to treatment have been trialed, albeit to a limited extent, in pediatric patients. Conservative treatment includes topical lubrication and antibiotics to prevent concurrent infectious ulcer formation. Various neurotrophic factors have been trialed in the form of serum drops to restore corneal sensation when conservative measures fail. Surgically, different corneal neurotization techniques have been developed whereby a donor nerve is routed to the anesthetized cornea to restore innervation and sensation. Conclusions: Advances in the treatment of neurotrophic keratopathy have made corneal reinnervation and restoration of vision more easily attainable in pediatric patients.
Moustafa GA, Borkar DS, Eton EA, Koulisis N, Kloek CE, Kloek CE, Kloek CE. Healthcare disparities contribute to missed follow-up visits after cataract surgery in the USA: results from the perioperative care for intraocular lens study. BMJ Open 2021;11(3):e038565.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To identify factors that contribute to missed cataract surgery follow-up visits, with an emphasis on socioeconomic and demographic factors. METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, patients who underwent cataract extraction by phacoemulsification at Massachusetts Eye and Ear between 1 January and 31 December 2014 were reviewed. Second eye cases, remote and international patients, patients with foreign insurance and combined cataract cases were excluded. RESULTS: A total of 1931 cases were reviewed and 1089 cases, corresponding to 3267 scheduled postoperative visits, were included. Of these visits, 157 (4.8%) were missed. Three (0.3%) postoperative day 1, 40 (3.7%) postoperative week 1 and 114 (10.5%) postoperative month 1 visits were missed. Age<30 years (adjusted OR (aOR)=8.2, 95% CI 1.9 to 35.2) and ≥90 years (aOR=5.7, 95% CI 2.0 to 15.6) compared with patients aged 70-79 years, estimated travel time of >2 hours (aOR=3.2, 95% CI 1.4 to 7.4), smokers (aOR=2.7, 95% CI 1.6 to 4.8) and complications identified up to the postoperative visit (aOR=1.4, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.1) predicted a higher rate of missed visits. Ocular comorbidities (aOR=0.7, 95% CI 0.5 to 1.0) and previous visit best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) of 20/50-20/80 (aOR=0.4, 95% CI 0.3 to 0.7) and 20/90-20/200 (aOR=0.4, 95% CI 0.2 to 0.9), compared with BCVA at the previous visit of 20/40 or better, predicted a lower rate of missed visits. Gender, race/ethnicity, language, education, income, insurance, alcohol use and season of the year were not associated with missed visits. CONCLUSIONS: Medical factors and demographic characteristics, including patient age and distance from the hospital, are associated with missed follow-up visits in cataract surgery. Additional studies are needed to identify disparities in cataract postoperative care that are population-specific. This information can contribute to the implementation of policies and interventions for addressing them.
Norrick A, Esterlechner J, Niebergall-Roth E, Dehio U, Sadeghi S, Schröder HM, Ballikaya S, Stemler N, Ganss C, Dieter K, Dachtler A-K, Merz P, Sel S, Chodosh J, Cursiefen C, Frank NY, Auffarth GU, Ksander B, Frank MH, Kluth MA. Process development and safety evaluation of ABCB5 limbal stem cells as advanced-therapy medicinal product to treat limbal stem cell deficiency. Stem Cell Res Ther 2021;12(1):194.Abstract
BACKGROUND: While therapeutic success of the limbal tissue or cell transplantation to treat severe cases of limbal stem cell (LSC) deficiency (LSCD) strongly depends on the percentage of LSCs within the transplanted cells, prospective LSC enrichment has been hampered by the intranuclear localization of the previously reported LSC marker p63. The recent identification of the ATP-binding cassette transporter ABCB5 as a plasma membrane-spanning marker of LSCs that are capable of restoring the cornea and the development of an antibody directed against an extracellular loop of the ABCB5 molecule stimulated us to develop a novel treatment strategy based on the utilization of in vitro expanded allogeneic ABCB5 LSCs derived from human cadaveric limbal tissue. METHODS: We developed and validated a Good Manufacturing Practice- and European Pharmacopeia-conform production and quality-control process, by which ABCB5 LSCs are derived from human corneal rims, expanded ex vivo, isolated as homogenous cell population, and manufactured as an advanced-therapy medicinal product (ATMP). This product was tested in a preclinical study program investigating the cells' engraftment potential, biodistribution behavior, and safety. RESULTS: ABCB5 LSCs were reliably expanded and manufactured as an ATMP that contains comparably high percentages of cells expressing transcription factors critical for LSC stemness maintenance (p63) and corneal epithelial differentiation (PAX6). Preclinical studies confirmed local engraftment potential of the cells and gave no signals of toxicity and tumorgenicity. These findings were sufficient for the product to be approved by the German Paul Ehrlich Institute and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to be tested in an international multicenter phase I/IIa clinical trial (NCT03549299) to evaluate the safety and therapeutic efficacy in patients with LSCD. CONCLUSION: Building upon these data in conjunction with the previously shown cornea-restoring capacity of human ABCB5 LSCs in animal models of LSCD, we provide an advanced allogeneic LSC-based treatment strategy that shows promise for replenishment of the patient's LSC pool, recreation of a functional barrier against invading conjunctival cells and restoration of a transparent, avascular cornea.
Jabroun MN, AlWattar BK, Fulton AB. Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography in Prematurity. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):264-269.Abstract
Purpose: During normal foveal development there is a close interaction between the neurosensory and vascular elements of the fovea making it vulnerable to prematurity and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). We aim to assess this potential effect on foveal development in preterms evaluated simultaneously with both optical coherence tomography (OCT) and OCT angiography (OCTA).Method: Unrestricted literature search in the PubMed and Cochrane library databases yielded 20 distinct citations. Fifteen were relevant and reviewed.Results: In preterms, OCTA demonstrated a significant decrease in the foveal avascular zone area and an increase in foveal vessel density. OCT showed a decrease in foveal pit depth and an increase in the thickness of the subfoveal retinal layers. Some studies correlated these changes with reduced vision.Conclusion: Changes in the vascular and neurosensory retina were found in premature children. It remains unclear whether this is related to prematurity alone or ROP and its treatment.
Böhm MS, Wylegala A, Leon P, Ong Tone S, Ciolino JB, Jurkunas UV. One-Year Clinical Outcomes of Preloaded Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty Versus Non-Preloaded Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty. Cornea 2021;40(3):311-319.Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare the one-year outcomes of preloaded Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (pDMEK) and non-preloaded DMEK (n-pDMEK) in patients with Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD). METHODS: This retrospective comparative cohort study consecutively included 68 eyes with Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy who underwent either pDMEK (n = 38) or n-pDMEK (n = 30) performed by cornea fellows with an experienced surgeon between 2016 and 2018 at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Exclusion criteria were previous surgery (other than uncomplicated cataract surgery) and any documented evidence of macular or other corneal diseases. Corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA), central corneal thickness, intraocular pressure, patient characteristics, postprocessing endothelial cell count, donor graft data, and complications were compared. RESULTS: CDVA showed similar results for pDMEK (0.12 ± 0.11 logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution [LogMAR]) and n-pDMEK (0.13 ± 0.13 LogMAR) (P = 0.827). Sixty-six percent of the pDMEK eyes and 57% of the n-pDMEK eyes achieved a VA of ≥0.1 LogMAR, and 95% and 97%, respectively, achieved a CDVA ≥0.3 LogMAR. The preoperative central corneal thickness of pDMEK and n-pDMEK (644 ± 62.2 μm, 660.5 ± 56.2 μm) decreased significantly after surgery (525.1 ± 43.6 μm, 526.5 ± 45.2 μm, P < 0.001), with no difference between groups (P = 0.840). The postprocessing endothelial cell count did not differ between pDMEK (2959.2 ± 182.9 cells/mm2) and n-pDMEK (2939.3 ± 278.7 cells/mm2) (P = 0.484). Complication rates were comparable with just the rebubbling performed in a minor procedure room showing a lower rate for pDMEK (13.16%) compared with n-pDMEK (33.33%) (P < 0.045). CONCLUSIONS: One-year clinical outcomes were similar between pDMEK and n-pDMEK procedures, rendering eye bank-prepared pDMEK tissues a useful tool in the treatment of endothelial dysfunction.
Gnanaguru G, Wagschal A, Oh J, Saez-Torres KL, Li T, Temel RE, Kleinman ME, Näär AM, D'Amore PA. Targeting of miR-33 ameliorates phenotypes linked to age-related macular degeneration. Mol Ther 2021;29(7):2281-2293.Abstract
Abnormal cholesterol/lipid homeostasis is linked to neurodegenerative conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a leading cause of blindness in the elderly. The most prevalent form, termed "dry" AMD, is characterized by pathological cholesterol accumulation beneath the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell layer and inflammation-linked degeneration in the retina. We show here that the cholesterol-regulating microRNA miR-33 was elevated in the RPE of aging mice. Expression of the miR-33 target ATP-binding cassette transporter (ABCA1), a cholesterol efflux pump genetically linked to AMD, declined reciprocally in the RPE with age. In accord, miR-33 modulated ABCA1 expression and cholesterol efflux in human RPE cells. Subcutaneous delivery of miR-33 antisense oligonucleotides (ASO) to aging mice and non-human primates fed a Western-type high fat/cholesterol diet resulted in increased ABCA1 expression, decreased cholesterol accumulation, and reduced immune cell infiltration in the RPE cell layer, accompanied by decreased pathological changes to RPE morphology. These findings suggest that miR-33 targeting may decrease cholesterol deposition and ameliorate AMD initiation and progression.
Navaratnam J, Salvanos P, Vavvas DG, Bragadóttir R. Ultra-widefield autofluorescence imaging findings in retinoschisis, rhegmatogenous retinal detachment and combined retinoschisis retinal detachment. Acta Ophthalmol 2021;99(2):195-200.Abstract
PURPOSE: Retinoschisis (RS), rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) and combined RS retinal detachment (RSRD) may resemble clinically and pose a diagnostic challenge. This study investigates the role of the fundus autofluorescence (AF) in differentiating RS, RRD and RSRD. METHODS: Fundus AF changes of 34 eyes diagnosed with RRD, 30 eyes with RS and 12 eyes with RSRD were retrospectively analysed. Ultra-widefield AF (UW-AF) image intensities obtained with the Optomap 200Tx were interpreted as hypo-, hyper- and isoautofluorescent or a mixed pattern with hypo- and hyperautofluorescence over and at the posterior margin (PM) of RRD, RS and RSRD. RESULTS: All RS eyes revealed isoautofluorescence over the area of RS, and nine eyes (30%) showed hypoautofluorescent PM. Among RRD, acute (≤2 weeks) and chronic (>2 weeks) RRD demonstrated distinct AF characteristics. Sixty-two per cent of RRD eyes had acute RRD. From those, 16 eyes (76%) demonstrated hypoautofluorescence over the detached area and 19 (90%) eyes with hyperautofluorescent PM. Sixty-two per cent of chronic RRD eyes demonstrated isoautofluorecence over the detached area. Eight RSRD eyes (67%) revealed hyperautofluorescence in the detached area. The positive predictive value (PPV) for hypoautofluorescence over the area of subretinal fluid (SRF) in RRD was 95%. The PPV for hyperautofluorescence over the area of SRF in RSRD was 100% and for isoautofluorescence for schitic area in RSRD and RS was 76%. CONCLUSION: The UW-AF can be a useful non-invasive adjuvant tool to distinguish between RRD, RS and RSRD. Hypo- or hyperautofluorescence over the area of interest and hyperautofluorescent PM indicates the presence of SRF.
Rosenblatt TR, Ji MH, Vail D, Ludwig CA, Al-Moujahed A, Pasricha MV, Callaway NF, Kumm J, Moshfeghi DM. Key factors in a rigorous longitudinal image-based assessment of retinopathy of prematurity. Sci Rep 2021;11(1):5369.Abstract
To describe a database of longitudinally graded telemedicine retinal images to be used as a comparator for future studies assessing grader recall bias and ability to detect typical progression (e.g. International Classification of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ICROP) stages) as well as incremental changes in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Cohort comprised of retinal images from 84 eyes of 42 patients who were sequentially screened for ROP over 6 consecutive weeks in a telemedicine program and then followed to vascular maturation or treatment, and then disease stabilization. De-identified retinal images across the 6 weekly exams (2520 total images) were graded by an ROP expert based on whether ROP had improved, worsened, or stayed the same compared to the prior week's images, corresponding to an overall clinical "gestalt" score. Subsequently, we examined which parameters might have influenced the examiner's ability to detect longitudinal change; images were graded by the same ROP expert by image view (central, inferior, nasal, superior, temporal) and by retinal components (vascular tortuosity, vascular dilation, stage, hemorrhage, vessel growth), again determining if each particular retinal component or ROP in each image view had improved, worsened, or stayed the same compared to the prior week's images. Agreement between gestalt scores and view, component, and component by view scores was assessed using percent agreement, absolute agreement, and Cohen's weighted kappa statistic to determine if any of the hypothesized image features correlated with the ability to predict ROP disease trajectory in patients. The central view showed substantial agreement with gestalt scores (κ = 0.63), with moderate agreement in the remaining views. Of retinal components, vascular tortuosity showed the most overall agreement with gestalt (κ = 0.42-0.61), with only slight to fair agreement for all other components. This is a well-defined ROP database graded by one expert in a real-world setting in a masked fashion that correlated with the actual (remote in time) exams and known outcomes. This provides a foundation for subsequent study of telemedicine's ability to longitudinally assess ROP disease trajectory, as well as for potential artificial intelligence approaches to retinal image grading, in order to expand patient access to timely, accurate ROP screening.
Abbasi B, Rizzo JF. Advances in Neuroscience, Not Devices, Will Determine the Effectiveness of Visual Prostheses. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):168-175.Abstract
Background: Innovations in engineering and neuroscience have enabled the development of sophisticated visual prosthetic devices. In clinical trials, these devices have provided visual acuities as high as 20/460, enabled coarse navigation, and even allowed for reading of short words. However, long-term commercial viability arguably rests on attaining even better vision and more definitive improvements in tasks of daily living and quality of life. Purpose: Here we review technological and biological obstacles in the implementation of visual prosthetics. Conclusions: Research in the visual prosthetic field has tackled significant technical challenges, including biocompatibility, signal spread through neural tissue, and inadvertent activation of passing axons; however, significant gaps in knowledge remain in the realm of neuroscience, including the neural code of vision and visual plasticity. We assert that further optimization of prosthetic devices alone will not provide markedly improved visual outcomes without significant advances in our understanding of neuroscience.

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