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Bakshi SK, Lin SR, Ting DSW, Chiang MF, Chodosh J. The era of artificial intelligence and virtual reality: transforming surgical education in ophthalmology. Br J Ophthalmol 2021;105(10):1325-1328.Abstract
Training the modern ophthalmic surgeon is a challenging process. Microsurgical education can benefit from innovative methods to practice surgery in low-risk simulations, assess and refine skills in the operating room through video content analytics, and learn at a distance from experienced surgeons. Developments in emerging technologies may allow us to pursue novel forms of instruction and build on current educational models. Artificial intelligence, which has already seen numerous applications in ophthalmology, may be used to facilitate surgical tracking and evaluation. Within immersive technology, growth in the space of virtual reality head-mounted displays has created intriguing possibilities for operating room simulation and observation. Here, we explore the applications of these technologies and comment on their future in ophthalmic surgical education.
Ma KK, Kinde B, Doan T, Jacobs DS, Ong Tone S. Dual Molecular Diagnosis of Microsporidia (Encephalitozoon hellem) Keratoconjunctivitis in an Immunocompetent Adult. Cornea 2021;40(2):242-244.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report a case of microsporidia (Encephalitozoon hellem) keratoconjunctivitis acquired through avian transmission in an immunocompetent adult, diagnosed by metagenomic deep sequencing (MDS), and confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. METHODS: A case report. RESULTS: An 18-year-old woman was referred with unilateral keratoconjunctivitis unresponsive to topical and systemic therapy after exposure to birdcage debris. Slit-lamp examination of the left eye revealed a follicular papillary reaction of the palpebral conjunctiva and multiple corneal punctate epithelial opacities that stained minimally with fluorescein. In vivo confocal microscopy revealed bright double-walled structures and smaller bright round structures in the superficial epithelial debris and epithelium. Molecular diagnosis with MDS of E. hellem was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. Clinical resolution and normalization of in vivo confocal microscopy was observed after a 6-week course of topical azithromycin. The patient elected a 3-week course of topical voriconazole 1% for definitive antimicrosporidial treatment, with no evidence of persistent infection 1 month later. CONCLUSIONS: Microsporidial (E. hellem) keratoconjunctivitis can occur through avian transmission in immunocompetent hosts. Topical azithromycin may be effective against this pathogen. MDS has utility in the diagnosis of atypical keratoconjunctivitis.
Swan G, Goldstein RB, Savage SW, Zhang L, Ahmadi A, Bowers AR. Automatic processing of gaze movements to quantify gaze scanning behaviors in a driving simulator. Behav Res Methods 2021;53(2):487-506.Abstract
Eye and head movements are used to scan the environment when driving. In particular, when approaching an intersection, large gaze scans to the left and right, comprising head and multiple eye movements, are made. We detail an algorithm called the gaze scan algorithm that automatically quantifies the magnitude, duration, and composition of such large lateral gaze scans. The algorithm works by first detecting lateral saccades, then merging these lateral saccades into gaze scans, with the start and end points of each gaze scan marked in time and eccentricity. We evaluated the algorithm by comparing gaze scans generated by the algorithm to manually marked "consensus ground truth" gaze scans taken from gaze data collected in a high-fidelity driving simulator. We found that the gaze scan algorithm successfully marked 96% of gaze scans and produced magnitudes and durations close to ground truth. Furthermore, the differences between the algorithm and ground truth were similar to the differences found between expert coders. Therefore, the algorithm may be used in lieu of manual marking of gaze data, significantly accelerating the time-consuming marking of gaze movement data in driving simulator studies. The algorithm also complements existing eye tracking and mobility research by quantifying the number, direction, magnitude, and timing of gaze scans and can be used to better understand how individuals scan their environment.
Hu A, Gu SZ, Friedman DS, Cao K, Wang N. Six-Year Incidence and Causes of Low Vision and Blindness in a Rural Chinese Adult Population: The Handan Eye Study. Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2021;28(2):160-168.Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the six-year incidence, risk factors, and causes of visual impairment in a Chinese population. METHODS: This was a population-based study of eye disease in Chinese adults in a rural district of Handan in China. 6,830 individuals were invited to participate in 2006 and 5,394 returned for follow-up in 2012. All participants underwent standardized eye examinations. Visual impairment was defined according to WHO criteria. The incidence of visual impairment was age- and gender-standardized to the 2010 China Census. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to determine risk factors for visual impairment. RESULTS: The leading causes of visual impairment were cataract and refractive error. Based on (PVA), the six-year incidence rates of low vision and blindness were 5.2% and 0.5%, respectively. Incidence of low vision was associated with older age ( < .001), less education ( < .001), diabetes ( < .05), and lower BMI ( < .001). The incidence of blindness was associated with diabetes ( < .05). Based on (BCVA), the six-year incidence rates of low vision and blindness were 0.8% and 0.1%, respectively. Incidence of low vision was associated with older age ( < .001) and lower BMI ( < .05). None of these factors were associated with the incidence of blindness. CONCLUSION: In Handan, the incidence of visual impairment was high and associated with older age, less education, diabetes, and lower BMI. The majority of cases were due to unoperated cataract and uncorrected refractive error, reflecting the need for improved eye care in this region.
Marmamula S, Barrenakala NR, Challa R, Kumbham TR, Modepalli SB, Yellapragada R, Bhakki M, Reddy JC, Friedman DS, Khanna RC. Visual outcomes after cataract surgery among the elderly residents in the 'homes for the aged' in South India: the Hyderabad Ocular Morbidity in Elderly Study. Br J Ophthalmol 2021;105(8):1087-1093.Abstract
BACKGROUND/AIM: To report visual outcomes and factors associated with good visual outcomes after cataract surgery among the elderly residents in 'homes for the aged' in Hyderabad, India. METHODS: Individuals aged ≥60 years were recruited from 41 'homes for the aged'. All participants had a detailed eye examinations including visual acuity (VA) assessment , refraction, slit-lamp examination and fundus imaging by trained professionals. A detailed history of cataract surgery was recorded. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the factors associated with good visual outcomes after cataract surgery which was defined as presenting VA of 6/18 or better in the operated eye. Visual impairment (VI) is defined as presenting VA worse than 6/18 in the operated eye. RESULTS: 1215 eyes of 703 individuals had cataract surgery. The mean age of these participants was 77.5 years (SD: 8.2 years; range: 60-108 years), 66.8% were women, 29.9% reported diabetes and 61% reported hypertension. 406/1215 (33.4%; 95% CI 30.8 to 36.1) eyes had VI after cataract surgery. Posterior capsular opacification (31.8%; n=129) was the leading cause of VI followed by uncorrected refractive error (24.1%; n=98). The prevalence of good outcomes was 66.6% (95% CI 63.8 to 69.2). On applying multivariable analysis, younger age, self-reported hypertension, independent mobility, surgery in a non-government (as opposed to private) hospital and undergoing paid surgery were associated with good outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: One-third of the eyes of elderly individuals living in homes for the aged that had previously undergone cataract surgery had VI. Regular eye examinations with the provision of laser capsulotomy and appropriate refractive correction can substantially improve their vision.
Rahimkhoei V, Jabbari N, Nourani A, Sharifi S, Akbari A. Potential small-molecule drugs as available weapons to fight novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV): A review. Cell Biochem Funct 2021;39(1):4-9.Abstract
Since the new coronavirus known as 2019-nCoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2) has widely spread in Wuhan, China, with severe pneumonia, scientists and physicians have made remarkable efforts to use various options such as monoclonal antibodies, peptides, vaccines, small-molecule drugs and interferon therapies to control, prevent or treatment infections of 2019-nCoV. However, no vaccine or drug has yet been confirmed to completely treat 2019-nCoV. In this review, we focus on the use of potential available small-molecule drug candidates for treating infections caused by 2019-nCoV.
Franco JJ, Reyes Luis JL, Rahim S, Greenstein S, Pineda R. Survival of the fittest: phacoemulsification outcomes in four corneal transplants by Dr Ramon Castroviejo. Br J Ophthalmol 2021;105(8):1076-1081.Abstract
AIM: To evaluate and report the outcomes following phacoemulsification on four eyes, 45 years or more after corneal transplantation. METHODS: A retrospective case series of four eyes in three patients (P1, P2, P3), undergoing phacoemulsification at least 45 years after corneal transplantation by Dr Ramon Castroviejo. Corneal graft survival outcome measures included central corneal thickness (CCT), best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), corneal clarity and endothelial cell count (ECC). RESULTS: Phacoemulsification was successfully completed in all four cases with no instances of graft failure during the postoperative follow-up period, which ranged from 17 months to 76 months. At the conclusion of the follow-up period, all four grafts remained clear, and BCVA remained better than or similar to preoperative values. Long-term follow-up revealed no meaningful changes in CCT after phacoemulsification. All but one case experienced a decrease in ECC, with ECC values in the four cases ranging from 538 cells/mm2 to 1436 cells/mm2 at the conclusion of postoperative follow-up. CONCLUSION: Limited data have been published on the long-term survival of corneal grafts after intraocular surgery, especially for extremely 'mature' corneal transplants. This case series demonstrates that with appropriate preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative measures, successful phacoemulsification can be performed in these cases with excellent long-term results.
Azad AD, Chen EM, Hinkle J, Rayess N, Wu D, Eliott D, Mruthyunjaya P, Parikh R. Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and Panretinal Photocoagulation Use after Protocol S for Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy. Ophthalmol Retina 2021;5(2):151-159.Abstract
PURPOSE: To characterize the rates of panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) medications before and after publication of the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network protocol S. DESIGN: A retrospective, cross-sectional study from January 2012, through September 2019, using a nationally representative claims-based database, Clinformatics Data Mart Database (OptumInsight, Eden Prairie, MN). PARTICIPANTS: Eyes newly diagnosed with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), continuous enrollment, and no prior treatment with PRP or anti-VEGF agents. METHODS: Interrupted time series regression analysis was performed to identify the annual change in treatment rates before and after the publication of Protocol S (November 2015). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Annual rates of anti-VEGF or PRP treatments per 1000 treated eyes with PDR. RESULTS: From 2012 through 2019, 10 035 PRP or anti-VEGF treatments were administered to 3685 PDR eyes. Of these, 63.6% (n = 6379) were anti-VEGF agents, and 36.4% (n = 3656) were PRP treatments. Throughout treatment, 88.7% of eyes treated with anti-VEGF received the same agent and 7.7% were treated with both PRP and anti-VEGF agents. Panretinal photocoagulation rates declined from 784/1000 treated eyes in 2012 to 566/1000 in 2019 (pre-Protocol S: β = -32 vs. post-Protocol S: -77; P = 0.005), whereas anti-VEGF rates increased from 876/1000 in 2012 to 1583/1000 in 2019 (β = -48 vs. 161, respectively; P = 0.001). Panretinal photocoagulation rates in diabetic macular edema (DME) eyes did not significantly differ from 474/1000 in 2012 to 363/1000 in 2019 (β = -9 vs. -58 respectively; P = 0.091), and anti-VEGF rates increased from 1533/1000 in 2012 to 2096/1000 in 2019 (β = -57 vs. 187; P = 0.043). In eyes without DME, PRP use declined from 1017/1000 in 2012 to 707/1000 in 2019 (β = -31 vs. -111, respectively; P < 0.001), and anti-VEGF use increased from 383/1000 in 2012 to 1226/1000 in 2019 (β = -48 vs. 140, respectively; P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Following the publication of Protocol S, PRP rates decreased, while anti-VEGF rates increased. Panretinal photocoagulation rates did not significantly change among eyes with DME. Our findings indicate the impact that randomized controlled trials can have on real-world practice patterns.
Bothun ED, Wilson EM, Yen KG, Anderson JS, Weil NC, Loh AR, Morrison D, Freedman SF, Plager DA, VanderVeen DK, Traboulsi EI, Hodge DO, Lambert SR, and Study TAP. Outcomes of Bilateral Cataract Surgery in Infants 7 to 24 Months of Age Using the Toddler Aphakia and Pseudophakia Treatment Study Registry. Ophthalmology 2021;128(2):302-308.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate outcomes of bilateral cataract surgery in children aged 7 to 24 months and compare rates of adverse events (AEs) with other Toddler Aphakia and Pseudophakia Study (TAPS) registry outcomes. DESIGN: Retrospective clinical study at 10 Infant Aphakia Treatment Study (IATS) sites. Statistical analyses comparing this cohort with previously reported TAPS registry cohorts. PARTICIPANTS: Children enrolled in the TAPS registry between 2004 and 2010. METHODS: Children underwent bilateral cataract surgery with or without intraocular lens (IOL) placement at age 7 to 24 months with 5 years of postsurgical follow-up. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Visual acuity (VA), occurrence of strabismus, AEs, and reoperations. RESULTS: A total of 40 children (76 eyes) who underwent bilateral cataract surgery with primary posterior capsulectomy were identified with a median age at cataract surgery of 11 months (7-23); 68% received a primary IOL. Recurrent visual axis opacification (VAO) occurred in 7.5% and was associated only with the use of an IOL (odds ratio, 6.10; P = 0.005). Glaucoma suspect (GS) was diagnosed in 2.5%, but no child developed glaucoma. In this bilateral cohort, AEs (8/40, 20%), including glaucoma or GS and VAO, and reoperations occurred in a similar proportion to that of the published unilateral TAPS cohort. When analyzed with children aged 1 to 7 months at bilateral surgery, the incidence of AEs and glaucoma or GS correlated strongly with age at surgery (P = 0.011/0.004) and glaucoma correlated with microcornea (P = 0.040) but not with IOL insertion (P = 0.15). CONCLUSIONS: Follow-up to age 5 years after bilateral cataract surgery in children aged 7 to 24 months reveals a low rate of VAO and very rare glaucoma or GS diagnosis compared with infants with cataracts operated at < 7 months of age despite primary IOL implantation in most children in the group aged 7 to 24 months. The use of an IOL increases the risk of VAO irrespective of age at surgery.
Ting DSJ, Foo VH, Yang LWY, Sia JT, Ang M, Lin H, Chodosh J, Mehta JS, Ting DSW. Artificial intelligence for anterior segment diseases: Emerging applications in ophthalmology. Br J Ophthalmol 2021;105(2):158-168.Abstract
With the advancement of computational power, refinement of learning algorithms and architectures, and availability of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) technology, particularly with machine learning and deep learning, is paving the way for 'intelligent' healthcare systems. AI-related research in ophthalmology previously focused on the screening and diagnosis of posterior segment diseases, particularly diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. There is now emerging evidence demonstrating the application of AI to the diagnosis and management of a variety of anterior segment conditions. In this review, we provide an overview of AI applications to the anterior segment addressing keratoconus, infectious keratitis, refractive surgery, corneal transplant, adult and paediatric cataracts, angle-closure glaucoma and iris tumour, and highlight important clinical considerations for adoption of AI technologies, potential integration with telemedicine and future directions.
Thng ZX, De Smet MD, Lee CS, Gupta V, Smith JR, McCluskey PJ, Thorne JE, Kempen JH, Zierhut M, Nguyen QD, Pavesio C, Agrawal R. COVID-19 and immunosuppression: a review of current clinical experiences and implications for ophthalmology patients taking immunosuppressive drugs. Br J Ophthalmol 2021;105(3):306-310.Abstract
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in December 2019 in Wuhan city, Hubei province, China. This is the third and largest coronavirus outbreak since the new millennium after SARS in 2002 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 2012. Over 3 million people have been infected and the COVID-19 has caused more than 217 000 deaths. A concern exists regarding the vulnerability of patients who have been treated with immunosuppressive drugs prior or during this pandemic. Would they be more susceptible to infection by the SARS-CoV-2 and how would their clinical course be altered by their immunosuppressed state? This is a question the wider medical fraternity-including ophthalmologists, rheumatologists, gastroenterologist and transplant physicians among others-must answer. The evidence from the SARS and MERS outbreak offer some degree of confidence that immunosuppression is largely safe in the current COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary clinical experiences based on case reports, small series and observational studies show the morbidity and mortality rates in immunosuppressed patients may not differ largely from the general population. Overwhelmingly, current best practice guidelines worldwide recommended the continuation of immunosuppression treatment in patients who require them except for perhaps high-dose corticosteroid therapy and in patients with associated risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease.
Olsen MV, Lyngstadaas AV, Bair JA, Hodges RR, Utheim TP, Serhan CN, Dartt DA. Maresin 1, a specialized proresolving mediator, stimulates intracellular [Ca ] and secretion in conjunctival goblet cells. J Cell Physiol 2021;236(1):340-353.Abstract
Mucin secretion from conjunctival goblet cells forms the tear film mucin layer and requires regulation to function properly. Maresin 1 (MaR1) is a specialized proresolving mediator produced during the resolution of inflammation. We determined if MaR1 stimulates mucin secretion and signaling pathways used. Cultured rat conjunctival goblet cells were used to measure the increase in intracellular Ca ([Ca ] ) concentration and mucin secretion. MaR1-increased [Ca ] and secretion were blocked by inhibitors of phospholipase C, protein kinase C, Ca /calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and extracellular-regulated kinase 1/2. MaR1 added before addition of histamine counterregulated histamine-stimulated increase in [Ca ] and secretion. We conclude that MaR1 likely has two actions in conjunctival goblet cells: first, maintaining optimal tear film mucin levels by increasing [Ca ] and stimulating mucin secretion in health and, second, attenuating the increase in [Ca ] and overproduction of mucin secretion by counterregulating the effect of histamine as occurs in ocular allergy.

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