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Chen Y, Shao C, Fan N-W, Nakao T, Amouzegar A, Chauhan SK, Dana R. The functions of IL-23 and IL-2 on driving autoimmune effector T-helper 17 cells into the memory pool in dry eye disease. Mucosal Immunol 2021;14(1):177-186.Abstract
Long-lived memory T-helper 17 (Th17) cells actively mediate the chronic inflammation in autoimmune disorders, including dry eye disease (DED). The mechanisms responsible for the maintenance and reactivation of these cells in autoimmunity have been subject of investigation. However, the process through which memory Th17 are generated from their effector precursors remains to be elucidated. Herein, using our murine model of DED, we detect a linear transition from effector-to-memory Th17 cells during the abatement phase of acute inflammation, which is accompanied by persistently high levels of IL-23 and diminished levels of IL-2. In addition, in vitro culture of effector Th17 cells derived from the DED animals with IL-23, but not IL-2, leads to significant generation of memory Th17 cells, along with upregulated expression levels of IL-7R and IL-15R by these cells. Furthermore, supplementation of IL-2 abolishes and blockade of IL-2 enhances IL-23-induced generation of memory Th17 cells in vitro. Finally, in vivo blockade of IL-23 signaling during the contraction phase of primary response inhibits the generation of memory Th17 cells from their effector precursors. Together, our data demonstrate a new dichotomy between IL-23 and IL-2 in driving effector Th17 cells into the memory pool in autoimmune-mediated ocular surface inflammation.
Marmamula S, Barrenakala NR, Challa R, Kumbham TR, Modepalli SB, Yellapragada R, Bhakki M, Khanna RC, Friedman DS. Prevalence and risk factors for visual impairment among elderly residents in 'homes for the aged' in India: the Hyderabad Ocular Morbidity in Elderly Study (HOMES). Br J Ophthalmol 2021;105(1):32-36.Abstract
BACKGROUND/AIM: To investigate the prevalence, causes and risk factors of visual impairment (VI) among the elderly in 'home for the aged' in Hyderabad, India. METHODS: Individuals aged ≥60 years were recruited from 41 'homes for the aged'. All participants had complete eye examinations including presenting visual acuity, refraction, slit-lamp examination, intraocular pressure measurement and fundus imaging by trained clinicians. VI was defined as presenting visual acuity worse than 6/18 in the better eye. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the risk factors associated with VI. RESULTS: 1512 elderly residents from 41 homes for the aged were enumerated, of whom 1182 (78.1%) were examined. The mean age of examined participants was 75.0 years (SD 8.8 years; range: 60-108 years); 35.4% of those examined were men. The prevalence of VI was 30.1% (95% CI 27.5 to 32.8). The leading cause of VI was cataract (46.3%, n=165), followed by uncorrected refractive error (27.0%, n=96), posterior capsular opacification (14.9%, n=53) and posterior segment disease (6.5%, n=23). Overall, 88.2% of the VI was either treatable or correctable. In multiple logistic regression, those aged 80 years and older (OR: 1.7, p<0.01), living in 'free' homes (OR: 1.5, p<0.01) and who were immobile/bedridden (OR: 3.02, p<0.01) had significantly higher odds of VI. Gender was not associated with VI. CONCLUSIONS: VI was common and largely avoidable in residents of 'homes for the aged' in Hyderabad, India. Screening for vision loss in 'homes for aged' and the provision of appropriate services should become routine practice to achieve the goal of healthy ageing in India.
Li S, Datta S, Brabbit E, Love Z, Woytowicz V, Flattery K, Capri J, Yao K, Wu S, Imboden M, Upadhyay A, Arumugham R, Thoreson WB, Deangelis MM, Haider NB. Nr2e3 is a genetic modifier that rescues retinal degeneration and promotes homeostasis in multiple models of retinitis pigmentosa. Gene Ther 2021;28(5):223-241.Abstract
Recent advances in viral vector engineering, as well as an increased understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanism of retinal diseases, have led to the development of novel gene therapy approaches. Furthermore, ease of accessibility and ocular immune privilege makes the retina an ideal target for gene therapies. In this study, the nuclear hormone receptor gene Nr2e3 was evaluated for efficacy as broad-spectrum therapy to attenuate early to intermediate stages of retinal degeneration in five unique mouse models of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). RP is a group of heterogenic inherited retinal diseases associated with over 150 gene mutations, affecting over 1.5 million individuals worldwide. RP varies in age of onset, severity, and rate of progression. In addition, ~40% of RP patients cannot be genetically diagnosed, confounding the ability to develop personalized RP therapies. Remarkably, Nr2e3 administered therapy resulted in reduced retinal degeneration as observed by increase in photoreceptor cells, improved electroretinogram, and a dramatic molecular reset of key transcription factors and associated gene networks. These therapeutic effects improved retinal homeostasis in diseased tissue. Results of this study provide evidence that Nr2e3 can serve as a broad-spectrum therapy to treat multiple forms of RP.
Porporato N, Baskaran M, Perera S, Tun TA, Sultana R, Tan M, Quah JHM, Allen JC, Friedman D, Cheng CY, Aung T. Evaluation of meridional scans for angle closure assessment with anterior segment swept-source optical coherence tomography. Br J Ophthalmol 2021;105(1):131-134.Abstract
BACKGROUND/AIMS: As swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) simultaneously obtains 128 meridional scans, it is important to identify which scans are playing the main role in classifying gonioscopic angle closure to simplify the analysis. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic performance of every meridional scan in its ability to detect gonioscopic angle closure. METHODS: Observational study with 2027 phakic subjects consecutively recruited from a community polyclinic. Gonioscopy and SS-OCT were performed. Gonioscopic angle closure was defined as non-visibility of the posterior trabecular meshwork in ≥180° of the angle, while SS-OCT was defined as iridotrabecular contact anterior to the scleral spur. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was calculated to assess the diagnostic performance of each single scan, the sequential anticlockwise cumulative effect of those single scans and different combinations of them. RESULTS: The AUCs of each scan ranged from 0.73 to 0.82. The single scan at 80°-260° had the highest AUC (0.82, 95% CI 0.79 to 0.84) and performed significantly better than most of the temporonasal scans (from 0° to 52° and from 153° to 179°). The superoinferior scans achieved higher AUCs compared with the temporonasal ones. When assessing the cumulative effect of adding individual scans consecutively, the peak AUC (0.80) was obtained when considering the superoinferior scans closer to 80°-85°, but no further positive cumulative effect was seen when adding the rest of the temporonasal scans of the circumference. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the single SS-OCT scan at 80°-260° had the highest diagnostic performance. Our study suggests that the 360° evaluation may not translate to better clinical utility for detection of gonioscopic angle closure.
Rossin EJ, Gilbert AL, Koen N, Leslie-Mazwi TM, Cunnane ME, Rizzo JF. Site of Origin of the Ophthalmic Artery Influences the Risk for Retinal Versus Cerebral Embolic Events. J Neuroophthalmol 2021;41(1):24-28.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Embolic events leading to retinal ischemia or cerebral ischemia share common risk factors; however, it has been well documented that the rate of concurrent cerebral infarction is higher in patients with a history of transient ischemic attack (TIA) than in those with monocular vision loss (MVL) due to retinal ischemia. Despite the fact that emboli to the ophthalmic artery (OA) and middle cerebral artery share the internal carotid artery (ICA) as a common origin or transit for emboli, the asymmetry in their final destination has not been fully explained. We hypothesize that the anatomic location of the OA takeoff from the ICA may contribute to the differential flow of small emboli to the retinal circulation vs the cerebral circulation. METHODS: We report a retrospective, comparative, case-control study on 28 patients with retinal ischemia and 26 patients with TIA or cerebral infarction caused by embolic events. All subjects underwent either computed tomography angiography or MRA. The location of the ipsilateral OA origin off the ICA was then graded in a blinded fashion and compared between cohorts. Vascular risk factors were collected for all patients, including age, sex, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, arrhythmia, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and smoking. RESULTS: We find that in patients with retinal ischemia of embolic etiology, the ipsilateral OA takeoff from the ICA is more proximal than in patients with cerebral infarcts or TIA (P = 0.0002). We found no statistically significant differences in demographic, vascular, or systemic risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: We find that the mean anatomical location of the OA takeoff from the ICA is significantly more proximal in patients with MVL due to retinal ischemia compared with patients with TIA or cerebral ischemia. This finding contributes significantly to our understanding of a long observed but poorly understood phenomenon that patients with MVL are less likely to have concurrent cerebral ischemia than are patients with TIA.
Lee DH, Cohen LM, Yoon MK, Tao JP. Punctal stenosis associated with dupilumab therapy for atopic dermatitis. J Dermatolog Treat 2021;32(7):737-740.Abstract
In this case series, the authors report three patients with severe atopic dermatitis who presented with epiphora and conjunctivitis while undergoing dupilumab therapy. On clinical examination, all patients were found to have punctal stenosis, with one case having progressed to punctal obstruction. An assortment of strategies was elected, including discontinuation of dupilumab, treatment of conjunctivitis, and surgical intervention with probing, punctoplasty, and silicone intubation. This report spotlights punctal stenosis as an important new side effect of dupilumab and suggests that additional cases of dupilumab-associated lacrimal drainage impairment will continue to emerge.
Stern-Ascher CN, North VS, Garg A, Ananth CV, Wapner RJ, Bearelly S. Subfoveal Choroidal Thickness and Associated Changes of Angiogenic Factors in Women with Severe Preeclampsia. Am J Perinatol 2021;38(5):482-489.Abstract
OBJECTIVE:  Severe preeclampsia complicates roughly 1% of all pregnancies. One defining feature of severe preeclampsia is new onset visual disturbance. The accessibility of the choroid to high-resolution, noninvasive imaging makes it a reasonable target of investigation for disease prediction, stratification, or monitoring in preeclampsia. This study aimed to compare subfoveal choroidal thickness between women with severe preeclampsia and those with normotensive pregnancies, and to investigate associations between such findings and other indicators of disease severity, including gestational age and serum angiogenic factors. STUDY DESIGN:  We designed a case-control study comprised of 36 women diagnosed with severe preeclampsia (cases) matched to 37 normotensive women (controls) by race/ethnicity and parity, all diagnosed in the postpartum period. All patients underwent enhanced depth imaging spectral-domain optical coherence tomography and serum analysis. RESULTS:  Cases showed no difference in subfoveal choroidal thickness compared with controls ( = 0.65). Amongst cases, subfoveal choroidal thickness and gestational age at delivery were inversely related ( = 0.86,  < .001). There was a positive association of placental growth factor with subfoveal choroidal thickness amongst cases ( = 0.54,  = 0.002). CONCLUSION:  This study suggests a relationship between the degree of disease severity and the magnitude of choroidal thickening. We also show an association between this index and placental growth factor level in the postpartum period.
Sakurada Y, Parikh R, Freund BK. RESOLUTION OF A SUBFOVEAL CHOROIDAL CAVERN AFTER HALF-DOSE PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY FOR CENTRAL SEROUS CHORIORETINOPATHY. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2021;15(6):673-675.Abstract
PURPOSE: To describe resolution of a subfoveal choroidal cavern after half-dose verteporfin photodynamic therapy for persistent central serous chorioretinopathy. METHODS: Case report. RESULTS: A 43-year-old man was referred for treatment of chorioretinopathy in his left eye. On presentation, swept-source optical coherence tomography demonstrated a serous retinal detachment and a 161-μm-thick subfoveal choroidal cavern showing a characteristic tail of hypertransmission extending posteriorly. Subfoveal choroidal thickness measured 456 μm in the affected eye. Complete resolution of subretinal fluid and the subfoveal choroidal cavern were observed 3 months after half-dose verteporfin photodynamic therapy. Twelve months after treatment, subfoveal choroidal thickness had decreased further to 276 μm, and visual acuity had improved to 20/15. CONCLUSION: After half-dose verteporfin photodynamic therapy for chorioretinopathy, resolution of subretinal fluid was accompanied by resolution of a subfoveal choroidal cavern at 3 months and a 39.5% reduction in subfoveal choroidal thickness at 1 year.
Chantarasorn Y, Kim EL, Thabsuwan K. MACULAR ADD-ON INTRAOCULAR LENS SUCCESSFULLY RESTORES READING VISION IN EYES WITH END-STAGE DIABETIC MACULAR DISEASE. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2021;15(6):760-766.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report the outcomes of macular add-on intraocular lens implantation in improving reading vision in patients with bilateral advanced diabetic maculopathy. METHODS: In this retrospective study, a supplementary bifocal sulcus intraocular lens (Scharioth Macular Lens) was implanted in the better-seeing eye of five patients. Baseline-corrected distance vision, corrected near visual acuity, a preoperative simulation test, and multimodal imaging were collected. The primary outcome was the uncorrected near visual acuity at a working distance of 15 cm, at a 12-month follow-up. RESULTS: Study patients included 3 cases of refractory subfoveal exudation and 2 cases of diabetic macular ischemia. A preoperative test to assess the potential gain in near vision showed an improvement of ≥2 paragraphs on the RADNER reading chart in all patients. At 12 months, median reading vision (corrected near visual acuity at 15 cm) significantly improved from 20/125 (range 20/50-20/200) preoperatively to uncorrected near visual acuity (at 15 cm) of 20/50 (range 20/40-20/80) (P = 0.042; Wilcoxon signed-ranks test). Distance vision remained unchanged in four patients. All patients were able to achieve the size of newsprint (20/50 Snellen equivalent), within the first 3 months. CONCLUSION: The macular add-on intraocular lens improves reading vision in visually impaired patients due to end-stage diabetic macular disease.
Kempen JH, Pistilli M, Begum H, Fitzgerald TD, Liesegang TL, Payal A, Zebardast N, Bhatt NP, Foster SC, Jabs DA, Levy-Clarke GA, Nussenblatt RB, Rosenbaum JT, Sen NH, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, for Group SITED (SITE) CSR. Remission of Non-Infectious Anterior Scleritis: Incidence and Predictive Factors. Am J Ophthalmol 2021;223:377-395.Abstract
PURPOSE: To assess how often non-infectious anterior scleritis remits and identify predictive factors. METHODS: Our retrospective cohort study at four ocular inflammation subspecialty centers collected data for each affected eye/patient at every visit from center inception (1978, 1978, 1984, 2005) until 2010. Remission was defined as inactivity of disease off all suppressive medications at all visits spanning at least three consecutive months or at all visits up to the last visit (to avoid censoring patients stopping follow-up after remission). Factors potentially predictive of remission were assessed using Cox regression models. RESULTS: During 1,906 years' aggregate follow-up of 832 affected eyes, remission occurred in 214 (170 of 584 patients). Median time-to-remission of scleritis = 7.8 years (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.7, 9.5). More remissions occurred earlier than later during follow-up. Factors predictive of less scleritis remission included scleritis bilaterality (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 0.46, 95% CI: 0.32-0.65); and diagnosis with any systemic inflammatory disease (aHR = 0.36, 95% CI: 0.23-0.58), or specifically with Rheumatoid Arthritis (aHR = 0.22), or Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (aHR = 0.08). Statin treatment (aHR = 1.53, 95% CI: 1.03-2.26) within ≤90 days was associated with more remission incidence. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest scleritis remission occurs more slowly in anterior scleritis than in newly diagnosed anterior uveitis or chronic anterior uveitis, suggesting that attempts at tapering suppressive medications is warranted after long intervals of suppression. Remission is less frequently achieved when systemic inflammatory diseases are present. Confirmatory studies of whether adjunctive statin treatment truly can enhance scleritis remission (as suggested here) are needed.
Foulsham W, Chen XN, Vavvas DG. ALTITUDE-ASSOCIATED INTRAOCULAR PRESSURE CHANGES IN A GAS-FILLED EYE. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2021;15(5):564-567.Abstract
PURPOSE: Intraocular gases are commonly used in vitreoretinal surgery. Patients are routinely advised against air travel before the complete absorption of intraocular gas. Consequently, reports on air travel in patients with large intraocular gas bubbles are highly unusual. Here, we report the intraocular pressure changes of a patient ascending to an altitude of 2,600 feet in a helicopter with a 50% fill perfluoropropane (C3F8) gas bubble in his left eye. METHODS: Case report and literature review. RESULTS: A 61-year-old male patient underwent pars plana vitrectomy for a rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, with fluid-gas exchange using 16% C3F8. With a 50% fill bubble in the left eye, the patient took a short helicopter trip ascending to a maximum altitude of 2,600 feet. Before take-off, intraocular pressure in the operated eye was 14 mmHg. The average increase in intraocular pressure was 10.8 mmHg per 1,000 feet of ascent, with a maximum recorded intraocular pressure of 42 mmHg. The patient denied both ocular pain and loss of vision but did report changes in the appearance of the gas bubble meniscus at 2,100 feet. CONCLUSION: Short-term low-altitude air travel may be tolerated by some patients with intraocular gas in situ. Further studies are required to define the conditions by which patients with gas bubbles may fly safely.
Peiris TJ, El Rami HE, Sun JK. CENTRAL SEROUS CHORIORETINOPATHY ASSOCIATED WITH STEROID ENEMA. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2021;15(1):15-17.Abstract
BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: To report a case of acute recurrent central serous chorioretinopathy that developed after a regimen of corticosteroid enemas and suppositories. METHODS: Observational case report. Fluorescein angiography and spectral domain optical coherence tomography. RESULTS: A 47-year-old male patient with ulcerative colitis managed through hydrocortisone enemas presented to clinic with a 1-day history of blurry vision of his left eye. Posterior segment examination revealed subretinal fluid in the superotemporal macula of the left eye extending centrally. After diagnosis of acute central serous chorioretinopathy, the patient was advised to taper steroid enemas and his visual symptoms and subretinal fluid resolved within the month. Seven years later, several months after using steroid suppositories for the first time since the original central serous chorioretinopathy episode, asymptomatic subretinal fluid accumulation with foveal sparing was found on routine ophthalmic examination. Three months later, most of this fluid had resolved with minimal residual subretinal fluid on clinical examination. CONCLUSION: Acute central serous chorioretinopathy may develop after corticosteroid enema or suppository use, a route of administration that has not been previously reported in association with the disease.
Bryan NC, Lebreton F, Gilmore M, Ruvkun G, Zuber MT, Carr CE. Genomic and Functional Characterization of Enterococcus faecalis Isolates Recovered From the International Space Station and Their Potential for Pathogenicity. Front Microbiol 2020;11:515319.Abstract
is a multidrug resistant, opportunistic human pathogen and a leading cause of hospital acquired infections. Recently, isolates have been recovered from the air and surfaces onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Pangenomic and functional analyses were carried out to assess their potential impact on astronaut health. Genomes of each ISS isolate, and both clinical and commensal reference strains, were evaluated for their core and unique gene content, acquired antibiotic resistance genes, phage, plasmid content, and virulence traits. In order to determine their potential survival when outside of the human host, isolates were also challenged with three weeks of desiccation at 30% relative humidity. Finally, pathogenicity of the ISS strains was evaluated in the model organism At the culmination of this study, there were no defining signatures that separated known pathogenic strains from the more commensal phenotypes using the currently available resources. As a result, the current reliance on database information alone must be shifted to experimentally evaluated genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of clinically relevant microorganisms.
Moon JY, Miller JB, Katz R, Ta T, Szypko C, Garg I, Lorch AC, Gardiner MF, Armstrong GW. The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Ophthalmic Care at an Eye-Specific Emergency Department in an Outbreak Hotspot. Clin Ophthalmol 2020;14:4155-4163.Abstract
Purpose: During the COVID-19 pandemic, there is growing concern that patients are forgoing necessary care. Emergency departments (ED) represent an important site of eye care. We analyzed patterns of ED visits at an eye-specific ED since the declaration of the public health crisis. Materials and Methods: In this retrospective, cross-sectional single center study, medical records of 6744 patients who presented to the Massachusetts Eye and Ear ED between March 1st and April 30th in 2018, 2019, and 2020 were studied. The primary outcome measures were total volume of ED visits, proportion of urgent ED visits, and proportion of surgical visits. Results: Overall, the median number of daily visits to the ED decreased by 18 visits per day since the declaration of public health guidelines (interquartile range, 9-24, p < 0.001). This accounted for a 32% decrease in the total volume of ED visits in 2020 compared to prior years during the study period (p < 0.001). There was a 9% increase in the proportion of primary diagnoses considered urgent (p = 0.002). The proportion of visits requiring urgent surgery increased by 39% (p = 0.004). Conclusion: The total number of eye-specific ED visits dropped compared to prior years while the proportion of urgent visits increased. Patients were likely more reluctant to seek eye care, deferring less urgent evaluation.
Jager MJ, Seddon JM. Eye Diseases Direct Interest to Complement Pathway and Macrophages as Regulators of Inflammation in COVID-19. Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila) 2020;Abstract
Many of the risk factors for developing severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are also risk factors for eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). During the past decades, macrophages and the complement pathway (as a part of the innate immune system) have been identified as important contributors to the development of AMD, and we suggest that these mechanisms are of similar importance for the clinical course of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections. Based on the experience with AMD, we discuss how behavioral factors such as diet, smoking and higher body mass index, as well as genetic determinants such as the complement and immune pathway genes may lead to the overactive inflammatory phenotypes seen in some patients with COVID-19, and may in part explain the heterogeneity of disease manifestations and outcomes. Based on this experience, we discuss potential genetic research projects and elaborate on preventive and treatment approaches related to COVID-19.

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