Cornea

Cornea Publications

Pan P, Weisenberger DJ, Zheng S, Wolf M, Hwang DG, Rose-Nussbaumer JR, Jurkunas UV, Chan MF. Aberrant DNA methylation of miRNAs in Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy. Sci Rep 2019;9(1):16385.Abstract
Homeostatic maintenance of corneal endothelial cells is essential for maintenance of corneal deturgescence and transparency. In Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD), an accelerated loss and dysfunction of endothelial cells leads to progressively severe visual impairment. An abnormal accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) is a distinctive hallmark of the disease, however the molecular pathogenic mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are not fully understood. Here, we investigate genome-wide and sequence-specific DNA methylation changes of miRNA genes in corneal endothelial samples from FECD patients. We discover that miRNA gene promoters are frequent targets of aberrant DNA methylation in FECD. More specifically, miR-199B is extensively hypermethylated and its mature transcript miR-199b-5p was previously found to be almost completely silenced in FECD. Furthermore, we find that miR-199b-5p directly and negatively regulates Snai1 and ZEB1, two zinc finger transcription factors that lead to increased ECM deposition in FECD. Taken together, these findings suggest a novel epigenetic regulatory mechanism of matrix protein production by corneal endothelial cells in which miR-199B hypermethylation leads to miR-199b-5p downregulation and thereby the increased expression of its target genes, including Snai1 and ZEB1. Our results support miR-199b-5p as a potential therapeutic target to prevent or slow down the progression of FECD disease.
Xiao J, Adil MY, Olafsson J, Chen X, Utheim ØA, Ræder S, Lagali NS, Dartt DA, Utheim TP. Diagnostic Test Efficacy of Meibomian Gland Morphology and Function. Sci Rep 2019;9(1):17345.Abstract
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is the leading cause of dry eye and proposed treatments are based on disease severity. Our purpose was to establish reliable morphologic measurements of meibomian glands for evaluating MGD severity. This retrospective, cross-sectional study included 100 MGD patients and 20 controls. The patients were classified into dry eye severity level (DESL) 1-4 based on symptoms and clinical parameters including tear-film breakup time, ocular staining and Schirmer I. The gland loss, length, thickness, density and distortion were analyzed. We compared the morphology between patients and controls; examined their correlations to meibum expressibility, quality, and DESL. Relative to controls, the gland thickness, density and distortion were elevated in patients (p < 0.001 for all tests). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.98 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.96-1.0) for gland loss, and 0.96 (CI 0.91-1.0) for gland distortion, with a cutoff value of six distorted glands yielding a sensitivity of 93% and specificity of 97% for MGD diagnosis. The gland distortion was negatively correlated to the meibum expressibility (r = -0.53; p < 0.001) and DESL (r = -0.22, p = 0.018). In conclusion, evaluation of meibomian gland loss and distortion are valuable complementary clinical parameters to assess MGD status.
Greiner JV, Glonek T, Korb DR, Lindsay ME, Oliver PJ, Olson MCD. Corneal Cryopreservation Using Glycerylphosphorylcholine-Enriched Medium. Cornea 2019;Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the effects of prolonged cryopreservation at subzero-degree temperatures on corneal transparency and histology after treatment with preservation medium containing the phosphodiester glycerylphosphorylcholine (GPC). METHODS: Rabbit corneas (n = 30) were immersed for 3 hours in K-Sol preservation medium containing 30 mM GPC. Three groups with 6 corneas each were refrigerated at -8°C for 2 weeks and liquid nitrogen temperature for 2 and 6 weeks, respectively. Two groups with 6 corneas each immersed in K-Sol preservation medium only were refrigerated at -8°C for 2 weeks and liquid nitrogen temperature for 6 weeks, respectively. Postthawing corneal transparency was measured on a grading scale after which corneas were prepared for and analyzed by light and transmission electron microscopy. RESULTS: All 3 groups of corneas preserved with GPC maintained a greater degree of corneal transparency compared with corneas preserved without GPC. The number of corneas retaining epithelial and endothelial layers increased in all groups where corneas were preserved in medium containing GPC, in contrast to corneas preserved in medium without GPC. Cytoplasmic vacuolization or nuclear damage was greater in corneas preserved without GPC. Similar findings were found in corneas stored at -8°C and liquid nitrogen temperatures. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates a cryoprotective effect of corneas preserved in K-Sol containing the phosphodiester GPC at subzero-degree temperatures. In corneas immersed in preservation medium containing GPC, a higher degree of transparency is maintained and a lesser degree of histopathologic changes is observed with storage at both -8°C and in liquid nitrogen.
Koo EH, Pineda R, Afshari N, Eghrari A. Learning Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty: A Survey of U.S. Corneal Surgeons. Cornea 2019;Abstract
PURPOSE: The transition to Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) is frequently challenging, requiring the adoption of new techniques, skills, and methods. We sought to draw on surgeons' initial experiences with DMEK to characterize the learning curve associated with this procedure and identify factors that could be linked to the frequency of primary graft failure (PGF) in the first 10 cases. METHODS: We invited corneal surgeons based in the United States who started performing the DMEK procedure within the past 2 years to answer a 12-question survey using an online survey platform. We analyzed quantitative and qualitative data. A Fisher exact test was used to determine whether preoperative approaches to preparation were associated with decreased PGF rates. RESULTS: A total of 100 US-based corneal surgeons replied from 34 of 50 states. Of these, 68% reported that DMEK comprised a majority of their endothelial keratoplasty cases. Approximately half of surgeons (52%) had performed more than 20 DMEK cases by the time of the survey, and 51% felt equally comfortable performing DMEK relative to Descemet stripping endothelial keratoplasty. Among the respondents, 37% answered that they had experienced PGF in the first 10 cases. Scrubbing in with an experienced colleague before surgery was associated with a decreased likelihood of at least one case of PGF (31%, P = 0.049), but not participation in a wet lab with an experienced instructor or mentor (38%, P = 0.50), nor having an eye bank representative present in the operating room (43%, P = 0.886). CONCLUSIONS: The collective experience of 100 surgeons beginning DMEK confirms the importance of mentorship and that the accompaniment of an experienced colleague during the learning curve is associated with lower rates of PGF.
Moulton EA, Borsook D. C-Fiber Assays in the Cornea vs. Skin. Brain Sci 2019;9(11)Abstract
C-fibers are unmyelinated nerve fibers that transmit high threshold mechanical, thermal, and chemical signals that are associated with pain sensations. This review examines current literature on measuring altered peripheral nerve morphology and discusses the most relevant aspects of corneal microscopy, especially whether corneal imaging presents significant method advantages over skin biopsy. Given its relative merits, corneal confocal microscopy would seem to be a more practical and patient-centric approach than utilizing skin biopsies.
Silva RNE, Taniguchi EV, Cruzat A, Paschalis EI, Pasquale LR, Colby KA, Dohlman CH, Chodosh J, Shen LQ. Angle Anatomy and Glaucoma in Patients With Boston Keratoprosthesis. Cornea 2019;Abstract
PURPOSE: To quantitatively analyze the angle anatomy in eyes with a Boston type 1 keratoprosthesis (KPro) using anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT) and to assess the diagnostic ability of AS-OCT in KPro-associated glaucoma. METHODS: AS-OCT (RTVue) images from KPro eyes with and without glaucoma were reviewed. The angle opening distance at 500 μm from the scleral spur (AOD500), trabecular-iris angle at 500 μm from the scleral spur (TIA500), and trabecular-iris surface area at 500 μm from the scleral spur (TISA500) were measured by 2 observers masked to the diagnosis. The measurements for each visible quadrant were compared between KPro eyes with and without glaucoma. RESULTS: Twenty-two eyes with glaucoma and 17 eyes without glaucoma from 39 patients with KPro were included. Of the 4 quadrants imaged, the temporal angle was the most visible (79.5%) and angle measurements of the temporal quadrant were the only ones that differentiated the 2 groups: the mean AOD500, TIA500, and TISA500 were significantly lower in KPro eyes with glaucoma than without glaucoma (388.2 ± 234.4 μm vs. 624.5 ± 310.5 μm, P = 0.02; 26.1 ± 14.0 degrees vs. 39.1 ± 17.1 degrees, P = 0.03; and 0.15 ± 0.09 mm vs. 0.23 ± 0.12 mm, P = 0.03; respectively). The highest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for detecting glaucoma was 0.75 for temporal TIA500 (95% confidence interval 0.57-0.94, P = 0.02) with 50% specificity at 80% of sensitivity and a cutoff value of 37 degrees. CONCLUSIONS: The temporal angle was the most visible on AS-OCT in eyes with a KPro. Significant narrowing of the temporal angle detected on AS-OCT was associated with glaucoma in these eyes.
Szczotka-Flynn LB, Maguire MG, Ying G-S, Lin MC, Bunya VY, Dana R, Asbell PA, and Group DEAM (DREAM) SR. Authors' Response. Optom Vis Sci 2019;96(11):892.
Bakshi SK, Graney J, Paschalis EI, Agarwal S, Basu S, Iyer G, Liu C, Srinivasan B, Chodosh J. Design and Outcomes of a Novel Keratoprosthesis: Addressing Unmet Needs in End-Stage Cicatricial Corneal Blindness. Cornea 2019;Abstract
PURPOSE: The most commonly applied prosthetic devices for corneal blindness in the setting of severe cicatricial keratoconjunctivitis are the Boston keratoprosthesis type II and the modified osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis, with these requiring either normal eyelid skin or a healthy cuspid tooth, respectively. For patients with neither attribute, we developed a new keratoprosthesis device combining positive aspects of both Boston keratoprosthesis type II and modified osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis, which we have named the "Lux." METHODS: Short-term postoperative outcomes for the Lux keratoprosthesis, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), device retention, and complications, were examined in a retrospective case series of 9 eyes of 9 patients implanted at 4 centers. RESULTS: Seven of 9 (77.8%) eyes had cicatricial corneal blindness due to autoimmune disease and 2 (22.2%) from severe burns. Preoperative BCVA was ≤hand motions in all patients. Three (33.3%) had previously received at least 1 keratoprosthesis in the affected eye, and 4 (44.4%) had previously undergone ≥1 therapeutic keratoplasty. One patient had 19 previous eye surgeries. The mean duration of postoperative follow-up was 18.7 months (range 7-28 months). BCVA of ≥20/200 was achieved in all 9 patients, with 2 (22.2%) reaching 20/20 at the last examination, and all 9 (100%) of the devices were retained. One recipient developed a retinal detachment 2 months after implantation. Two (22.2%) patients required placement of a glaucoma drainage device. CONCLUSIONS: The Lux keratoprosthesis was developed for patients with severe cicatricial keratoconjunctivitis who were otherwise not candidates for existing keratoprosthesis designs. Short-term outcomes after implantation of the Lux keratoprosthesis were encouraging.
Inomata T, Iwagami M, Nakamura M, Shiang T, Yoshimura Y, Fujimoto K, Okumura Y, Eguchi A, Iwata N, Miura M, Hori S, Hiratsuka Y, Uchino M, Tsubota K, Dana R, Murakami A. Characteristics and Risk Factors Associated With Diagnosed and Undiagnosed Symptomatic Dry Eye Using a Smartphone Application. JAMA Ophthalmol 2019;Abstract
Importance: The incidence of dry eye disease has increased; the potential for crowdsource data to help identify undiagnosed dry eye in symptomatic individuals remains unknown. Objective: To assess the characteristics and risk factors associated with diagnosed and undiagnosed symptomatic dry eye using the smartphone app DryEyeRhythm. Design, Setting, and Participants: A cross-sectional study using crowdsourced data was conducted including individuals in Japan who downloaded DryEyeRhythm and completed the entire questionnaire; duplicate users were excluded. DryEyeRhythm was released on November 2, 2016; the study was conducted from November 2, 2016, to January 12, 2018. Exposures: DryEyeRhythm data were collected on demographics, medical history, lifestyle, subjective symptoms, and disease-specific symptoms, using the Ocular Surface Disease Index (100-point scale; scores 0-12 indicate normal, healthy eyes; 13-22, mild dry eye; 23-32, moderate dry eye; 33-100, severe dry eye symptoms), and the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (total of 20 items, total score ranging from 20-80, with ≥40 highly suggestive of depression). Main Outcomes and Measures: Multivariate-adjusted logistic regression analysis was used to identify risk factors for symptomatic dry eye and to identify risk factors for undiagnosed symptomatic dry eye. Results: A total of 21 394 records were identified in our database; 4454 users, included 899 participants (27.3%) with diagnosed and 2395 participants (72.7%) with undiagnosed symptomatic dry eye, completed all questionnaires and their data were analyzed. A total of 2972 participants (66.7%) were women; mean (SD) age was 27.9 (12.6) years. The identified risk factors for symptomatic vs no symptomatic dry eye included younger age (odds ratio [OR], 0.99; 95% CI, 0.987-0.999, P = .02), female sex (OR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.61-2.46; P < .001), pollinosis (termed hay fever on the questionnaire) (OR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.18-1.55; P < .001), depression (OR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.18-2.69; P = .006), mental illnesses other than depression or schizophrenia (OR, 1.87; 95% CI, 1.24-2.82; P = .003), current contact lens use (OR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.09-1.48; P = .002), extended screen exposure (OR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.25-1.91; P < .001), and smoking (OR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.37-1.98; P < .001). The risk factors for undiagnosed vs diagnosed symptomatic dry eye included younger age (OR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.95-0.97; P < .001), male sex (OR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.42-0.72; P < .001), as well as absence of collagen disease (OR, 95% CI, 0.23; 0.09-0.60; P = .003), mental illnesses other than depression or schizophrenia (OR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.36-0.69; P < .001), ophthalmic surgery other than cataract surgery and laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (OR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.27-0.64; P < .001), and current (OR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.54-0.77; P < .001) or past (OR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.34-0.58; P < .001) contact lens use. Conclusions and Relevance: This study's findings suggest that crowdsourced research identified individuals with diagnosed and undiagnosed symptomatic dry eye and the associated risk factors. These findings could play a role in earlier prevention or more effective interventions for dry eye disease.
Coco G, Foulsham W, Nakao T, Yin J, Amouzegar A, Taketani Y, Chauhan SK, Dana R. Regulatory T cells promote corneal endothelial cell survival following transplantation via interleukin-10. Am J Transplant 2019;Abstract
The functional competence of corneal endothelial cells (CEnCs) is critical for survival of corneal allografts, but these cells are often targets of the immune response mediated by graft-attacking effector T cells. Although regulatory T cells (Tregs) have been studied for their role in regulating the host's alloimmune response towards the graft, the cytoprotective function of these cells on CEnCs has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to determine whether Tregs suppress effector T cell-mediated and inflammatory cytokine-induced CEnC death, and to elucidate the mechanism by which this cytoprotection occurs. Using 2 well-established models of corneal transplantation (low-risk and high-risk models), we show that Tregs derived from low-risk graft recipients have a superior capacity in protecting CEnCs against effector T cell-mediated and interferon-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α-induced cell death compared to Tregs derived from high-risk hosts. We further demonstrate that the cytoprotective function of Tregs derived from low-risk hosts occurs independently of direct cell-cell contact and is mediated by the immunoregulatory cytokine IL-10. Our study is the first to report that Tregs provide cytoprotection for CEnCs through secretion of IL-10, indicating potentially novel therapeutic targets for enhancing CEnC survival following corneal transplantation.
Asbell PA, Aquavella JV, Hamrah P, Pepose JS, Rose L, Ucakhan O. ISOPT Hot Topic Panel Discussion on Cornea Anterior Segment Disease. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther 2019;35(8):447-456.Abstract
The cornea and its adnexa pose a unique situation of a tightly defined set of requirements for its function. This includes: transparency, perfect built to obtain appropriate refractive power, protective barrier from microbial invaders. Moreso, the cornea also endures extreme external physical conditions (temperature, high and low humidity, winds and alike). All these functions are maintained while preserving a constant state of homogenous wetting. Toward that end the cornea is equipped with an elaborated network of sensory neural network. While enabling the blinking reflex and maintaining the physiological steady state of wetting, this neural network also makes the cornea prone to the discomfort that with or without associated changes seen on medical examination. ISOPT Clinical 2018 discussion touched upon this hypercomplex situation, addressing the role of inflammation and its resulting discomfort in dry eye conditions. The discussion also engulfed the emerging neuropathic pain syndrome that is recently gaining more attention. Another related topic was the utilization of autologous serum tears and its ability to provide amelioration to desperate patients. Finally, the panel discussed the issue of treating corneal infection, including when and how to utilize steroids in the course of therapy. We assume the reader will find interest in this discussion that directly addresses issues seen day in and day out in our busy clinics.
Deng SX, Borderie V, Chan CC, Dana R, Figueiredo FC, Gomes JAP, Pellegrini G, Shimmura S, Kruse FE. Reply. Cornea 2019;
Sabeti S, Kheirkhah A, Yin J, Dana R. Management of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction: A Review. Surv Ophthalmol 2019;Abstract
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is the leading cause of evaporative dry eye disease and is one of the most common conditions encountered by eye care providers. MGD is characterized by obstruction of the meibomian gland terminal ducts and/or changes in their glandular secretion, resulting in changes in tear film stability, inflammation, and symptoms of irritation. There is no gold standard treatment for MGD, but rather a diversity of options. Conservative measures include warm compresses and lid hygiene, but there is growing interest and need for medical treatments and procedures. Potential medical treatments include antibiotics, non-steroidal and steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, essential fatty acid supplementation, hormone therapy, and control of Demodex infestation. Procedures include intraductal meibomian gland probing, the use of electronic heating devices, intense pulsed light therapy, and intranasal neurostimulation. We provide an update on MGD treatments based on recent studies.

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