Cornea

Chen Y, Dana R. Autoimmunity in dry eye disease - An updated review of evidence on effector and memory Th17 cells in disease pathogenicity. Autoimmun Rev 2021;20(11):102933.Abstract
The classic Th1/Th2 dogma has been significantly reshaped since the subsequent introduction of several new T helper cell subsets, among which the most intensively investigated during the last decade is the Th17 lineage that demonstrates critical pathogenic roles in autoimmunity and chronic inflammation - including the highly prevalent dry eye disease. In this review, we summarize current concepts of Th17-mediated disruption of ocular surface immune homeostasis that leads to autoimmune inflammatory dry eye disease, by discussing the induction, activation, differentiation, migration, and function of effector Th17 cells in disease development, highlighting the phenotypic and functional plasticity of Th17 lineage throughout the disease initiation, perpetuation and sustention. Furthermore, we emphasize the most recent advance in Th17 memory formation and function in the chronic course of dry eye disease, a major area to be better understood for facilitating the development of effective treatments in a broader field of autoimmune diseases that usually present a chronic course with recurrent episodes of flare in the target tissues or organs.
Ung L, Chodosh J. Urgent unmet needs in the care of bacterial keratitis: An evidence-based synthesis. Ocul Surf 2021;Abstract
Bacterial corneal infections, or bacterial keratitis (BK), are ophthalmic emergencies that frequently lead to irreversible visual impairment. Though increasingly recognized as a major cause of global blindness, modern paradigms of evidence-based care in BK have remained at a diagnostic and therapeutic impasse for over half a century. Current standards of management - based on the collection of corneal cultures and the application of broad-spectrum topical antibiotics - are beset by important yet widely underrecognized limitations, including approximately 30% of all patients who will develop moderate to severe vision loss in the affected eye. Though recent advances have involved a more clearly defined role for adjunctive topical corticosteroids, and novel therapies such as corneal crosslinking, overall progress to improve patient and population-based outcomes remains incommensurate to the chronic morbidity caused by this disease. Recognizing that the care of BK is guided by the clinical axiom, "time equals vision", this chapter offers an evidence-based synthesis for the clinical management of these infections, underscoring critical unmet needs in disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
Cox SM, Kheirkhah A, Aggarwal S, Abedi F, Cavalcanti BM, Cruzat A, Hamrah P. Alterations in corneal nerves in different subtypes of dry eye disease: An in vivo confocal microscopy study. Ocul Surf 2021;22:135-142.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate corneal subbasal nerve alterations in evaporative and aqueous-deficient dry eye disease (DED) as compared to controls. METHODS: In this retrospective, cross-sectional, controlled study, eyes with a tear break-up time of less than 10 s were classified as DED. Those with an anesthetized Schirmer's strip of less than 5 mm were classified as aqueous-deficient DED. Three representative in vivo confocal microscopy images were graded for each subject for total, main, and branch nerve density and numbers. RESULTS: Compared to 42 healthy subjects (42 eyes), the 70 patients with DED (139 eyes) showed lower total (18,579.0 ± 687.7 μm/mm2 vs. 21,014.7 ± 706.5, p = 0.026) and main (7,718.9 ± 273.9 vs. 9,561.4 ± 369.8, p < 0.001) nerve density, as well as lower total (15.5 ± 0.7/frame vs. 20.5 ± 1.3, p = 0.001), main (3.0 ± 0.1 vs. 3.8 ± 0.2, p = 0.001) and branch (12.5 ± 0.7 vs. 16.5 ± 1.2, p = 0.004) nerve numbers. Compared to the evaporative DED group, the aqueous-deficient DED group showed reduced total nerve density (19,969.9 ± 830.7 vs. 15,942.2 ± 1,135.7, p = 0.006), branch nerve density (11,964.9 ± 749.8 vs. 8,765.9 ± 798.5, p = 0.006), total nerves number (16.9 ± 0.8/frame vs. 13.0 ± 1.2, p = 0.002), and branch nerve number (13.8 ± 0.8 vs. 10.2 ± 1.1, p = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with DED demonstrate compromised corneal subbasal nerves, which is more pronounced in aqueous-deficient DED. This suggests a role for neurosensory abnormalities in the pathophysiology of DED.
Jowett N, Pineda R. Seeing through the evidence for corneal neurotization. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2021;29(4):252-258.Abstract
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Trigeminal anesthesia causes neurotrophic keratopathy, which may yield facial disfigurement and corneal blindness. RECENT FINDINGS: We summarize approaches and evidence for corneal neurotization. SUMMARY: Regional sensory nerve transfer appears safe and effective for therapeutic management of neurotrophic keratopathy. Prospective randomized clinical trials are necessary to confirm the utility of corneal neurotization.
Putra I, Shen X, Anwar KN, Rabiee B, Samaeekia R, Almazyad E, Giri P, Jabbehdari S, Hayat MR, Elhusseiny AM, Ghassemi M, Mahmud N, Edward DP, Joslin CE, Rosenblatt MI, Dana R, Eslani M, Hematti P, Djalilian AR. Preclinical Evaluation of the Safety and Efficacy of Cryopreserved Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells for Corneal Repair. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2021;10(10):3.Abstract
Purpose: Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have been shown to enhance tissue repair as a cell-based therapy. In preparation for a phase I clinical study, we evaluated the safety, dosing, and efficacy of bone marrow-derived MSCs after subconjunctival injection in preclinical animal models of mice, rats, and rabbits. Methods: Human bone marrow-derived MSCs were expanded to passage 4 and cryopreserved. Viability of MSCs after thawing and injection through small-gauge needles was evaluated by vital dye staining. The in vivo safety of human and rabbit MSCs was studied by subconjunctivally injecting MSCs in rabbits with follow-up to 90 days. The potency of MSCs on accelerating wound healing was evaluated in vitro using a scratch assay and in vivo using 2-mm corneal epithelial debridement wounds in mice. Human MSCs were tracked after subconjunctival injection in rat and rabbit eyes. Results: The viability of MSCs after thawing and immediate injection through 27- and 30-gauge needles was 93.1% ± 2.1% and 94.9% ± 1.3%, respectively. Rabbit eyes demonstrated mild self-limiting conjunctival inflammation at the site of injection with human but not rabbit MSCs. In scratch assay, the mean wound healing area was 93.5% ± 12.1% in epithelial cells co-cultured with MSCs compared with 40.8% ± 23.1% in controls. At 24 hours after wounding, all MSC-injected murine eyes had 100% corneal wound closure compared with 79.9% ± 5.5% in controls. Human MSCs were detectable in the subconjunctival area and peripheral cornea at 14 days after injection. Conclusions: Subconjunctival administration of MSCs is safe and effective in promoting corneal epithelial wound healing in animal models. Translational Relevance: These results provide preclinical data to support a phase I clinical study.
Jowett N, Pineda R. Corneal and Facial Sensory Neurotization in Trigeminal Anesthesia. Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am 2021;29(3):459-470.Abstract
Trigeminal anesthesia may yield blindness and facial disfigurement, secondary to neurotrophic keratopathy and trigeminal trophic syndrome. This article summarizes contemporary medical and emerging surgical approaches for the therapeutic management of this rare and devastating disease state.
Patel S, Yuan A, Pineda R. Acute Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo After Endothelial Keratoplasty-A Unique Cause of Postoperative Nausea and Headache. Cornea 2021;40(7):926-929.Abstract
PURPOSE: To describe a case of new-onset benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) after uncomplicated Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty. METHODS: Case report and review of literature. RESULTS: A 61-year-old woman with a history of steroid-induced glaucoma and penetrating keratoplasty for Fuchs endothelial dystrophy, and no history of BPPV or other vertigo, underwent Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty for penetrating keratoplasty graft failure. On the third postoperative day, she developed acute spinning vertigo, nausea, and headache on sitting up after 3 days of strict supine positioning. Her ophthalmic examination was benign, with no evidence of a pupillary block, and she was diagnosed by an otologist with BPPV. Her symptoms resolved after 1 week without further intervention. CONCLUSIONS: BPPV is a benign but rare complication of nonotologic surgery and has not been previously reported with ophthalmic surgery. The overlap in symptomatology between BPPV and other serious and potentially vision-threatening causes of postoperative nausea and headache, such as pupillary block glaucoma, makes this a relevant etiology to consider in the spectrum of postendothelial keratoplasty complications.
Soeken TA, Ross AE, Kohane DS, Kuang L, Legault GL, Caldwell MC, Brundridge WL, Merkley MB, Ciolino JB, Townley RJ. Dexamethasone-Eluting Contact Lens for the Prevention of Postphotorefractive Keratectomy Scar in a New Zealand White Rabbit Model. Cornea 2021;40(9):1175-1180.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of an experimental dexamethasone-eluting contact lens (DCL) for the prevention of postphotorefractive keratectomy (PRK) corneal haze in a New Zealand White (NZW) rabbit model. METHODS: Both eyes of 29 NZW rabbits underwent PRK. The rabbits were randomized to one of the 5 study arms for 4 weeks: tarsorrhaphy only, tarsorrhaphy and bandage contact lens (BCL) replaced weekly, tarsorrhaphy and BCL for 1 week plus topical 0.1% dexamethasone ophthalmic solution (drops) for 4 weeks, tarsorrhaphy and BCL replaced weekly plus topical dexamethasone for 4 weeks, and tarsorrhaphy and DCL changed weekly for 4 weeks. Each week for 4 consecutive weeks postoperatively, the tarsorrhaphies were opened, the eyes underwent evaluation and imaging, and the tarsorrhaphies were replaced. Contact lenses were cultured on removal. Central corneal haze was assessed weekly with corneal densitometry. After 4 weeks, the animals were killed, and the eyes were enucleated for histopathologic analysis. RESULTS: The tarsorrhaphy only group displayed more haze with a greater change in optical densitometry from pre-op compared with the other treatment groups. There was no difference between the DCL group and the groups receiving a BCL and dexamethasone drops in densitometry or histopathology. No NZW rabbits developed clinical signs of infection, and cultures from DCLs and BCLs grew similar organisms. CONCLUSIONS: In the post-PRK rabbit model, DCLs worn weekly for 4 weeks were safe and as effective at preventing corneal haze as 0.1% dexamethasone drops applied 4 times a day for 4 weeks.
Lee SJ, Kim S-T, Wu J, Cho CS, Jo DH, Chen Y, Dana R, Kim JH, Lee S-M. Corneal lymphangiogenesis in dry eye disease is regulated by substance P/neurokinin-1 receptor system through controlling expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3. Ocul Surf 2021;22:72-79.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the role of substance P (SP)/neurokinin-1 receptor (NK1R) system in the regulation of pathologic corneal lymphangiogenesis in dry eye disease (DED). METHODS: Immunocytochemistry, angiogenesis assay, and Western blot analysis of human dermal lymphatic endothelial cells (HDLECs) were conducted to assess the involvement of SP/NK1R system in lymphangiogenesis. DED was induced in wild-type C57BL/6 J mice using controlled-environment chamber without scopolamine. Immunohistochemistry, corneal fluorescein staining, and phenol red thread test were used to evaluate the effect of SP signaling blockade in the corneal lymphangiogenesis. The expression of lymphangiogenic factors in the corneal and conjunctival tissues of DED mouse model was quantified by real-time polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: NK1R expression and pro-lymphangiogenic property of SP/NK1R system in HDLECs were confirmed by Western blot analysis and angiogenesis assay. Blockade of SP signaling with L733,060, an antagonist of NK1R, or NK1R-targeted siRNA significantly inhibited lymphangiogenesis and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor 3 stimulated by SP in HDLECs. NK1R antagonist also suppressed pathological corneal lymphangiogenesis and ameliorated the clinical signs of dry eye in vivo. Furthermore, NK1R antagonist effectively suppressed the lymphangiogenic factors, including VEGF-C, VEGF-D, and VEGF receptor 3 in the corneal and conjunctival tissues of DED. CONCLUSIONS: SP/NK1R system promotes lymphangiogenesis in vitro and NK1R antagonism suppresses pathologic corneal lymphangiogenesis in DED in vivo.
Carreno-Galeano JT, Dohlman TH, Kim S, Yin J, Dana R. A Review of Ocular Graft-versus-Host Disease: Pathophysiology, Clinical Presentation and Management. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2021;:1-10.Abstract
Graft-versus-host disease is a common complication following allogeneic hematopoetic stem cell transplantation that can affect multiple organ systems, including the eyes. Ocular GVHD (oGVHD) is characterized by a T cell-mediated immune response that leads to immune cell infiltration and inflammation of ocular structures, including the lacrimal glands, eyelids, cornea and conjunctiva. oGVHD has a significant negative impact on visual function and quality of life and successful management requires a multi-disciplinary approach with frequent monitoring. Here, we review the pathophysiology and clinical presentation of oGVHD, along with current therapeutic strategies based on our clinical experience and the reported literature.
Rashad R, Shanbhag SS, Kwan J, Chodosh J, Saeed S, Saeed HN. Chronic ocular complications in lamotrigine vs. trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole induced Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis. Ocul Surf 2021;21:16-18.Abstract
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to compare the severity of chronic ocular complications of Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN) induced by lamotrigine (LT) vs. trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TS). METHODS: This retrospective cross-sectional study evaluated all SJS/TEN patients treated within our hospital network from 2008 to 2018. Inclusion criteria included patients with reactions identified as caused by either LT or TS, and patients with at least one ophthalmology follow up in the chronic phase (≥3 months from disease onset). Primary outcome measures included LogMAR best-corrected VA at most recent visit and the presence or absence of severe ocular complications (SOC). Secondary outcome measures included chronic ocular complication severity scores using a modified Sotozono scoring system. RESULTS: Forty-eight eyes of 24 patients were included in the study. The mean duration of follow-up was 39.50 ± 35.62 vs. 48.17 ± 33.09 months, respectively (p = 0.482). The LT group had worse average VA at the most recent visit (LogMAR VA; 0.508 vs. 0.041, p < 0.0001) and had a higher prevalence of SOCs (66.7% vs. 8.3%, p = 0.0038). The LT group scored worse on Sotozono chronic complications scores for the cornea (1.875 vs. 0.5, p = 0.0018), eyelid margin (5.583 vs.3.083, p = 0.0010), and overall condition (8.500 vs. 4.833, p = 0.0015). Sub-analyses showed that a moderate or severe acute ocular severity score was a significant predictor of chronic outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Compared to patients with TS-induced SJS/TEN, patients with LT-induced SJS/TEN developed worse chronic ocular complications on several parameters. Future prospective studies are warranted to provide additional insight into the drug type as a predictor of chronic ocular complications.
Starr CE, Dana R, Pflugfelder SC, Holland EJ, Zhang S, Owen D, Brazzell K. Dry eye disease flares: A rapid evidence assessment. Ocul Surf 2021;22:51-59.Abstract
PURPOSE: Characteristics of periodic flares of dry eye disease (DED) are not well understood. We conducted a rapid evidence assessment to identify evidence for and characteristics of DED flares. METHODS: Literature searches were performed in Embase® via Ovid®, MEDLINE®, and PubMed®. Clinical trials and observational studies published 2009-2019 were included if they investigated patients aged ≥18 years with clinically diagnosed DED who experienced a flare, defined as a temporary or transient episode of increased ocular discomfort, typically lasting days to a few weeks. Triggers of flares, patient-reported outcomes (symptoms), clinician-measured outcomes (signs), and changes in tear molecules were captured. RESULTS: Twenty-one publications that included 22 studies met inclusion criteria. Five observational studies described evidence of DED flares in daily life, 5 studies reported changes following cataract/refractive surgery in patients with preoperative DED, and 12 studies employed controlled environment (CE) models. Real-world triggers of DED flares included air conditioning, wind, reading, low humidity, watching television, and pollution. CE chambers (dry, moving air) and surgery also triggered DED flares. Exacerbations of symptoms and signs of DED, assessed through varied measures, were reported during flares. Across studies, matrix metalloproteinase-9 and interleukin-6 increased and epidermal growth factor decreased during DED flares. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence from 22 studies identified triggers and characteristics of DED flares. Further research is needed to assist clinicians in early diagnosis and treatment of patients experiencing flares.

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