Simavli H, Poon LY-C, Que CJ, Liu Y, Akduman M, Tsikata E, de Boer JF, Chen TC. Diagnostic Capability of Peripapillary Retinal Volume Measurements in Glaucoma. J Glaucoma 2017;26(6):592-601.Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the diagnostic capability of spectral domain optical coherence tomography peripapillary retinal volume (RV) measurements. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 156 patients, 89 primary open-angle glaucoma and 67 normal subjects, were recruited. Spectral domain optical coherence tomography peripapillary RV was calculated for 4 quadrants using 3 annuli of varying scan circle diameters: outer circumpapillary annuli of circular grids 1, 2, and 3 (OCA1, OCA2, OCA3). Area under the receiver operating characteristic curves and pairwise comparisons of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were performed to determine which quadrants were best for diagnosing primary open-angle glaucoma. The pairwise comparisons of the best ROC curves for RV and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) were performed. The artifact rates were analyzed. RESULTS: Pairwise comparisons showed that the smaller annuli OCA1 and OCA2 had better diagnostic performance than the largest annulus OCA3 (P<0.05 for all quadrants). OCA1 and OCA2 had similar diagnostic performance, except for the inferior quadrant which was better for OCA1 (P=0.0033). The pairwise comparisons of the best ROC curves for RV and RNFL were not statistically significant. RV measurements had lower rates of artifacts at 7.4% while RNFL measurements had higher rates at 42.9%. CONCLUSIONS: Peripapillary RV measurements have excellent ability for diagnosing not only glaucoma patients but also a subset of early glaucoma patients. The inferior quadrant of peripapillary annulus OCA1 demonstrated the best diagnostic capability for both glaucoma and early glaucoma. The diagnostic ability of RV is comparable with that of RNFL parameters in glaucoma but with lower artifact rates.
Shi Y, Wang H, Yin J, Zhang X, Li M, Xin C, Chen X, Wang N. Outcomes of microcatheter-assisted trabeculotomy following failed angle surgeries in primary congenital glaucoma. Eye (Lond) 2017;31(1):132-139.Abstract

PurposeTo report surgical outcomes of microcatheter-assisted trabeculotomy following failed angle surgeries, and compare those with no previous angle surgery, in primary congenital glaucoma (PCG).MethodsThe early postoperative (12 months) results of 42 eyes of 36 patients who underwent microcatheter-assisted trabeculotomy by single surgeon for PCG were retrospectively analyzed. Group 1, 20 eyes of 16 patients, had no previous angle surgery. Group 2, 22 eyes of 20 patients, had one or two previous failed angle surgeries. Success was defined as an intraocular pressure (IOP) <21 mm Hg with at least a 30% reduction from preoperative IOP with (qualified success) or without (complete success) the use of antiglaucoma medication.ResultsMean IOP decreased from 31.5±7.2 mm Hg on 3 (median, range: 1-5) medications in Group 1 and 34.6±7.3 mm Hg on 3 (median, range: 1-4) medications in Group 2 preoperatively to 15.6±3.1 mm Hg on 0 (median, range: 0-4) medications in Group 1 and 16.0±4.6 mm Hg on 0 (median, range: 0-2) medications in Group 2 postoperatively at 12 months (both P<0.001), respectively. The mean percentage of IOP reduction from preoperative to last postoperative visit was 46.0±20.1% in Group 1 and 45.5±25.0% in Group 2, P=0.947. Qualified and complete successes were comparable between Group 1 and Group 2 (qualified success: 90.0% vs 77.3%, P=0.294; complete success: 78.9% vs 77.3%, P=0.853). Complications were minimal.ConclusionsMicrocatheter-assisted trabeculotomy achieved significant pressure-lowering effects with a reduction in medication use in PCG, and it represents a reasonable choice of initial and repeat surgical treatment for PCG.

Bovee CE, Pasquale LR. Evolving Surgical Interventions in the Treatment of Glaucoma. Semin Ophthalmol 2017;32(1):91-95.Abstract

Interventions in the treatment of mild to moderate glaucoma have evolved to include a group of procedures collectively named "Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)." These procedures are less invasive than traditional filtering surgery and setons and offer the benefit of an improved side-effect profile. A review of current published literature has shown that these procedures offer lower intraocular pressure, decrease reliance on topical medications, have no negative effect on refractive outcomes, and can be safely done following failed tube surgery.

Cousins CC, Kang JH, Bovee C, Wang J, Greenstein SH, Turalba A, Shen LQ, Brauner S, Boumenna T, Blum S, Levkovitch-Verbin H, Ritch R, Wiggs JL, Knepper PA, Pasquale LR. Nailfold capillary morphology in exfoliation syndrome. Eye (Lond) 2017;31(5):698-707.Abstract
PurposeThe purpose of the study was to investigate nailfold microvascular morphology in exfoliation syndrome with or without glaucoma (XFS/XFG) compared with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and control subjects using nailfold capillary videomicroscopy.Patients and methodsWe used a JH-1004 capillaroscope to perform nailfold capillary videomicroscopy on the fourth and fifth digit of the non-dominant hand. We enrolled 56 XFS/XFG patients, 87 POAG patients, and 75 control subjects. Masked observers graded the videos for hemorrhages, avascular zones ≥200 microns (μm), and degree of microvascular tortuosity on a four-point subjective scale. Multivariable odds ratios, 95% confidence intervals and P-for trends for assessing the relation between morphological changes and POAG or XFS/XFG were obtained from logistic regression analyses. We also assessed this relation with XFS/XFG compared with POAG in multivariable models.ResultsAfter adjusting for multiple covariates, nailfold hemorrhages, avascular zones ≥200 μm, and higher degree of vascular tortuosity were more common in XFS/XFG vs controls (P-for trend ≤0.0001) and in POAG vs controls (P-for trend ≤0.01). For each 100 capillaries, the number of hemorrhages was similar (P-for trend=0.91) between XFS/XFG and POAG patients; however, there were more avascular zones per 100 capillaries with borderline significance (P-for trend=0.04) in the XFS/XFG group. XFS/XFG patients had more tortuosity than POAG patients; specifically, having a tortuosity score ≥1.5 was associated with a 4.4-fold increased odds of XFS/XFG (95% confidence interval: 1.5-13.3) relative to a tortuosity score <1.0 (P-for trend=0.005).ConclusionA high degree of nailfold capillary tortuosity is a distinct non-ocular feature associated with XFS/XFG compared with either POAG or controls.
Joseph A, Pasquale LR. Attributes Associated with Adherence to Glaucoma Medical Therapy and its Effects on Glaucoma Outcomes: An Evidence-Based Review and Potential Strategies to Improve Adherence. Semin Ophthalmol 2017;32(1):86-90.Abstract

The treatment paradigm in glaucoma classically starts with exhausting all medical therapy prior to proceeding with laser or incisional surgery, although laser-first and surgery-first strategies have been explored in randomized clinical trials. Although glaucoma drops are proven to work well to lower intraocular pressure, slow the conversion from ocular hypertension, and slow the progression of disease in early open angle glaucoma, adherence to treatment is likely optimum in the randomized clinical trials that support these claims. In real-world scenarios, medical therapy often fails and practitioners are forced to proceed with more invasive treatment modalities to slow the progression of this blinding disease. This review aims to take an evidence-based approach to study the risk factors for poor adherence in glaucoma patients, to determine whether poor adherence is, in fact, associated with worse outcomes, and to seek potential strategies to improve adherence in these patients.

Al-Haddad CE, Abdulaal M, Al-Moujahed A, Ervin A-M, Ismail K. Fornix-Based Versus Limbal-Based Conjunctival Trabeculectomy Flaps for Glaucoma: Findings From a Cochrane Systematic Review. Am J Ophthalmol 2017;174:33-41.Abstract

PURPOSE: To compare effectiveness of fornix- and limbal-based conjunctival flaps in trabeculectomy surgery. DESIGN: Systematic review. METHODS: Setting: CENTRAL, MEDLINE, LILACS, ISRCTN registry,, WHO, and ICTRP were searched to identify eligible randomized controlled trials (RCTs). STUDY POPULATION: RCTs in which benefits and complications of fornix- vs limbal-based trabeculectomy for glaucoma were compared in adult glaucoma patients. OBSERVATION PROCEDURE: We followed Cochrane methodology for data extraction. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Proportion of failed trabeculectomies at 24 months, defined as the need for repeat surgery or uncontrolled intraocular pressure (IOP) >22 mm Hg, despite topical/systemic medications. RESULTS: The review included 6 trials with a total of 361 participants, showing no difference in effectiveness between fornix-based vs limbal-based trabeculectomy surgery, although with a high level of uncertainty owing to low event rates. In the fornix-based and limbal-based surgery, mean IOP at 12 months was similar, with ranges of 12.5-15.5 mm Hg and 11.7-15.1 mm Hg, respectively. Mean difference was 0.44 mm Hg (95% CI -0.45 to 1.33) and 0.86 mm Hg (95% CI -0.52 to 2.24) at 12 and 24 months of follow-up, respectively. Mean number of postoperative glaucoma medications was similar between the 2 groups. Mean difference was 0.02 (95% CI -0.15 to 0.19) at 12 months. As far as postoperative complications, an increased risk of shallow anterior chamber was observed in the limbal-based group. CONCLUSION: Similar efficacy of trabeculectomy surgery with respect to bleb failure or IOP control was observed in both types of conjunctival flap incisions. A significant difference was detected in the risk of postoperative shallow anterior chamber, which was increased in the limbal-based group.

Pasquale LR, Aschard H, Kang JH, Bailey JCN, Lindström S, Chasman DI, Christen WG, Allingham RR, Ashley-Koch A, Lee RK, Moroi SE, Brilliant MH, Wollstein G, Schuman JS, Fingert J, Budenz DL, Realini T, Gaasterland T, Gaasterland D, Scott WK, Singh K, Sit AJ, Igo RP, Song YE, Hark L, Ritch R, Rhee DJ, Gulati V, Havens S, Vollrath D, Zack DJ, Medeiros F, Weinreb RN, Pericak-Vance MA, Liu Y, Kraft P, Richards JE, Rosner BA, Hauser MA, Haines JL, Wiggs JL. Age at natural menopause genetic risk score in relation to age at natural menopause and primary open-angle glaucoma in a US-based sample. Menopause 2017;24(2):150-156.Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Several attributes of female reproductive history, including age at natural menopause (ANM), have been related to primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). We assembled 18 previously reported common genetic variants that predict ANM to determine their association with ANM or POAG. METHODS: Using data from the Nurses' Health Study (7,143 women), we validated the ANM weighted genetic risk score in relation to self-reported ANM. Subsequently, to assess the relation with POAG, we used data from 2,160 female POAG cases and 29,110 controls in the National Eye Institute Glaucoma Human Genetics Collaboration Heritable Overall Operational Database (NEIGHBORHOOD), which consists of 8 datasets with imputed genotypes to 5.6+ million markers. Associations with POAG were assessed in each dataset, and site-specific results were meta-analyzed using the inverse weighted variance method. RESULTS: The genetic risk score was associated with self-reported ANM (P = 2.2 × 10) and predicted 4.8% of the variance in ANM. The ANM genetic risk score was not associated with POAG (Odds Ratio (OR) = 1.002; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.998, 1.007; P = 0.28). No single genetic variant in the panel achieved nominal association with POAG (P ≥0.20). Compared to the middle 80 percent, there was also no association with the lowest 10 percentile or highest 90 percentile of genetic risk score with POAG (OR = 0.75; 95% CI: 0.47, 1.21; P = 0.23 and OR = 1.10; 95% CI: 0.72, 1.69; P = 0.65, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: A genetic risk score predicting 4.8% of ANM variation was not related to POAG; thus, genetic determinants of ANM are unlikely to explain the previously reported association between the two phenotypes.

Cai S, Elze T, Bex PJ, Wiggs JL, Pasquale LR, Shen LQ. Clinical Correlates of Computationally Derived Visual Field Defect Archetypes in Patients from a Glaucoma Clinic. Curr Eye Res 2017;42(4):568-574.Abstract

PURPOSE: To assess the clinical validity of visual field (VF) archetypal analysis, a previously developed machine learning method for decomposing any Humphrey VF (24-2) into a weighted sum of clinically recognizable VF loss patterns. MATERIALS AND METHODS: For each of 16 previously identified VF loss patterns ("archetypes," denoted AT1 through AT16), we screened 30,995 reliable VFs to select 10-20 representative patients whose VFs had the highest decomposition coefficients for each archetype. VF global indices and patient ocular and demographic features were extracted retrospectively. Based on resemblances between VF archetypes and clinically observed VF patterns, hypotheses were generated for associations between certain VF archetypes and clinical features, such as an association between AT6 (central island, representing severe VF loss) and large cup-to-disk ratio (CDR). Distributions of the selected clinical features were compared between representative eyes of certain archetypes and all other eyes using the two-tailed t-test or Fisher exact test. RESULTS: 243 eyes from 243 patients were included, representative of AT1 through AT16. CDR was more often ≥ 0.7 among eyes representative of AT6 (central island; p = 0.002), AT10 (inferior arcuate defect; p = 0.048), AT14 (superior paracentral defect; p = 0.016), and AT16 (inferior paracentral defect; p = 0.016) than other eyes. CDR was more often < 0.7 among eyes representative of AT1 (no focal defect; p < 0.001) and AT2 (superior defect; p = 0.027), which was also associated with ptosis (p < 0.001). AT12 (temporal hemianopia) was associated with history of stroke (p = 0.022). AT11 (concentric peripheral defect) trended toward association with trial lens correction > 6D (p = 0.069). CONCLUSIONS: Shared clinical features between computationally derived VF archetypes and clinically observed VF patterns support the clinical validity of VF archetypal analysis.

Zhao J, Zhu T-H, Chen W-C, Peng S-M, Huang X-S, Cho K-S, Chen DF, Liu G-S. Optic neuropathy and increased retinal glial fibrillary acidic protein due to microbead-induced ocular hypertension in the rabbit. Int J Ophthalmol 2016;9(12):1732-1739.Abstract

AIM: To characterize whether a glaucoma model with chronic elevation of the intraocular pressure (IOP) was able to be induced by anterior chamber injection of microbeads in rabbits. METHODS: In order to screen the optimal dose of microbead injection, IOP was measured every 3d for 4wk using handheld applanation tonometer after a single intracameral injection of 10 µL, 25 µL, 50 µL or 100 µL microbeads (5×10(6) beads/mL; n=6/group) in New Zealand White rabbits. To prolong IOP elevation, two intracameral injections of 50 µL microbeads or phosphate buffer saline (PBS) were made respectively at days 0 and 21 (n=24/group). The fellow eye was not treated. At 5wk after the second injection of microbeads or PBS, bright-field microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to assess the changes in the retina. The expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in the retina was evaluated by immunofluorescence, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot at 5wk after the second injection of microbeads. RESULTS: Following a single intracameral injection of 10 µL, 25 µL, 50 µL or 100 µL microbead, IOP levels showed a gradual increase and a later decrease over a 4wk period after a single injection of microbead into the anterior chamber of rabbits. A peak IOP was observed at day 15 after injection. No significant difference in peak value of IOP was found between 10 µL and 25 µL groups (17.13±1.25 mm Hg vs 17.63±0.74 mm Hg; P=0.346). The peak value of IOP from 50 µL group (23.25±1.16 mm Hg) was significantly higher than 10 µL and 25 µL groups (all P<0.05). Administration of 100 µL microbead solution (23.00±0.93 mm Hg) did not lead to a significant increase in IOP compared to the 50 µL group (P=0.64). A prolonged elevated IOP duration up to 8wk was achieved by administering two injections of 50 µL microbeads (20.48±1.21 mm Hg vs 13.60±0.90 mm Hg in PBS-injected group; P<0.05). The bright-field and TEM were used to assess the changes of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Compared with PBS-injected group, the extended IOP elevation was associated with the degeneration of optic nerve, the reduction of RGC axons (47.16%, P<0.05) and the increased GFAP expression in the retina (4.74±1.10 vs 1.00±0.46, P<0.05). CONCLUSION: Two injections of microbeads into the ocular anterior chamber of rabbits lead to a prolonged IOP elevation which results in structural abnormality as well as loss in RGCs and their axons without observable ocular structural damage or inflammatory response. We have therefore established a novel and practical model of experimental glaucoma in rabbits.

Mihlstin M, Juzych MS, Kromrei HT, Hwang FS, Yin J. Resident Compliance With the American Academy of Ophthalmology Preferred Practice Patterns for Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Suspect. J Glaucoma 2016;25(12):963-967.Abstract

PURPOSE: To study resident compliance with the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Preferred Practice Patterns (PPPs) for primary open-angle glaucoma suspect (POAGS) in a resident ophthalmology clinic. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Two hundred charts were selected for analysis of adult patients with the International Classification of Diseases diagnosis code for POAGS during their initial visit between November 2, 2010 and May 6, 2014 at the Kresge Eye Institute resident clinic. Electronic medical records of clinic visits for POAGS patients were evaluated for documentation and compliance with 17 elements of AAO PPPs. RESULTS: The overall mean compliance was 73.8% for all charts (n=200), 74.4% for first-year residents (n=53), 74.5% for second-year residents (n=38), and 73.3% for third-year residents (n=109). Documentation rates were high (>90%) for 9 elements, which included most elements of physical examination and history. Documentation of ocular history, central corneal thickness, gonioscopy, optic nerve head and retinal nerve fiber layer analysis, and visual field ranged from 40% to 80%. Documentation was lowest for patient education elements which ranged from 0% to 10%. Compliance was not significantly different (P>0.05) between residents or between different resident years for any element. CONCLUSIONS: Residents' compliance was high for most elements of the PPPs for POAGS. We identified elements with poor compliance especially regarding patient education. Adherence to AAO PPPs can be a helpful method of assessing resident performance.

Krishnan A, Fei F, Jones A, Busto P, Marshak-Rothstein A, Ksander BR, Gregory-Ksander M. Overexpression of Soluble Fas Ligand following Adeno-Associated Virus Gene Therapy Prevents Retinal Ganglion Cell Death in Chronic and Acute Murine Models of Glaucoma. J Immunol 2016;197(12):4626-4638.Abstract

Glaucoma is a multifactorial disease resulting in the death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and irreversible blindness. Glaucoma-associated RGC death depends on the proapoptotic and proinflammatory activity of membrane-bound Fas ligand (mFasL). In contrast to mFasL, the natural cleavage product, soluble Fas ligand (sFasL) inhibits mFasL-mediated apoptosis and inflammation and, therefore, is an mFasL antagonist. DBA/2J mice spontaneously develop glaucoma and, predictably, RGC destruction is exacerbated by expression of a mutated membrane-only FasL gene that lacks the extracellular cleavage site. Remarkably, one-time intraocular adeno-associated virus-mediated gene delivery of sFasL provides complete and sustained neuroprotection in the chronic DBA/2J and acute microbead-induced models of glaucoma, even in the presence of elevated intraocular pressure. This protection correlated with inhibition of glial activation, reduced production of TNF-α, and decreased apoptosis of RGCs and loss of axons. These data indicate that cleavage of FasL under homeostatic conditions, and the ensuing release of sFasL, normally limits the neurodestructive activity of FasL. The data further support the notion that sFasL, and not mFasL, contributes to the immune-privileged status of the eye.

Song BJ, Aiello LP, Pasquale LR. Presence and Risk Factors for Glaucoma in Patients with Diabetes. Curr Diab Rep 2016;16(12):124.Abstract

Diabetes mellitus represents a growing international public health issue with a near quadrupling in its worldwide prevalence since 1980. Though it has many known microvascular complications, vision loss from diabetic retinopathy is one of the most devastating for affected individuals. In addition, there is increasing evidence to suggest that diabetic patients have a greater risk for glaucoma as well. Though the pathophysiology of glaucoma is not completely understood, both diabetes and glaucoma appear to share some common risk factors and pathophysiologic similarities with studies also reporting that the presence of diabetes and elevated fasting glucose levels are associated with elevated intraocular pressure-the primary risk factor for glaucomatous optic neuropathy. While no study has completely addressed the possibility of detection bias, most recent epidemiologic evidence suggests that diabetic populations are likely enriched with glaucoma patients. As the association between diabetes and glaucoma becomes better defined, routine evaluation for glaucoma in diabetic patients, particularly in the telemedicine setting, may become a reasonable consideration to reduce the risk of vision loss in these patients.

Tsikata E, Lee R, Shieh E, Simavli H, Que CJ, Guo R, Khoueir Z, de Boer J, Chen TC. Comprehensive Three-Dimensional Analysis of the Neuroretinal Rim in Glaucoma Using High-Density Spectral-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography Volume Scans. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016;57(13):5498-5508.Abstract

Purpose: To describe spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) methods for quantifying neuroretinal rim tissue in glaucoma and to compare these methods to the traditional retinal nerve fiber layer thickness diagnostic parameter. Methods: Neuroretinal rim parameters derived from three-dimensional (3D) volume scans were compared with the two-dimensional (2D) Spectralis retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness scans for diagnostic capability. This study analyzed one eye per patient of 104 glaucoma patients and 58 healthy subjects. The shortest distances between the cup surface and the OCT-based disc margin were automatically calculated to determine the thickness and area of the minimum distance band (MDB) neuroretinal rim parameter. Traditional 150-μm reference surface-based rim parameters (volume, area, and thickness) were also calculated. The diagnostic capabilities of these five parameters were compared with RNFL thickness using the area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curves. Results: The MDB thickness had significantly higher diagnostic capability than the RNFL thickness in the nasal (0.913 vs. 0.818, P = 0.004) and temporal (0.922 vs. 0.858, P = 0.026) quadrants and the inferonasal (0.950 vs. 0.897, P = 0.011) and superonasal (0.933 vs. 0.868, P = 0.012) sectors. The MDB area and the three neuroretinal rim parameters based on the 150-μm reference surface had diagnostic capabilities similar to RNFL thickness. Conclusions: The 3D MDB thickness had a high diagnostic capability for glaucoma and may be of significant clinical utility. It had higher diagnostic capability than the RNFL thickness in the nasal and temporal quadrants and the inferonasal and superonasal sectors.

Verma SS, Cooke Bailey JN, Lucas A, Bradford Y, Linneman JG, Hauser MA, Pasquale LR, Peissig PL, Brilliant MH, McCarty CA, Haines JL, Wiggs JL, Vrabec TR, Tromp G, Ritchie MD, Ritchie MD, Ritchie MD. Epistatic Gene-Based Interaction Analyses for Glaucoma in eMERGE and NEIGHBOR Consortium. PLoS Genet 2016;12(9):e1006186.Abstract

Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) is a complex disease and is one of the major leading causes of blindness worldwide. Genome-wide association studies have successfully identified several common variants associated with glaucoma; however, most of these variants only explain a small proportion of the genetic risk. Apart from the standard approach to identify main effects of variants across the genome, it is believed that gene-gene interactions can help elucidate part of the missing heritability by allowing for the test of interactions between genetic variants to mimic the complex nature of biology. To explain the etiology of glaucoma, we first performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on glaucoma case-control samples obtained from electronic medical records (EMR) to establish the utility of EMR data in detecting non-spurious and relevant associations; this analysis was aimed at confirming already known associations with glaucoma and validating the EMR derived glaucoma phenotype. Our findings from GWAS suggest consistent evidence of several known associations in POAG. We then performed an interaction analysis for variants found to be marginally associated with glaucoma (SNPs with main effect p-value <0.01) and observed interesting findings in the electronic MEdical Records and GEnomics Network (eMERGE) network dataset. Genes from the top epistatic interactions from eMERGE data (Likelihood Ratio Test i.e. LRT p-value <1e-05) were then tested for replication in the NEIGHBOR consortium dataset. To replicate our findings, we performed a gene-based SNP-SNP interaction analysis in NEIGHBOR and observed significant gene-gene interactions (p-value <0.001) among the top 17 gene-gene models identified in the discovery phase. Variants from gene-gene interaction analysis that we found to be associated with POAG explain 3.5% of additional genetic variance in eMERGE dataset above what is explained by the SNPs in genes that are replicated from previous GWAS studies (which was only 2.1% variance explained in eMERGE dataset); in the NEIGHBOR dataset, adding replicated SNPs from gene-gene interaction analysis explain 3.4% of total variance whereas GWAS SNPs alone explain only 2.8% of variance. Exploring gene-gene interactions may provide additional insights into many complex traits when explored in properly designed and powered association studies.

Baniasadi N, Paschalis EI, Haghzadeh M, Ojha P, Elze T, Mahd M, Chen TC. Patterns of Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Loss in Different Subtypes of Open Angle Glaucoma Using Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography. J Glaucoma 2016;25(10):865-872.Abstract

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: The purpose of the study was to determine whether there are different patterns of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thinning as measured by spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) for 4 subtypes of open angle glaucoma (OAG): primary OAG (POAG), normal tension glaucoma (NTG), pseudoexfoliation glaucoma (PXG), and pigmentary glaucoma (PDG) and to compare them with normal controls. MATERIALS AND METHODS: SD-OCT RNFL thickness values were measured for 4 quadrants and for 4 sectors (ie, superior-nasal, superior-temporal, inferior-nasal, and inferior-temporal). Differences in RNFL thickness values between groups were analyzed using analysis of variance. Paired t tests were used for quadrant comparisons. RESULTS: Two hundred eighty-five participants (102 POAG patients, 33 with NTG, 48 with PXG, 13 with PDG, and 89 normal patients) were included in this study. All 4 subtypes of OAG showed significant RNFL thinning in the superior, inferior, and nasal quadrants as well as the superior-temporal and inferior-temporal sectors (all P-values <0.0001) compared with normals. POAG and NTG patients had greater RNFL thinning inferiorly and inferior-temporally than superiorly (P-values: 0.002 to 0.018 and 0.006, respectively) compared with PXG patients. In contrast, PDG patients had greater RNFL thinning superiorly and superior-nasally than inferiorly compared with other OAG subtypes (ie, POAG, NTG, PXG groups, with P-values: 0.009, 0.003, 0.009, respectively). Of the 4 OAG subtypes, PXG patients exhibited the greatest degree of inter-eye RNFL asymmetry. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that SD-OCT may be able to detect significant differences in patterns of RNFL thinning for different subtypes of OAG.