Imaging and Diagnostics Publications
Histological studies from autopsy specimens have characterized hard exudates as a composition of lipid-laden macrophages or noncellular materials including lipid and proteinaceous substances (hyaline substances). However, the characteristics of hard exudates in living patients have not been examined due to insufficient resolution of existing equipment. In this study, we used adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AO-SLO) to examine the characteristics of hard exudates in patients with retinal vascular diseases. High resolution imaging using AO-SLO enables morphological classification of retinal hard exudates into two types, which could not be distinguished either on fundus examination or by spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). One, termed a round type, consisted of an accumulation of spherical particles (average diameter of particles: 26.9 ± 4.4 μm). The other, termed an irregular type, comprised an irregularly shaped hyper-reflective deposition. The retinal thickness in regions with round hard exudates was significantly greater than the thickness in regions with irregular hard exudates (P = 0.01 →0.02). This differentiation of retinal hard exudates in patients by AO-SLO may help in understanding the pathogenesis and clinical prognosis of retinal vascular diseases.
Humans are very adept at extracting the "gist" of a scene in a fraction of a second. We have found that radiologists can discriminate normal from abnormal mammograms at above-chance levels after a half-second viewing (d' ∼ 1) but are at chance in localizing the abnormality. This pattern of results suggests that they are detecting a global signal of abnormality. What are the stimulus properties that might support this ability? We investigated the nature of the gist signal in four experiments by asking radiologists to make detection and localization responses about briefly presented mammograms in which the spatial frequency, symmetry, and/or size of the images was manipulated. We show that the signal is stronger in the higher spatial frequencies. Performance does not depend on detection of breaks in the normal symmetry of left and right breasts. Moreover, above-chance classification is possible using images from the normal breast of a patient with overt signs of cancer only in the other breast. Some signal is present in the portions of the parenchyma (breast tissue) that do not contain a lesion or that are in the contralateral breast. This signal does not appear to be a simple assessment of breast density but rather the detection of the abnormal gist may be based on a widely distributed image statistic, learned by experts. The finding that a global signal, related to disease, can be detected in parenchyma that does not contain a lesion has implications for improving breast cancer detection.
IMPORTANCE: Internet-based search engine and social media data may provide a novel complementary source for better understanding the epidemiologic factors of infectious eye diseases, which could better inform eye health care and disease prevention. OBJECTIVE: To assess whether data from internet-based social media and search engines are associated with objective clinic-based diagnoses of conjunctivitis. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Data from encounters of 4143 patients diagnosed with conjunctivitis from June 3, 2012, to April 26, 2014, at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center, were analyzed using Spearman rank correlation of each weekly observation to compare demographics and seasonality of nonallergic conjunctivitis with allergic conjunctivitis. Data for patient encounters with diagnoses for glaucoma and influenza were also obtained for the same period and compared with conjunctivitis. Temporal patterns of Twitter and Google web search data, geolocated to the United States and associated with these clinical diagnoses, were compared with the clinical encounters. The a priori hypothesis was that weekly internet-based searches and social media posts about conjunctivitis may reflect the true weekly clinical occurrence of conjunctivitis. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Weekly total clinical diagnoses at UCSF of nonallergic conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis, glaucoma, and influenza were compared using Spearman rank correlation with equivalent weekly data on Tweets related to disease or disease-related keyword searches obtained from Google Trends. RESULTS: Seasonality of clinical diagnoses of nonallergic conjunctivitis among the 4143 patients (2364 females [57.1%] and 1776 males [42.9%]) with 5816 conjunctivitis encounters at UCSF correlated strongly with results of Google searches in the United States for the term pink eye (ρ, 0.68 [95% CI, 0.52 to 0.78]; P < .001) and correlated moderately with Twitter results about pink eye (ρ, 0.38 [95% CI, 0.16 to 0.56]; P < .001) and with clinical diagnosis of influenza (ρ, 0.33 [95% CI, 0.12 to 0.49]; P < .001), but did not significantly correlate with seasonality of clinical diagnoses of allergic conjunctivitis diagnosis at UCSF (ρ, 0.21 [95% CI, -0.02 to 0.42]; P = .06) or with results of Google searches in the United States for the term eye allergy (ρ, 0.13 [95% CI, -0.06 to 0.32]; P = .19). Seasonality of clinical diagnoses of allergic conjunctivitis at UCSF correlated strongly with results of Google searches in the United States for the term eye allergy (ρ, 0.44 [95% CI, 0.24 to 0.60]; P < .001) and eye drops (ρ, 0.47 [95% CI, 0.27 to 0.62]; P < .001). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Internet-based search engine and social media data may reflect the occurrence of clinically diagnosed conjunctivitis, suggesting that these data sources can be leveraged to better understand the epidemiologic factors of conjunctivitis.
This review focuses on conjunctival goblet cells and their essential function in the maintenance of eye health. The main function of goblet cells is to produce and secrete mucins that lubricate the ocular surface. An excess or a defect in those mucins leads to several alterations that makes goblet cells central players in maintaining the proper mucin balance and ensuring the correct function of ocular surface tissues. A typical pathology that occurs with mucous deficiency is dry eye disease, whereas the classical example of mucous hyperproduction is allergic conjunctivitis. In this review, we analyze how goblet cell number and function can be altered in these diseases and in contact lens (CL) wearers. We found that most published studies focused exclusively on the goblet cell number. However, recent advances have demonstrated that, along with mucin secretion, goblet cells are also able to secrete cytokines and respond to them. We describe the effect of different cytokines on goblet cell proliferation and secretion. We conclude that it is important to further explore the effect of CL wear and cytokines on conjunctival goblet cell function.
When searching through volumetric images [e.g., computed tomography (CT)], radiologists appear to use two different search strategies: "drilling" (restrict eye movements to a small region of the image while quickly scrolling through slices), or "scanning" (search over large areas at a given depth before moving on to the next slice). To computationally identify the type of image information that is used in these two strategies, 23 naïve observers were instructed with either "drilling" or "scanning" when searching for target T's in 20 volumes of faux lung CTs. We computed saliency maps using both classical two-dimensional (2-D) saliency, and a three-dimensional (3-D) dynamic saliency that captures the characteristics of scrolling through slices. Comparing observers' gaze distributions with the saliency maps showed that search strategy alters the type of saliency that attracts fixations. Drillers' fixations aligned better with dynamic saliency and scanners with 2-D saliency. The computed saliency was greater for detected targets than for missed targets. Similar results were observed in data from 19 radiologists who searched five stacks of clinical chest CTs for lung nodules. Dynamic saliency may be superior to the 2-D saliency for detecting targets embedded in volumetric images, and thus "drilling" may be more efficient than "scanning."
Although chronic inflammatory disorders of the ocular adnexa are relatively common, their pathogenesis is in many cases poorly understood. Recent investigation suggests that many cases of sclerosing orbital inflammation are a manifestation of IgG4-related disease; however, most patients reported have been Asian, and it is not clear whether the results of studies from the Far East can be reliably extrapolated to draw conclusions about Western patients. We evaluated 38 cases previously diagnosed as orbital inflammatory pseudotumor or chronic dacryoadenitis to determine whether our cases fulfill the criteria for IgG4-RD (IgG4-related dacryoadenitis when involving the lacrimal gland, and IgG4-related sclerosing orbital inflammation when involving orbital soft tissue). Fifteen patients had IgG4-related dacryoadenitis or orbital inflammation. These patients included 9 men and 6 women, aged 24 to 77 years (median, 64 y). Lesions involved orbital soft tissue (8 cases), lacrimal gland (6 cases), and canthus (1 case). In 1 case, focal in situ follicular neoplasia was seen in a background of IgG4-RD. In another case, a clonal IGH gene rearrangement was detected. Four patients with IgG4-RD had evidence of IgG4-RD in other anatomic sites. Five patients, 1 man and 4 women, aged 26 to 74 years (median 50 y) had orbital lesions (2 involving lacrimal gland, 3 involving soft tissue) suspicious for, but not diagnostic of, IgG4-RD. Of 16 patients with IgG4-RD or probable IgG4-RD with information available regarding the course of their disease, 11 patients experienced recurrent or persistent orbital disease. However, no patient developed lymphoma, and no patient died of complications of IgG4-RD. Eighteen patients had lesions not representing IgG4-RD. They included 6 male and 12 female individuals aged 6 to 77 years (median, 47 y). These patients had a variety of diseases, including granulomatosis with polyangiitis (3 cases), Rosai-Dorfman disease (1 case), nonspecific chronic inflammation and fibrosis involving lacrimal gland or soft tissue (12 cases), and others. Clinical and pathologic findings among our patients with IgG4-RD involving the orbit are similar to those previously described in Asian patients. Careful evaluation of histologic and immunophenotypic features and clinical correlation are required to distinguish orbital IgG4-RD from other sclerosing inflammatory lesions in the orbit.