Immunology and Uveitis Publications
PURPOSE: To examine the efficacy and safety of infliximab therapy in the treatment for noninfectious intermediate uveitis resistant to conventional immunomodulatory therapy. METHODS: Forty-four eyes of 23 patients with resistant noninfectious intermediate uveitis who were treated with infliximab infusions for a minimum period of 3 months were included. Demographic data, clinical data, and fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography findings were collected from the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution database between August 2005 and February 2014. Clinical response, improvement in ancillary test findings, and major side effects were evaluated. RESULTS: Nineteen patients (82.6%) achieved remission. The mean duration of treatment to induce remission was 3.99 ± 3.06 months (range, 2-14.7). Cystoid macular edema was the only complication observed during the course of the treatment in 1 eye (2.27%). One patient (4.3%) developed major side effects. None of the patients developed central or peripheral demyelinating neuropathies or multiple sclerosis. At 6 months after remission, logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution visual acuity (P = 0.006) and central macular thickness (P = 0.03) showed significant improvement in patients who achieved remission. CONCLUSION: A significant number of patients achieved remission on infliximab therapy. The incidence of major side effects in our cohort was low.
PURPOSE: To describe a case of bilateral endogenous cryptococcal endophthalmitis in an immunocompetent host and to review adjunctive ophthalmic imaging patterns and treatment. METHODS: A retrospective case report. RESULTS: A 45-year-old female patient with two distinct presentations of endogenous cryptococcal endophthalmitis in each eye presented initially with progressive blurred vision in the left eye, beginning more than 10 years after a craniotomy with ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Complete ophthalmic imaging was conducted and compared with data from previous literature. Administration of amphotericin-B had poorly responded; however, consolidation of fluconazole resulted in disease stabilization. CONCLUSIONS: Bilateral intraocular cryptococcal infection can present with two distinct patterns of posterior segment findings. A review of ophthalmic imaging patterns found consistency in some characteristics of A-scan ultrasonogram and fundus fluorescein angiogram. Besides conventional treatment, voriconazole is likely to play an important role in the management of cryptococcal endophthalmitis.
PURPOSE: To describe the risk and risk factors for ocular hypertension (OHT) in adults with noninfectious uveitis. DESIGN: Retrospective, multicenter, cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Patients aged ≥18 years with noninfectious uveitis seen between 1979 and 2007 at 5 tertiary uveitis clinics. METHODS: Demographic, ocular, and treatment data were extracted from medical records of uveitis cases. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalent and incident OHT with intraocular pressures (IOPs) of ≥21 mmHg, ≥30 mmHg, and increase of ≥10 mmHg from documented IOP recordings (or use of treatment for OHT). RESULTS: Among 5270 uveitic eyes of 3308 patients followed for OHT, the mean annual incidence rates for OHT ≥21 mmHg and OHT ≥30 mmHg are 14.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 13.4-15.5) and 5.1% (95% CI, 4.7-5.6) per year, respectively. Statistically significant risk factors for incident OHT ≥30 mmHg included systemic hypertension (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.29); worse presenting visual acuity (≤20/200 vs. ≥20/40, aHR, 1.47); pars plana vitrectomy (aHR, 1.87); history of OHT in the other eye: IOP ≥21 mmHg (aHR, 2.68), ≥30 mmHg (aHR, 4.86) and prior/current use of IOP-lowering drops or surgery in the other eye (aHR, 4.17); anterior chamber cells: 1+ (aHR, 1.43) and ≥2+ (aHR, 1.59) vs. none; epiretinal membrane (aHR, 1.25); peripheral anterior synechiae (aHR, 1.81); current use of prednisone >7.5 mg/day (aHR, 1.86); periocular corticosteroids in the last 3 months (aHR, 2.23); current topical corticosteroid use [≥8×/day vs. none] (aHR, 2.58); and prior use of fluocinolone acetonide implants (aHR, 9.75). Bilateral uveitis (aHR, 0.69) and previous hypotony (aHR, 0.43) were associated with statistically significantly lower risk of OHT. CONCLUSIONS: Ocular hypertension is sufficiently common in eyes treated for uveitis that surveillance for OHT is essential at all visits for all cases. Patients with 1 or more of the several risk factors identified are at particularly high risk and must be carefully managed. Modifiable risk factors, such as use of corticosteroids, suggest opportunities to reduce OHT risk within the constraints of the overriding need to control the primary ocular inflammatory disease.
PURPOSE: The purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of rituximab (RTX) for the treatment of patients with aggressive ocular cicatricial pemphigoid (OCP). METHODS: A review of patient records at a tertiary referral center with biopsy confirmed OCP who presented between 2006 and 2016. Sixty-one eyes of 32 patients with symptomatic OCP who received treatment with RTX monotherapy or RTX in combination with additional immunomodulatory treatment (IMT) were evaluated. Main outcomes included clinically evident remission of disease, the percentage of corticosteroid sparing patients, stage of OCP (Foster), best corrected visual acuity, and treatment complications. Remission was defined as absence of progressive scarring and active ocular inflammation for ≥ 2 months. Partial remission/responding was defined as disease control and clinical improvement for ≥ 2 months. RESULTS: Mean age at the initiation of RTX treatment was 59.1 years (range, 24-80 years) with a median follow-up time after RTX initiation of 32 months (range, 14 to 127 months). Twenty-six patients achieved clinical remission with an average sustained remission of 24.5 months (from 9 months to 84 months). RTX monotherapy was used in six patients, RTX in combination with intravenous immunoglobulin in 14 patients, and RTX with intravenous immunoglobulin and/or with other IMT agent in six patients. Seven eyes (11.5%) of six patients had favorable response to RTX and achieved response and partial remission, while inflammation remained active in the other seven eyes (11.5%) of four patients though there was no progressive scarring. At the last visit, three patients (9.4%) were on topical corticosteroid, three patients (9.4%) were treated with systemic corticosteroid treatments, and the other 26 patients (81.2%) achieved corticosteroid sparing therapy. Five eyes (8.2%) progressed one Foster stage. No other cicatrization progression or worsening of LogMAR visual acuity (p = 0.641) was observed during the follow-up period. Adverse events included leukopenia in three patients (9.4%), anemia in two patients (6.2%), liver enzyme elevation in three patients (9.4%) who were also on another concomitant IMT drug, and Epstein-Barr Virus infection and sinus infection in one patient each (3.1%). No other severe adverse events were noted during the follow-up period. CONCLUSIONS: These retrospective data suggest that RTX is efficacious and well tolerated when included for the treatment of OCP. Controlled studies are necessary to identify the role of this IMT agent in the therapeutic arsenal, especially its optimum dose and duration of administration.
PURPOSE: To assess long-term effectiveness of rituximab therapy for refractory noninfectious uveitis affecting the posterior segment. METHODS: Retrospective case series. Patients diagnosed with recalcitrant noninfectious posterior uveitis who were treated with rituximab intravenous infusions between 2010 and 2015 were included. Patients underwent best-corrected visual acuity testing and fluorescein angiography evidence of disk or vascular staining at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Patients had at least 24 months of follow-up. RESULTS: Eleven patients (21 eyes) with refractory posterior uveitis treated with intravenous rituximab were included. Nine (81.8%) patients were female. Mean follow-up was 29.3 ± 7.8 months. rituximab was administered as complementary therapy because of previous inefficacy of other therapies in 7 (63.7%) patients, and it was the only treatment in four (36.3%) patients who did not tolerate other drugs. Inflammation signs by fluorescein angiography were controlled in nine (81.8%) patients at the end of follow-up. Baseline best-corrected visual acuity was 20/80 (logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution 0.6 ± 0.4), and final best-corrected visual acuity was 20/40 (0.3 ± 0.5) (P = 0.005). No significant side effects were reported. CONCLUSION: Rituximab therapy was associated with stability and remission of recalcitrant noninfectious posterior uveitis in patients who did not tolerate or did not respond to other therapies.
Importance: Vitamin D plays an important role in both the innate and adaptive immune systems. It has been shown to contribute to the etiology of T-cell-mediated autoimmune diseases through the upregulation of type 2 anti-inflammatory T helper cells and the suppression of type 1 T helper cells. Noninfectious uveitis is postulated to be caused by immune dysfunction. Objective: To determine whether there is an association between vitamin D levels and noninfectious anterior uveitis. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a case-control study. We identified patients with and without noninfectious uveitis using the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Ocular Inflammation Database and electronic medical records from March 1, 2008, to December 12, 2015, at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Uveitis and Comprehensive Ophthalmology Clinics. One hundred patients with noninfectious anterior uveitis and 100 patients without uveitis were recruited. Patients with noninfectious uveitis were diagnosed by fellowship-trained uveitis specialists after exclusion of infectious causes and neoplastic masquerades of uveitis. All patients included had a total 25-hydroxyvitamin D level recorded. Multivariate regression models were constructed to determine the association between vitamin D levels and the presence of uveitis. Main Outcome and Measure: Presence of noninfectious anterior uveitis. Results: We identified 100 patients (64 white, 8 African American, 25 Asian, and 3 Hispanic) with a mean (SD) age of 51.8 (15.9) years (26 men) and 100 control individuals (58 white, 23 African American, 8 Asian, and 11 Hispanic) with a mean (SD) age of 53.6 (16.2) years (27 men). Hypovitaminosis D was associated with noninfectious uveitis in the univariate analysis (odds ratio, 2.53; 95% CI, 1.42-4.51; P = .002). The association in multivariate regression after adjusting for age, sex, and race/ethnicity was 2.96 (95% CI, 1.60-5.50; P = .001) The odds of developing uveitis were 4% lower for every 1-ng/mL increase in vitamin D level (odds ratio, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.93-0.99; P = .01) in the main multivariate analysis. Conclusions and Relevance: In this retrospective study, lower vitamin D levels were associated with an increased risk of noninfectious anterior uveitis. However, this does not confirm a causal effect.
Autoantigen-specific regulatory immunity emerges in the spleen of mice recovering from experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU), a murine model for human autoimmune uveoretinitis. This regulatory immunity provides induced tolerance to ocular autoantigen, and requires melanocortin 5 receptor (MC5r) expression on antigen presenting cells with adenosine 2 A receptor (A2Ar) expression on T cells. During EAU it is not well understood what roles MC5r and A2Ar have on promoting regulatory immunity. Cytokine profile analysis during EAU revealed MC5r and A2Ar each mediate distinct T cell responses, and are responsible for a functional regulatory immune response in the spleen. A2Ar stimulation at EAU onset did not augment this regulatory response, nor bypass the MC5r requirement to induce regulatory immunity. The importance of this pathway in human autoimmune uveitis was assayed. PBMC from uveitis patients were assayed for MC5r expression on monocytes and A2Ar on T cells, and comparison between uveitis patients and healthy controls had no significant difference. The importance for MC5r and A2Ar expression in EAU to promote the induction of protective regulatory immunity, and the expression of MC5r and A2Ar on human immune cells, suggests that it may be possible to utilize the melanocortin-adenosinergic pathways to induce protective immunity in uveitic patients.
PURPOSE: To describe the clinical course, visual outcome, and prognosis of isolated, idiopathic retinal vasculitis. METHODS: Eighty patients (150 eyes) with isolated, idiopathic retinal vasculitis were included. Demographic data, clinical data, complications at the initial visit and during follow-up, fluorescein angiography, and optical coherence tomography findings were collected from the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution (MERSI) database from September 2005 to February 2015. RESULTS: Seventy-five (93.7%) patients required treatment with immunomodulatory therapy. Of those 75 patients, 60 (75%) patients were able to achieve durable remission. Factors which were independently significant predictive of poor visual outcome were lower initial visual acuity (OR: 3.78; 95% CI: 1.75-8.16; P = 0.001), cystoid macular edema (OR: 5.54; 95% CI: 1.81-16.99; P = 0.003), and macular ischemia (OR: 5.12; 95% CI: 1.12-23.04; P = 0.036). CONCLUSION: The majority (67.25%) of our patients enjoyed a good visual outcome (most recent visit best-corrected visual acuity equal to or better than 20/40 and within one line or better from the baseline) with immunomodulatory therapy. We found that cystoid macular edema, macular ischemia, and lower best-corrected visual acuity during the first consultation visit were significant independent risk factors for poor visual outcome.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy of chlorambucil in the treatment of serpiginous choroiditis. METHODS: Patient records from the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution (MERSI) were reviewed from over the past 10 years. In total, 17 patients with the diagnosis of serpiginous choroiditis treated with chlorambucil were identified. QuantiFERON gold was negative in all of them. Chlorambucil was started at 0.15 mg/kg and dosage was titrated up using weekly white blood cell (WBC) count to achieve a target cell number of 3.0-4.5 × 10(9) cells/L. The goal of therapy was to maintain this value for at least 6-9 months. Adverse effects, recurrence, rate of new choroidal neovascularization (CNVM), and visual acuity before and after treatment were recorded. RESULTS: The mean age of the 17 patients with the diagnosis of serpiginous choroiditis treated with chlorambucil was 46 years, and six patients (35%) were male. The mean duration of treatment for chlorambucil was 8.4 months. None of them developed cancer or persistent side-effects, with a mean follow-up of 53 months. Of the patients, 12 (71%) achieved an average of 45 (5-120) months drug-free remission in their last follow-up. Visual acuity of 33 treated eyes remained within two lines of Snellen acuity in 27 eyes (82%), improved in one eye (3%), and deteriorated in five eyes (15%). Leukopenia was the most common side-effect, which was reversible in all cases. CONCLUSIONS: Chlorambucil in a relatively short duration of time, with an escalating dose guided by weekly WBC was well tolerated, as well as effective in preventing recurrence and maintaining vision in patients with serpiginous choroiditis.
Experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU) represents an experimental model for human endogenous uveitis, which is caused by Th1/Th17 cell-mediated inflammation. Natural killer T (NKT) cells recognize lipid antigens and produce large amounts of cytokines upon activation. To examine the role of NKT cells in the development of uveitis, EAU was elicited by immunization with a peptide from the human interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (hIRBP1-20) in complete Freund's adjuvant and histopathology scores were evaluated in C57BL/6 (WT) and NKT cell-deficient mice. NKT cell-deficient mice developed more severe EAU pathology than WT mice. When WT mice were treated with ligands of the invariant subset of NKT cells (α-GalCer or RCAI-56), EAU was ameliorated in mice treated with RCAI-56 but not α-GalCer. IRBP-specific Th1/Th17 cytokines were reduced in RCAI-56-treated compared with vehicle-treated mice. Although the numbers of IRBP-specific T cells detected by hIRBP3-13/I-A(b) tetramers in the spleen and the draining lymph node were the same for vehicle and RCAI-56 treatment groups, RORγt expression by tetramer-positive cells in RCAI-56-treated mice was lower than in control mice. Moreover, the eyes of RCAI-56-treated mice contained fewer IRBP-specific T cells compared with control mice. These results suggest that invariant NKT (iNKT) cells suppress the induction of Th17 cells and infiltration of IRBP-specific T cells into the eyes, thereby reducing ocular inflammation. However, in sharp contrast to the ameliorating effects of iNKT cell activation during the initiation phase of EAU, iNKT cell activation during the effector phase exacerbated disease pathology. Thus, we conclude that iNKT cells exhibit dual roles in the development of EAU.
PURPOSE: To describe changes in three-dimensional choroidal volume and thickness with full raster scans of enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography in patients with birdshot retinochoroidopathy. METHODS: This prospective case series collected spectral domain optical coherence tomography images with the enhanced depth imaging technique from eight eyes of eight patients with birdshot retinochoroidopathy including four active patients (four eyes) and four quiet patients (four eyes). Fifty scans of each patient were manually segmented before automated built-in calibration software was used. RESULTS: Of all active patients, there were no statistically significant differences in the total choroidal volume and mean central choroidal thickness between the active and inactive phase over 6 months of follow-up. Alterations in choroidal parameters were evident and consistent after amelioration of inflammation, whereas the retinal volume and thickness remained stable. Regarding the eight inactive eyes at 6 months, the mean total choroidal volume and mean central choroidal thickness were significantly less than historical controls (P = 0.03 and P < 0.001, respectively). Persistent suprachoroidal hyporeflective space in two patients was noted despite the fact that clinical inflammation completely subsided at 6 months. CONCLUSION: Choroidal volume and thickness changes were consistent with inflammation in patients with birdshot retinochoroidopathy. Patients with inactive birdshot retinochoroidopathy have significant reduction in choroidal volume and thickness than do normal patients.
PURPOSE: To study the clinical features of endogenous endophthalmitis (EE) in sample patient populations from the USA and South Korea over an 8-year period. METHODS: We reviewed data from 128 eyes of 60 American and 48 Korean patients diagnosed with EE and compared their clinical characteristics. RESULTS: Fungemia and liver abscess were the most common extraocular infection sources among American (26.7%) and Korean patients (33.3%), respectively. Klebsiella pneumoniae and Candida species were the most common pathogens of EE in the Korean and the American patients, respectively. Endophthalmitis caused by fungi had a better visual prognosis than that caused by bacteria (p = 0.001). Vitrectomy was beneficial for eyes with EE due to virulent bacteria presenting with worse than counting finger vision. CONCLUSIONS: The predisposing conditions and responsible organisms for EE vary in different regions of the world. The visual prognosis was strongly influenced by the underlying pathogen.