Immunology and Uveitis

Immunology and Uveitis Publications

FCRS AMDR, MBBS BB, MD TI, MBBS MS, MS AA, MD GDV, PhD RD, MS AK, DNB MSI, FRCSOphth WM, FRCSEd CSP, MD MP, FRCSGlasg HSL, FRCSEd TS, MD CL, MS BJ, MD NS, MS AM, DNB MP, MD KM, FRCSOphth JN, MD T-TI, DNB BK, MS BS, MD CE, PhD LR, MD A-DH, MD BB, MD IA, MD GDA, MD HCP, PhD B-AT, PhD G-LJJ, MD AS, MS BR, MS MB, MD ES, MD TA, MD NS, DNB AM, MD AS, MD VR, MS SR, MD SA, PhD SK, PhD ZM, MRCP KOM, PhD CET, PhD KJH, PhD NQD, FRCSOphth PC, MS GV. The Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS)-1: A Multinational Review of 165 Patients with Tubercular Anterior Uveitis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-10.
Agrawal R MD FCRS, MBBS GDV, MS AA, MD TI, MD CE, FRCOphth WM, MBBS MS, PhD RD, MS AK, DNB MSI, FRCSEd CSP, MD MP, FRCSGlasg HSL, FRCSEd TS, MD CL, MS BJ, MD NS, MS AM, DNB MP, MD KM, FRCSOphth JN, MD T-TI, DNB BK, MS BS, PhD LR, MD A-DH, MD BB, MD IA, MD GDA, MD HCP, PhD B-AT, PhD G-LJJ, MD AS, MS BR, MS MB, MD ESD, MD TA, MD NS, DNB AM, MD AS, MD VR, MS SR, MD SA, PhD SK, PhD ZM, MRCP KOM, PhD CET, PhD KJH, PhD NQD, FRCSOphth PC, MS GV. Visual Morbidity in Ocular Tuberculosis - Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS)-1: Report #6. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-9.
Valdes LM, Sobrin L. Uveitis Therapy: The Corticosteroid Options. Drugs 2020;80(8):765-773.Abstract
Uveitis is characterized by intraocular inflammation involving the uveal tract; its etiologies generally fall into two broad categories: autoimmune/inflammatory or infectious. Corticosteroids  are a powerful and important class of medications ubiquitous in the treatment of uveitis. They may be given systemically or locally, in the form of topical drops, periocular injection, intravitreal suspension, or intravitreal implant. This review describes each of the currently available corticosteroid treatment options for uveitis, including favorable and unfavorable characteristics of each as well as applicable clinical trials. The main advantage of corticosteroids as a whole is their ability to quickly and effectively control inflammation early on in the course of uveitis. However, they can have serious side effects, whether localized to the eye (such as cataract and elevated intraocular pressure) or systemic (such as osteonecrosis and adrenal insufficiency) and in the majority of cases of uveitis are not an appropriate option for long-term therapy.
Agarwal A, Agrawal R, Raje D, Testi I, Mahajan S, Gunasekeran DV, Aggarwal K, Murthy SI, Westcott M, Chee S-P, McCluskey P, Ho SL, Teoh S, Cimino L, Biswas J, Narain S, Agarwal M, Mahendradas P, Khairallah M, Jones N, Tugal-Tutkun I, Babu K, Basu S, Carreño E, Lee R, Al-Dhibi H, Bodaghi B, Invernizzi A, Goldstein DA, Herbort CP, Barisani-Asenbauer T, González-López JJ, Androudi S, Bansal R, Moharana B, Esposti SD, Tasiopoulou A, Nadarajah S, Agarwal M, Abraham S, Vala R, Singh R, Sharma A, Sharma K, Zierhut M, Kon OM, Cunningham ET, Kempen JH, Nguyen QD, Pavesio C, Gupta V. Twenty-four Month Outcomes in the Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS)-1: Defining the "Cure" in Ocular Tuberculosis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-9.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report the clinical findings, anatomical features, and treatment outcomes in subjects with ocular tuberculosis (OTB) at 24 months in the Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS)-1. METHODS: Of the 945 subjects included in COTS-1, those who completed a 24-month follow-up after completion of treatment were included. The main outcome measure was a number of patients with treatment failure (TF). RESULTS: 228 subjects (120 males; mean age of 42.82 ± 14.73 years) were included. Most common phenotype of uveitis was posterior ( = 81; 35.53%), and panuveitis ( = 76; 33.33%). Fifty-two patients (22.81%) had TF. On univariable analysis, odds of high TF was observed with bilaterality (OR: 3.46, = .003), vitreous haze (OR: 2.14, = .018), and use of immunosuppressive therapies (OR: 5.45, = .003). However, only bilaterality was significant in the multiple regression model (OR: 2.84; = .02). CONCLUSIONS: Majority of subjects (>75%) achieved cure in the COTS-1 at 24-month follow-up. The concept of "cure" may be a valuable clinical endpoint in trials for OTB.
Agrawal R, Testi I, Lee CS, Tsui E, Blazes M, Thorne JE, Okada AA, Smith JR, McCluskey PJ, Kempen JH, Christoph T, Agarwal M, Bodaghi B, Nguyen QD, Gupta V, De Smet MD, Zierhut M, Pavesio C, Pavesio C. Evolving consensus for immunomodulatory therapy in non-infectious uveitis during the COVID-19 pandemic. Br J Ophthalmol 2020;Abstract
BACKGROUND: Immunomodulatory therapy (IMT) is often considered for systemic treatment of non-infectious uveitis (NIU). During the evolving coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, given the concerns related to IMT and the increased risk of infections, an urgent need for guidance on the management of IMT in patients with uveitis has emerged. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of international uveitis experts was conducted. An expert steering committee identified clinical questions on the use of IMT in patients with NIU during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using an interactive online questionnaire, guided by background experience and knowledge, 139 global uveitis experts generated consensus statements for IMT. In total, 216 statements were developed around when to initiate, continue, decrease and stop systemic and local corticosteroids, conventional immunosuppressive agents and biologics in patients with NIU. Thirty-one additional questions were added, related to general recommendations, including the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and hydroxychloroquine. RESULTS: Highest consensus was achieved for not initiating IMT in patients who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19, and for using local over systemic corticosteroid therapy in patients who are at high-risk and very high-risk for severe or fatal COVID-19. While there was a consensus in starting or initiating NSAIDs for the treatment of scleritis in healthy patients, there was no consensus in starting hydroxychloroquine in any risk groups. CONCLUSION: Consensus guidelines were proposed based on global expert opinion and practical experience to bridge the gap between clinical needs and the absence of medical evidence, to guide the treatment of patients with NIU during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sobrin L, Pistilli M, Dreger K, Kothari S, Khachatryan N, Artornsombudh P, Pujari SS, Foster SC, Jabs DA, Nussenblatt RB, Rosenbaum JT, Levy-Clarke GA, Sen NH, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, Bhatt NP, Kempen JH, for Group SITEDCSR. Factors Predictive of Remission of Chronic Anterior Uveitis. Ophthalmology 2020;127(6):826-834.Abstract
PURPOSE: To estimate the incidence of medication-free remission of chronic anterior uveitis and identify predictors thereof. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Patients diagnosed with anterior uveitis of longer than 3 months' duration followed up at United States tertiary uveitis care facilities. METHODS: Estimation of remission incidence and identification of associated predictors used survival analysis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidence of medication-free remission. For the primary analysis, remission was defined as inactive uveitis while off treatment at all visits spanning an interval of at least 90 days or-for patients who did not return for follow-up after 90 days-remaining inactive without receiving suppressive medications at all of the last visits. Association of factors potentially predictive of medication-free remission was also studied. RESULTS: Two thousand seven hundred ninety-five eyes of 1634 patients with chronic anterior uveitis were followed up over 7936 eye-years (4676 person-years). The cumulative medication-free, person-year remission incidence within 5 years was 32.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 30.4%-35.2%). Baseline clinical factors predictive of reduced remission incidence included longer duration of uveitis at presentation (for 2 to 5 years vs. less than 6 months: adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.61; 95% CI, 0.44-0.83), bilateral uveitis (aHR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.59-0.96), prior cataract surgery (aHR, 0.70; 95% CI 0.56-0.88), and glaucoma surgery (aHR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.45-0.90). Two time-updated characteristics were also predictive of reduced remission incidence: keratic precipitates (aHR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.21-0.60) and synechiae (aHR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.41-0.93). Systemic diagnosis with juvenile idiopathic arthritis and spondyloarthropathy were also associated with reduced remission incidence. Older age at presentation was associated with higher incidence of remission (for age ≥40 years vs. <40 years: aHR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.02-1.63). CONCLUSIONS: Approximately one third of patients with chronic anterior uveitis remit within 5 years. Longer duration of uveitis, younger age, bilateral uveitis, prior cataract surgery, glaucoma surgery, presence of keratic precipitates and synechiae, and systemic diagnoses of juvenile idiopathic arthritis and spondyloarthropathy predict reduced remission incidence; patients with these factors should be managed taking into account the higher probability of a longer disease course.
Maleki A, Ueberroth JA, Walsh M, Foster F, Chang PY, Anesi SD, Foster CS. Combination of Intravenous Methotrexate and Methylprednisolone Therapy in the Treatment of Severe Ocular Inflammatory Diseases. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-5.Abstract
: To evaluate the efficacy of intravenous methotrexate and methylprednisolone in severe, sight-threatening ocular inflammatory conditions.: This was a retrospective observational case series. Patients who had received intravenous methotrexate for ocular inflammation with at least 24 months of follow-up were included in the study.: Ten patients (20 eyes) were included in this study. Mean age of the patients was 47.2 ± 17.7 (range:19-74). At 1-month follow-up visit, nine patients showed improvement and one patient failed treatment. At 12-month follow-up visit, all patients were in remission. Two patients were only on intravenous methotrexate infusions. At twenty-four-month follow-up visit, only one patient, in remission, was on intravenous methotrexate therapy. Leukopenia was the only adverse effect observed.: Intravenous methotrexate and methylprednisolone infusions can be an effective method of treatment in patients with severe, sight-threatening ocular inflammatory conditions.
Peters RPH, Kestelyn PG, Zierhut M, Kempen JH. The Changing Global Epidemic of HIV and Ocular Disease. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-8.Abstract
: Overview of the evolving epidemiology of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related ocular disease over time.: Narrative review.: HIV enhances susceptibility to opportunistic eye infections, has direct pathogenic effects, and places patients at risk of immune recovery inflammatory syndromes in previously infected eyes after starting highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Widespread availability of HAART has resulted in a decrease of infectious ocular conditions such as cytomegalovirus retinitis, toxoplasmic retinitis, squamous cell carcinoma of the conjunctiva, and microvascular retinopathy. However, large coexisting burdens of tuberculosis, herpesvirus infection and syphilis (among others) continue to contribute to the burden of ocular disease, especially in low-resource settings. Growing risks of cataract, retinopathy and retinal nerve fiber thinning can affect patients with chronic HIV on HAART; thought due to chronic inflammation and immune activation.: The changing epidemic of ocular disease in HIV-infected patients warrants close monitoring and identification of interventions that can help reduce the imminent burden of disease.
Muhammad F, Wang D, McDonald T, Walsh M, Drenen K, Montieth A, Foster SC, Lee DJ. TIGIT A2Ar-Dependent anti-uveitic Treg cells are a novel subset of Tregs associated with resolution of autoimmune uveitis. J Autoimmun 2020;:102441.Abstract
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are necessary to prevent autoimmune disease. As such, stable FoxP3 expression is required for the proper function of Tregs in the control of autoimmune disease. Different Treg subsets that utilize different mechanisms of suppression have been identified. The T-cell immunoglobulin immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif (TIGIT) is a relatively new Treg cell marker that has a suppressive function. We have previously identified the adenosine 2A receptor (A2Ar) as a requirement for the emergence of Tregs following resolution of autoimmune disease. Using a FoxP3-GFP-Cre reporter mouse, we identify FoxP3 and 'exFoxP3' cells, show FoxP3 and not exFoxP3 cells are suppressive. We further show FoxP3 cells express TIGIT, and are induced through A2Ar in healthy volunteers, but not patients with autoimmune disease. Furthermore, we show Tregs emerge in the target tissue at the onset of autoimmune disease in an A2Ar-dependent manner. In summary, we identify a novel subset of TIGIT Tregs that are induced through stimulation of the A2Ar.
Anesi SD, Eggenschwiler L, Ferrara M, Artornsombudh P, Walsh M, Foster SC. Reliability of Conjunctival Biopsy for Diagnosis of Ocular Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid: Redetermination of the Standard for Diagnosis and Outcomes of Previously Biopsy-Negative Patients. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-8.Abstract
: To demonstrate the reliability of conjunctival biopsy analyzed by direct immunofluorescence (DIF) and supplemented with avidin-biotin complex immunoperoxidase (ABC) in diagnosing oMMP, and report therapy response in biopsy-positive patients, particularly when previously biopsy-negative elsewhere.: Retrospective outcomes review of 136 consecutive patients after conjunctival biopsy for suspected oMMP.: Among 136 patients, 66% were diagnosed with oMMP by DIF and 13% via supplemental ABC immunoperoxidase. Sensitivity increased from 79.6% with DIF to 95.6% with supplemental ABC. Among 57 biopsy-positive patients, 77% were in remission at 1-year follow-up and 88% after 2 years. Of 34 previous biopsy-negative but now biopsy-positive patients with a 2-year follow-up, 91% achieved remission, including all 16 diagnosed via DIF and ABC.: Conjunctival biopsy analyzed by histopathology and DIF supplemented by ABC has high reliability for diagnosing oMMP and is a useful tool to use before starting long-term immunomodulatory therapy in a patient with suspected oMMP.
McKay MK, Borkar DS, Sevgi DD, Susarla G, Papaliodis GN, Sobrin L. Comparison of Modified Posterior Sub-Tenon's vs. Trans-Septal Triamcinolone Injection for Non-infectious Uveitis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-8.Abstract
: To compare the safety and efficacy of trans-septal vs. modified posterior sub-Tenon's (PST) corticosteroid injections for noninfectious uveitis.: Retrospective comparison of periocular triamcinolone injection by modified PST (n = 36) vs. traditional trans-septal (n = 79) techniques. Safety and efficacy outcomes were analyzed with regression models.: There was no significant difference in visual acuity improvement between the groups at 6 months. There were higher rates of vitritis resolution in the modified PST group but this was not statistically significant (85.7% vs 62.9%, = .07). Intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation rate trended higher with the modified PST injection (21.9% vs 9.0%, = .06), with no instances of glaucoma surgery in either group. Two modified PST injection patients with refractory IOP rises had IOP normalization after corticosteroid depot removal. One year cataract surgery rates were similar.: Modified PST injection offers clinical efficacy but with possibly higher IOP response rate which could be managed with corticosteroid removal.
Silpa-Archa S, Preble JM, Foster SC. VITREOUS TREPONEMAL ANTIBODY AS A SUPPLEMENTARY TEST TO SEROLOGY FOR THE CONFIRMATION OF SYPHILITIC CHORIORETINITIS. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2020;14(2):166-169.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report the novel application of nontreponemal and treponemal antibody to confirm diagnosis of ocular syphilis from vitreous samples. METHODS: Two distinct case reports emphasizing the importance of confirmatory vitreous treponemal antibody. Multimodal imaging of patients was also applied. RESULTS: We report two distinct cases with positive serum treponemal antibody but opposing vitreous treponemal antibody results. One case with a positive vitreous test responded well to antisyphilitic treatment. By contrast, a case with a negative vitreous result was changed to serpiginous choroiditis, eventually cured by immunomodulatory treatment. CONCLUSION: Intraocular fluid analysis of nontreponemal and treponemal antibody may play an important role in ruling out suspected ocular syphilis in settings without a polymerase chain reaction facility, especially immunocompromised patients who are at risk of multiple infections. Further studies are needed to establish the sensitivity and specificity of nontreponemal and treponemal antibody test on vitreous samples.
Rosenbaum JT, Bodaghi B, Couto C, Zierhut M, Acharya N, Pavesio C, Tay-Kearney M-L, Neri P, Douglas K, Pathai S, Song AP, Kron M, Foster SC. New observations and emerging ideas in diagnosis and management of non-infectious uveitis: A review. Semin Arthritis Rheum 2019;49(3):438-445.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Non-infectious uveitis (NIU) is an immune-mediated disease with clinical symptoms such as eye pain, redness, floaters, and light sensitivity. NIU is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness. OBJECTIVE: This review describes current and emerging therapies for NIU. METHODS: PubMed searches were conducted using the terms uveitis, therapy, corticosteroids, immunomodulators, biologics, intravitreal injections, intraocular implants, and adverse events deemed relevant if they presented data relating to prevalence, diagnosis, and treatment of uveitis. RESULTS: Diagnosis and management of NIU may require collaboration among different healthcare providers, including ophthalmologists and rheumatologists. Although many patients with NIU respond to corticosteroid (CS) therapy, long-term CS use can be associated with potentially severe adverse events. Localized CS therapies have been developed to reduce adverse events; however, some intravitreal injections and intraocular implants were linked to elevated intraocular pressure and cataracts. CS-sparing therapies such as biologics have demonstrated efficacy and safety while reducing CS burden. Biologics targeting tumor necrosis factor provide CS-sparing options for patients with NIU. Additional studies are needed to address long-term efficacy and safety of biologics targeting IL-6 and inhibitors of JAK/STAT. CONCLUSION: Biologics, JAK/STAT inhibitors, and improved localized therapies may provide additional options for patients with NIU.

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