Immunology and Uveitis

Agrawal R, Testi I, Lee CS, Tsui E, Blazes M, Thorne JE, Okada AA, Smith JR, McCluskey PJ, Kempen JH, Tappeiner C, 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 2021;105(5):639-647.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.
Kempen JH, Pistilli M, Begum H, Fitzgerald TD, Liesegang TL, Payal A, Zebardast N, Bhatt NP, Foster SC, Jabs DA, Levy-Clarke GA, Nussenblatt RB, Rosenbaum JT, Sen NH, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, for Group SITED (SITE) CSR. Remission of Non-Infectious Anterior Scleritis: Incidence and Predictive Factors. Am J Ophthalmol 2021;223:377-395.Abstract
PURPOSE: To assess how often non-infectious anterior scleritis remits and identify predictive factors. METHODS: Our retrospective cohort study at four ocular inflammation subspecialty centers collected data for each affected eye/patient at every visit from center inception (1978, 1978, 1984, 2005) until 2010. Remission was defined as inactivity of disease off all suppressive medications at all visits spanning at least three consecutive months or at all visits up to the last visit (to avoid censoring patients stopping follow-up after remission). Factors potentially predictive of remission were assessed using Cox regression models. RESULTS: During 1,906 years' aggregate follow-up of 832 affected eyes, remission occurred in 214 (170 of 584 patients). Median time-to-remission of scleritis = 7.8 years (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.7, 9.5). More remissions occurred earlier than later during follow-up. Factors predictive of less scleritis remission included scleritis bilaterality (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 0.46, 95% CI: 0.32-0.65); and diagnosis with any systemic inflammatory disease (aHR = 0.36, 95% CI: 0.23-0.58), or specifically with Rheumatoid Arthritis (aHR = 0.22), or Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (aHR = 0.08). Statin treatment (aHR = 1.53, 95% CI: 1.03-2.26) within ≤90 days was associated with more remission incidence. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest scleritis remission occurs more slowly in anterior scleritis than in newly diagnosed anterior uveitis or chronic anterior uveitis, suggesting that attempts at tapering suppressive medications is warranted after long intervals of suppression. Remission is less frequently achieved when systemic inflammatory diseases are present. Confirmatory studies of whether adjunctive statin treatment truly can enhance scleritis remission (as suggested here) are needed.
Tripathy K, Ying H, Maldonado Cerda A, Filipowicz A, Kaya M, Seymen Z, Anesi SD, Chang PY, Foster CS. Widefield Fundus Fluorescein Angiography Features of Uveitis Associated with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-10.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the wide-field fundus fluorescein angiography (WFA) characteristics of uveitis associated with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA-uveitis). METHODS: Retrospective review of records. WFA with Spectralis (Heidelberg) of JIA-uveitis patients were analyzed using the scoring system by Angiography Scoring for Uveitis Nomenclature. RESULTS: Thirty-seven eyes of 20 patients were studied. A total score of at least 1 was noted in 27 eyes (72.97%). WFA features included optic disc hyperfluorescence (51.35%), macular leakage (27.03%), retinal vascular staining/leakage at posterior pole (27.03%) and peripheral retina (64.86%), capillary leakage at the posterior pole (37.84%), and peripheral retina (59.46%). A decision to change the management plan was made in 8 of 9 patients with bilateral quiet anterior chambers after WFA results. CONCLUSION: More than 70% of JIA-uveitis eyes showed some WFA-evidence of posterior segment inflammation, which changed the course of therapy for a major proportion of patients with no clinically active anterior chamber inflammation.
Silpa-Archa S, Dejkong A, Kumsiang K, Chotcomwongse P, Preble JM, Foster SC. Poor prognostic factors in post-traumatic endophthalmitis following open globe injury. Int J Ophthalmol 2020;13(12):1968-1975.Abstract
AIM: To demonstrate prognostic factors for poor visual outcome in patients with post-traumatic endophthalmitis (PTE) following open globe injury. METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted on 66 patients (66 eyes) with PTE following open globe injury from 2005 to 2015. Potential factors accounting for good and poor visual outcome were statistically analyzed by Chi-square test and Logistic regression model. RESULTS: In 66 cases, 39 cases (59%) had a poor visual outcome. Univariate and multivariate Logistic regression analysis identified retained intraocular foreign body (IOFB) as the only factor significantly associated with poor visual outcome [adjusted odds ratio, 4.62; 95% confidence interval (1.04-20.53); =0.04]. The most common causative agents were gram-positive organisms (83%), of which (33%), was the most common pathogen. All cases received intravitreal antibiotic injections. Oral ciprofloxacin was the most used systemic antibiotic (33%). Pars plana vitrectomy was performed in 83% (55/66) of cases. At 6mo follow-up, mean BCVA was 1.74±0.72 logMAR units. CONCLUSION: In patients with PTE following open globe injury, the only predictor of poor visual outcome is the presence of IOFB. is the most isolated microorganism.
Agrawal R, Betzler BK, Testi I, Mahajan S, Agarwal A, Gunasekeran DV, Raje D, 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, 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. The Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS)-1: A Multinational Review of 447 Patients with Tubercular Intermediate Uveitis and Panuveitis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-11.Abstract
Tubercular intermediate uveitis (TIU) and panuveitis (TBP) are difficult to manage because of limitations in diagnostic tools and lack of evidence-based treatment guidelines. The Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS) analyzed treatment regimens and therapeutic outcomes in patients with TIU and TBP. Multicentre retrospective analysis. A total of 138 TIU and 309 TBP patients were included. A total of 382 subjects received antitubercular therapy (ATT) (n = 382/447; 85.4%) and 382 received corticosteroids (n = 382/447; 85.4%). Treatment failure was observed in 78 individuals (n = 78/447; 17.4%), occurring less frequently in patients receiving ATT (n = 66/382; 17.2%) compared to those who did not (n = 12/65; 18.5%). The study did not show any statistically significant therapeutic effect of ATT in patients with TIU and TBP. Taking into account the limitations of the retrospective, non-randomized study design, resultant reliance on reported data records, and unequal size of the samples, the current study cannot provide conclusive evidence on the therapeutic benefit of ATT in TIU and TBP.
Silpa-Archa S, Ittharat W, Chotcomwongse P, Preble JM, Foster SC. Analysis of Three-Dimensional Choroidal Volume with Enhanced Depth Imaging Findings in Patients with Recurrent Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada Disease. Curr Eye Res 2020;:1-8.Abstract
: To demonstrate changes in three-dimensional choroidal volume with enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography (EDI-OCT) in patients with recurrent stage of Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease (VKH). : This prospective comparative case series included 9 patients with recurrent VKH, 10 patients with quiet VKH, and 15 healthy controls after sample size was calculated. All VKH cases with recurrences underwent raster scanning with EDI-OCT at active and inactive stages of the disease. : All choroidal parameters in the active stage significantly reduced when the inflammation subsided: total choroidal volume ( = .02), central choroidal volume ( = .01), central choroidal thickness ( = .03). The changes in central choroidal volume over the resolution phase were more pronounced than the changes in central choroidal thickness in 56% of cases. Two cases presenting with only subclinical posterior segment recurrence had their choroidal parameters recovered after prompt treatment. : In the recurrent stage of VKH, alteration in choroidal volume was evident by EDI-OCT even in an absence of anterior segment inflammation. Central choroidal volume may serve as a biomarker for detecting choroidal morphological change.
Sobrin L, Yu Y, Susarla G, Chan W, Xia T, Kempen JH, Hubbard RA, VanderBeek BL. Risk of Noninfectious Uveitis with Female Hormonal Therapy in a Large Healthcare Claims Database. Ophthalmology 2020;127(11):1558-1566.Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine if female hormonal therapy (FHT) increases the incidence of noninfectious uveitis. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Women exposed to FHT and matched women unexposed to FHT enrolled in a national insurance plan. METHODS: Estimation of noninfectious uveitis incidence used multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression. To account for differences between the exposed and unexposed cohorts, a propensity score for being prescribed FHT was created using logistic regression, and inverse probability of treatment weighting was performed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidence of noninfectious uveitis. For the primary outcome, incident noninfectious uveitis was defined as a new diagnosis code for noninfectious uveitis followed by a second instance of a noninfectious uveitis code within 120 days. For the alternative outcome definition, a corticosteroid prescription or code for an ocular corticosteroid injection within 120 days of the uveitis diagnosis code was used instead of the second uveitis diagnosis code. RESULTS: There were 217 653 women exposed to FHT and 928 408 women not unexposed to FHT. For the primary outcome, the hazard ratio (HR) for incident noninfectious uveitis was not significantly different between the FHT and unexposed cohorts (HR, 0.99; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.83-1.17; P = 0.87). With the alternative outcome definition, the FHT cohort was more likely to develop uveitis (HR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.04-1.41; P = 0.01). When examined by anatomic subtype, for anterior uveitis there was a greater likelihood of incident uveitis in the exposed cohort (HR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.05-1.45; P = 0.01) for the alternative outcome definition but not for the primary outcome. With age stratification, women exposed to FHT aged ≥45 years at the time of FHT prescription were more likely to develop uveitis (HR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.03-1.47; P = 0.03) for the alternative outcome definition. A similar HR (1.22) was seen for women aged ≤44 years at the time of prescription, but this association did not meet statistical significance (P = 0.20). CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to FHT increases the rate of incident noninfectious uveitis when uveitis is defined on the basis of both diagnostic codes and documentation of corticosteroid treatment. However, the risk is modest and FHT is likely safe with regard to noninfectious uveitis risk in the majority of patients exposed to these drugs.
Valdes L, Bispo P, Sobrin L. Application of Metagenomic Sequencing in the Diagnosis of Infectious Uveitis. Semin Ophthalmol 2020;:1-4.Abstract
: to summarize the origin and very recent history of the use of metagenomic sequencing for the diagnosis of infectious uveitis, convey the technique as described by one of the primary institutions experimenting with the technology, and present recent successful applications of the technology as well as potential advantages and pitfalls compared to other current diagnostic tools.: review of peer-reviewed literature concerning metagenomic sequencing for the diagnosis of infectious uveitis.: compared to existing diagnostic methods, metagenomic deep sequencing is a sensitive, unbiased, and comprehensive technique with great potential for diagnosing the causative pathogens of cases of infectious uveitis. However, many issues remain to be addressed in the process of developing this technology, including but not limited to the potentially overwhelming amount of information generated, definition of diagnostic thresholds, demonstration of validity, contamination, and cost.
Maleki A, Gomez S, Asgari S, Bosenberg Z, Manhapra A, Walsh M, Weng A, Tseng C, He C, Anesi SD, Foster SC. Diagnostic and Prognostic Roles of Serum Interleukin-6 Levels in Patients with Uveitis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-6.Abstract
PURPOSE: To examine the diagnostic and prognostic roles of serum interleukin-6 levels in patients with uveitis. METHODS: This was a retrospective observational case series. Demographic and clinical characteristics were compared between Group One (sixty patients) with normal serum IL-6 levels and Group Two (twenty patients) with high serum interleukin-6 levels. RESULTS: Mean IL-6 level was 1.77 ± 0.97 pg/ml and 10.2 ± 9.7 pg/ml in Group One and Group Two respectively. Age, presence of systemic disease, and mean number of flare-ups were statistically significant ( = .015, = .000, = .03, respectively). Multivariate analysis was performed on variables that were statistically significant in univariate analysis and showed that three variables had significant correlation with IL-6 levels in both groups: systemic disease (OR = 10.83, < .001), Age (OR = 0.95, = .03) and number of flare-ups (OR = 2.9, = .02). CONCLUSION: Serum IL-6 levels can provide diagnostic and prognostic information in regard to the course of disease and its treatment.
Sudharshan S, Nair N, Curi A, Banker A, Kempen JH. Human immunodeficiency virus and intraocular inflammation in the era of highly active anti retroviral therapy - An update. Indian J Ophthalmol 2020;68(9):1787-1798.Abstract
Intraocular inflammation in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is commonly due to infectious uveitis. Ocular lesions due to opportunistic infections (OI) are the most common and have been described extensively in the pre highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era. Many eye lesions were classified as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) defining illnesses. HAART-associated improvement in immunity of the individual has changed the pattern of incidence of these hitherto reported known lesions leading to a marked reduction in the occurrence of ocular OI. Newer ocular lesions and newer ocular manifestations of known agents have been noted. Immune recovery uveitis (IRU), the new menace, which occurs as part of immune recovery inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) in the eye, can present with significant ocular inflammation and can pose a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. Balancing the treatment of inflammation with the risk of reactivation of OI is a task by itself. Ocular involvement in the HAART era can be due to the adverse effects of some systemic drugs used in the management of HIV/AIDS. Drug-associated retinal toxicity and other ocular side effects are being increasingly reported. In this review, we discuss the ocular manifestations in HIV patients and its varied presentations following the introduction of HAART, drug-associated lesions, and the current treatment guidelines.
Testi I, Agrawal R, Mahajan S, Agarwal A, Gunasekeran DV, Raje D, 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. The Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS)-1: A Multinational Descriptive Review of Tubercular Uveitis in Paediatric Population. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-7.Abstract
PURPOSE: To examine disease profile of tubercular uveitis (TBU) in Paediatric population. METHODS: Among 945 patients of the retrospective multinational study by the Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS)-1, 29 Paediatric patients diagnosed with TBU were analyzed. RESULTS: Mean age of disease presentation was 12.8 (range 4-18 years), with predominance of males (n = 14/20; 70.0%) and Asian ethnicity (n = 25/29; 86.2%). Posterior uveitis (n = 14/28; 50%) was the most frequent uveitis phenotype, with choroidal involvement occurring in 64.7% (n = 11/17). Incidence of optic disc edema and macular edema was higher in children (n = 8/18; 44.4% and n = 5/18; 27.8%, respectively) than in adults (n = 160/942; 16.9% and n = 135/942; 14.3%, respectively). Comparison of optic disc edema between subgroups showed a significant difference (). All patients received oral corticosteroids, most of them with antitubercular therapy. Treatment failure developed in 4.8% (n = 1/21). CONCLUSIONS: Children have a more severe inflammatory response to the disease, and an intensive anti-inflammatory therapeutic regimen is required to achieve a positive treatment outcome.
Kempen JH, Van Natta ML, Friedman DS, Altaweel MM, Ansari H, Dunn JP, Elner SG, Holbrook JT, Lim LL, Sugar EA, Jabs DA, and Group MUST (MUST) TF-up SR. Incidence and Outcome of Uveitic Glaucoma in Eyes With Intermediate, Posterior, or Panuveitis Followed up to 10 Years After Randomization to Fluocinolone Acetonide Implant or Systemic Therapy. Am J Ophthalmol 2020;219:303-316.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate long-term risk and outcomes of glaucoma in eyes with intermediate, posterior, and panuveitis managed with systemic or fluocinolone acetonide (0.59 mg, "implant") therapy. DESIGN: Prospective Follow-up of the Multicenter Uveitis Steroid Treatment (MUST) Clinical Trial Cohort. METHODS: Patients with intermediate, posterior, or panuveitis randomized to implant or systemic therapy (corticosteroid plus immunosuppression in >90%) were followed prospectively for glaucoma incidence and outcome. RESULTS: Among 405 uveitic at-risk eyes of 232 patients (median follow-up = 6.9 years), 40% (79/196) of eyes assigned and treated with implant and 8% (17/209) of eyes assigned and treated with systemic therapy (censoring eyes receiving an implant on implantation) developed glaucoma (hazard ratio [HR] = 5.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.2, 10.8; P < .001). Adjustment for intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation during follow-up only partially mitigated the association of implant treatment with glaucoma incidence: HR = 3.1 (95% CI 1.6, 6.0); P = .001. Among 112 eyes of 83 patients developing glaucoma, the 5-year cumulative incidence following diagnosis of sustained (2 or more consecutive visits) worsening of mean deviation by ≥6 dB was 20% (95% CI 12%, 33%); 5-year cumulative incidence of sustained worsening of cup-to-disc ratio by ≥0.2 was 26% (95% CI 17%, 39%). CONCLUSIONS: The implant has substantially higher risk of glaucoma than systemic therapy, a difference not entirely explained by posttreatment IOP elevation. Management of IOP elevation was effective in preventing worsening of glaucoma for the large majority of cases, but even under expert clinical management, some glaucoma worsened. Uveitis cases should be monitored carefully for IOP elevation and glaucoma indefinitely.
Singh RB, Sinha S, Saini C, Elbasiony E, Thakur S, Agarwal A. Recent advances in the management of non-infectious posterior uveitis. Int Ophthalmol 2020;40(11):3187-3207.Abstract
PURPOSE: To review the current regimens and novel therapeutic modalities in various stages of research and development for the management of non-infectious posterior uveitis (NIPU). METHODS: We performed a thorough review of current literature using PubMed, Google Scholar and Clinicaltrials.gov to identify the published literature about the available therapeutics and novel drugs/therapies in different stages of clinical trials. RESULTS: The current management regimen for non-infectious posterior uveitis includes corticosteroids, immunomodulatory therapies and anti-metabolites. However, NIPU requires long-term management for efficacious remission of the disease and to prevent disease relapse. Long-term safety issues associated with steroids have led to efforts to develop novel therapeutic agents including biological response modulators and immunosuppressants. The current therapeutic agents in various stages of development include calcineurin inhibitors, biologic response modifiers and a more a comprehensive modalities like ocular gene therapy as well as novel drug delivery mechanisms for higher bioavailability to the target tissues, with minimal systemic effects. CONCLUSION: Novel efficacious therapeutic modalities under development will help overcome the challenges associated with the traditional therapeutic agents.
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.

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