Immunology and Uveitis

Cheung CSY, Mireskandari K, Ali A, Silverman E, Tehrani N. Earlier use of systemic immunosuppression is associated with fewer ophthalmic surgeries in paediatric non-infectious uveitis. Br J Ophthalmol 2020;104(7):938-942.Abstract
BACKGROUND/AIMS: There is a paucity of large trials investigating the effect of management strategies for paediatric non-infectious uveitis on complications requiring surgery. The purpose of our study is to investigate whether earlier initiation of systemic immunosuppression in paediatric non-infectious uveitis is associated with fewer ophthalmic surgeries. METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted on 48 children with non-infectious uveitis assessed in 1998-2013. Patients were divided into uveitis diagnosed before December 2008 (group 1) and after January 2009 (group 2). Duration from uveitis onset to methotrexate initiation (U-MTX) and biological addition (U-Biologic) were reviewed. Follow-up visits with topical corticosteroids >3 times daily and active uveitis (≥1+ cells) during 3.5 years were documented. The main outcome measure was the need for ≥1 ophthalmic surgery at 3.5 years. RESULTS: In group 1, 69.5% of patients required ≥1 ophthalmic surgery at 3.5 years versus 26.9% in group 2 (p=0.005). U-MTX was 28.9±11.8 weeks and 14.2±10.0 weeks for groups 1 and 2 (p=0.028). U-Biologic was 134.6±46.0 weeks and 82.3±43.3 weeks for groups 1 and 2 (p=0.0016). Corticosteroid use >3 times daily was 85.9±52.7 weeks and 14.6±11.1 weeks for groups 1 and 2. Multivariate regression showed methotrexate initiation within 6 months of uveitis onset lowered the likelihood of needing ophthalmic surgery at 3.5 years (OR=6.2, 95% CI 1.2 to 33.4; p=0.033). Univariate regression demonstrated biological addition within 18 months of uveitis onset reduced the likelihood of requiring ophthalmic surgery (OR 12.57, 95% CI 1.28 to 123.48; p=0.030). CONCLUSION: Earlier control of uveitis by addition of immunosuppressive therapy reduced the need for ophthalmic surgery.
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.
Pistilli M, Joffe MM, Gangaputra SS, Pujari SS, Jabs DA, Levy-Clarke GA, Nussenblatt RB, Rosenbaum JT, Sen NH, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, Bhatt NP, Foster SC, Begum H, Fitzgerald TD, Dreger KA, Altaweel MM, Holbrook JT, Kempen JH, for Group SITED (SITE) R. Visual Acuity Outcome over Time in Non-Infectious Uveitis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2019;:1-8.Abstract
: We evaluated visual acuity (VA) over 5 years in a subspecialty noninfectious uveitis population.: Retrospective data from 5,530 noninfectious uveitis patients with anterior, intermediate, posterior or panuveitis were abstracted by expert reviewers. Mean VA was calculated using inverse probability of censoring weighting to account for losses to follow-up.: Patients were a median of 41 years old, 65% female, and 73% white. Initial mean VA was worse among panuveitis (20/84) than posterior (20/64), intermediate (20/47), and anterior (20/37) uveitides. On average, mean VA improved by 0.62, 0.51, 0.37, and 0.26 logMAR-equivalent lines over 2 years, respectively (each < .001), then remained stable, except posterior uveitis mean VA worsened to initial levels.: Mean VA of uveitic eyes improved and, typically, improvement was sustained under uveitis subspecialty care. Because VA tends to improve under tertiary care, mean VA change appears a better outcome for clinical studies than time-to-loss of VA.
Agrawal R, Agarwal A, Jabs DA, Kee A, Testi I, Mahajan S, McCluskey PJ, Gupta A, Palestine A, Denniston A, Banker A, Invernizzi A, Fonollosa A, Sharma A, Kumar A, Curi A, Okada A, Schlaen A, Heiligenhaus A, Kumar A, Gurbaxani A, Bodaghi B, Islam Shah B, Lowder C, Tappeiner C, Muccioli C, Vasconcelos-Santos DV, Goldstein D, Behra D, Das D, Makhoul D, Baglivo E, Denisova E, Miserocchi E, Carreno E, Asyari F, Pichi F, Sen NH, Uy H, Nascimento H, Tugal-Tutkun I, Arevalo FJ, Davis J, Thorne J, Hisae Yamamoto J, Smith J, Garweg JG, Biswas J, Babu K, Aggarwal K, Cimino L, Kuffova L, Agarwal M, Zierhut M, Agarwal M, DeSmet M, Tognon MS, Errera M-H, Munk M, Westcott M, Soheilian M, Accorinti M, Khairallah M, Nguyen M, Kon OM, Mahendradas P, Yang P, Neri P, Ozdal P, Amer R, Lee R, Distia Nora RL, Chhabra R, Belfort R, Mehta S, Shoughy S, Luthra S, Mohamed SO, Chee S-P, Basu S, Teoh S, Ganesh S, Barisani-Asenbauer T, Guex-Crosier Y, Ozyazgan Y, Akova Y, Habot-Wilner Z, Kempen J, Nguyen QD, Pavesio C, Gupta V, Gupta V. Standardization of Nomenclature for Ocular Tuberculosis - Results of Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS) Workshop. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2019;:1-11.Abstract
: To standardize a nomenclature system for defining clinical phenotypes, and outcome measures for reporting clinical and research data in patients with ocular tuberculosis (OTB).: Uveitis experts initially administered and further deliberated the survey in an open meeting to determine and propose the preferred nomenclature for terms related to the OTB, terms describing the clinical phenotypes and treatment and reporting outcomes.: The group of experts reached a consensus on terming uveitis attributable to tuberculosis (TB) as tubercular uveitis. The working group introduced a SUN-compatible nomenclature that also defines disease "remission" and "cure", both of which are relevant for reporting treatment outcomes.: A consensus nomenclature system has been adopted by a large group of international uveitis experts for OTB. The working group recommends the use of standardized nomenclature to prevent ambiguity in communication and to achieve the goal of spreading awareness of this blinding uveitis entity.
Sheppard J, Garg S, Lievens C, Brandano L, Wirostko B, Korenfeld M, Raizman M, Foster SC. Iontophoretic Dexamethasone Phosphate Compared to Topical Prednisolone Acetate 1% for Noninfectious Anterior Segment Uveitis. Am J Ophthalmol 2019;Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of dexamethasone phosphate ophthalmic solution (EGP-437) delivered by transscleral iontophoresis using the EyeGate® II Drug Delivery System, compared to topical prednisolone acetate 1% (PA 1%), in subjects with noninfectious anterior uveitis. DESIGN: Prospective, randomized, double-masked, parallel-group, non-inferiority clinical trial METHODS: A total of 193 subjects with active noninfectious anterior uveitis (anterior chamber [AC] cell count ≥11 cells) were randomized to EGP-437 delivered via iontophoresis (Days 0 and 7) or self-administered PA 1% daily (tapered schedule, Days 0-28). Masking was maintained with placebo iontophoresis/eyedrops. The primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of subjects with an AC cell count of zero on Day 14; noninferiority of EGP-437 was defined if the lower limit of the confidence interval for the difference (EGP-437 minus PA 1%) was less than -10%. RESULTS: At Day 14, 32/96 (33.3%) EGP-437 subjects and 32/97 (33.0%) PA 1% subjects had an AC cell count of zero (difference [95% confidence interval], 0.34 [-12.94, 13.63]; P=0.064). Efficacy trended better with EGP-437 among patients with more severe baseline uveitis (AC cell count >25). Safety and tolerability were good with both treatments. EGP-437 subjects experienced fewer IOP elevations ≥6 mm Hg versus PA 1% subjects (13 vs 24 incidents through Day 28). CONCLUSIONS: Despite clinically similar response rates, statistical noninferiority of EGP-437 versus a tapered regimen of PA 1% was not achieved. Numerical trends suggesting fewer IOP elevations with EGP-437, similar efficacy overall, and possibly better efficacy in more severe disease warrant further study.
Muhammad F, Wang D, Montieth A, Lee S, Preble J, Foster SC, Larson TA, Ding K, Dvorak JD, Lee DJ. PD-1 melanocortin receptor dependent-Treg cells prevent autoimmune disease. Sci Rep 2019;9(1):16941.Abstract
Experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU) is a mouse model of human autoimmune uveitis marked by ocular autoantigen-specific regulatory immunity in the spleen. The melanocortin 5 receptor (MC5r) and adenosine 2 A receptor (A2Ar) are required for induction of post-EAU regulatory T cells (Tregs) which provide resistance to EAU. We show that blocking the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway prevented suppression of EAU by post-EAU Tregs. A2Ar induction of PD-1FoxP3 Tregs in uveitis patients was similar compared to healthy controls, but was significantly reduced with melanocortin stimulation. Further, lower body mass index correlated with responsiveness to stimulation of this pathway. These observations indicate an importance of the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway to provide resistance to relapsing uveitis and shows a reduced capacity of uveitis patients to induce Tregs when stimulated through melanocortin receptors, but that it is possible to bypass this part of the pathway through direct stimulation of A2Ar.
Testi I, Agrawal R, Mahajan S, Agarwal A, Gunasekeran DV, Raje D, Aggarwal K, Murthy SI, Westcott M, Chee SP, 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, Rousselot A, Grant R, Kon OM, Cunningham ET, Kempen J, Nguyen QD, Pavesio C, Gupta V. Tubercular Uveitis: Nuggets from Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS)-1. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2019;:1-9.Abstract
Tuberculosis (TB) is a major infection that can affect the eye as first and sole presentation without features of systemic disease. Controversy exists regarding diagnosis and management of tubercular uveitis (TBU), further compounded by regional variations in disease expression. Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS)-1 aims to address knowledge deficits through collaboration amongst uveitis specialists across the globe by sharing the data of patients with TBU presented at participating centers from January 2004 to December 2014. Data collection was facilitated by a novel method of real-time encrypted web-based data entry allowing regular updates as new data and recommendations become available. Information on clinical features, investigation findings, management, and treatment outcomes were reviewed to get an idea about real world scenario. The current review aims to focus on methodology and briefing of published reports from COTS group in COTS-1 study to highlight key messages from this large data.
Neumann R, Nguyen QD, Kramer M, Zierhut M, Kempen JH, DeSmet M, Wickstrom K. ISOPT Hot Topic Panel Discussion on Uveitis and Inflammation. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther 2019;35(8):433-440.Abstract
For this "hot topic" session in uveitis we selected first and foremost an issue that puts our clinical work and research in "holding pattern." The issue is our method of evaluating the severity of uveitis. We posed the following questions to our esteemed panelists: 1.The relative significance of cells vs. flare in following uveitis patients 2.Cells/flare measurements 3.A glance into the future and the relevance of endpoints in clinical studies and their methodologies While there are different opinions in managing and monitoring uveitis patients, there seems to be an agreement on the high need of improving objective mode/s of reliably measuring both cells and flare and better understand their significance.
You C, Lasave AF, Kubaisi B, Syeda S, Ma L, Wai KCK, Diaz MH, Walsh M, Stephenson A, Montieth A, Foster SC. Long-term outcomes of systemic corticosteroid-sparing immunomodulatory therapy for Birdshot Retinochoroidopathy. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2019;:1-9.Abstract
: To report the visual prognosis, electroretinography (ERG) and perimetry outcomes of systemic corticosteroid-sparing immunomodulatory treatment (IMT) for birdshot retinochoroidopathy (BSRC). : Retrospective non-comparative case series of 132 patients (264 eyes) with BSRC treated with IMT from Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution. : The average follow-up time was 60.1 months. After one year on IMT, 39.4% showed no clinically active inflammation. After 5 years of IMT, 78.0% had no signs of clinical inflammation. No significant differences were observed on best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), ERG parameters, and perimetry parameters between baseline and subsequent visits on IMT. : Long-term systemic corticosteroid-sparing IMT was associated with a low rate of BSRC disease exacerbation. While differences were seen on testing parameters, they were not consistent trends and difference were attributed to variability of testing or fluctuation of inflammation that may be expected in the course of the disease.
Tolesa K, Abateneh A, Kempen JH, Gelaw Y. Patterns of Uveitis among Patients Attending Jimma University Department of Ophthalmology, Jimma, Ethiopia. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2019;:1-7.Abstract
: Uveitis is an important cause of blindness and ocular morbidity in the world. The patterns of uveitis have not been well characterized in sub-Saharan Africa. : To describe the characteristics of uveitis among patients presenting to Jimma University Department of Ophthalmology (JUDO) from July 2013 to December 2014. : This hospital-based prospective cross-sectional study included all new uveitis patients visiting JUDO outpatient department during the study period. : Among 98 patients diagnosed with uveitis, anterior uveitis was found in 74.5% of patients. Majority of the patients, 83.7%, had unilateral uveitis. A uveitis syndrome was identified in 22.5% of cases; of these 15 (68.2%) were infectious. Herpes simplex uveitis was the commonest infectious cause (53.3%) while Toxoplasmosis was the most common cause of posterior uveitis (60%). : Anterior uveitis was the most common pattern found among uveitis patients. Herpes simplex and toxoplasmic chorioretinitis were the most common-identified infectious causes.
Gangaputra SS, Newcomb CW, Joffe MM, Dreger K, Begum H, Artornsombudh P, Pujari SS, Daniel E, Sen NH, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, Bhatt NP, Foster SC, Jabs DA, Nussenblatt RB, Rosenbaum JT, Levy-Clarke GA, Kempen JH, Kempen JH. Comparison Between Methotrexate and Mycophenolate Mofetil Monotherapy for the Control of Noninfectious Ocular Inflammatory Diseases. Am J Ophthalmol 2019;208:68-75.Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) to methotrexate (MTX) as corticosteroid-sparing therapy for ocular inflammatory diseases. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of cohort study data. METHODS: Participants were identified from the Systemic Immunosuppressive Therapy for Eye Diseases Cohort Study. Demographic and clinical characteristics were obtained via medical record review. The study included 352 patients who were taking single-agent immunosuppression with MTX or MMF at 4 tertiary uveitis clinics. Marginal structural models (MSM)-derived statistical weighting created a virtual population with covariates and censoring patterns balanced across alternative treatments. With this methodological approach, the results estimate what would have happened had none of the patients stopped their treatment. Survival analysis with stabilized MSM-derived weights simulated a clinical trial comparing MMF vs MTX for noninfectious inflammatory eye disorders. The primary outcome was complete control of inflammation on prednisone ≤10 mg/day, sustained for ≥30 days. RESULTS: The time to success was shorter (more favorable) for MMF than MTX (hazard ratio = 0.68, 95% confidence interval: 0.46-0.99). Adjusting for covariates, the proportion achieving success was higher at every point in time for MMF than MTX from 2 to 8 months, then converges at 9 months. The onset of corticosteroid-sparing success took more than 3 months for most patients in both groups. Outcomes of treatment (MMF vs MTX) were similar across all anatomic sites of inflammation. The incidence of stopping therapy for toxicity was similar in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that, on average, MMF may be faster than MTX in achieving corticosteroid-sparing success in ocular inflammatory diseases.
Uchi S-H, Yanai R, Kobayashi M, Hatano M, Kobayashi Y, Yamashiro C, Nagai T, Tokuda K, Connor KM, Sonoda K-H, Kimura K. Dendritic cells mediate the anti-inflammatory action of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in experimental autoimmune uveitis. PLoS One 2019;14(7):e0219405.Abstract
We previously showed that dietary omega (ω)-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) suppress inflammation in mice with experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). We have now investigated the role of antigen presenting cells (APCs) in this action of ω-3 LCPUFAs. C57BL/6 mice were fed a diet supplemented with ω-3 or ω-6 LCPUFAs for 2 weeks, after which splenocytes were isolated from the mice and cocultured with CD4+ T cells isolated from mice with EAU induced by injection of a human interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein peptide together with complete Freund's adjuvant. The proliferation of and production of interferon-γ and interleukin-17 by T cells from EAU mice in vitro were attenuated in the presence of splenocytes from ω-3 LCPUFA-fed mice as compared with those from mice fed ω-6 LCPUFAs. Splenocyte fractionation by magnetic-activated cell sorting revealed that, among APCs, dendritic cells (DCs) were the target of ω-3 LCPUFAs. Adoptive transfer of DCs from mice fed ω-3 LCPUFAs attenuated disease progression in EAU mice as well as the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by T cells isolated from these latter animals. The proliferation of T cells from control Balb/c mice was also attenuated in the presence of DCs from ω-3 LCPUFA-fed mice as compared with those from ω-6 LCPUFA-fed mice. Furthermore, T cell proliferation in such a mixed lymphocyte reaction was inhibited by prior exposure of DCs from mice fed an ω-6 LCPUFA diet to ω-3 LCPUFAs in vitro. Our results thus suggest that DCs mediate the anti-inflammatory action of dietary ω-3 LCPUFAs in EAU.
Jaffe GJ, Foster SC, Pavesio CE, Paggiarino DA, Riedel GE. Effect of an Injectable Fluocinolone Acetonide Insert on Recurrence Rates in Chronic Noninfectious Uveitis Affecting the Posterior Segment: Twelve-Month Results. Ophthalmology 2019;126(4):601-610.Abstract
PURPOSE: To assess the safety and efficacy of an intravitreal fluocinolone acetonide (FA) insert to manage inflammation associated with chronic noninfectious posterior uveitis. DESIGN: Multicenter, randomized, prospective, doubled-masked, sham-controlled, 3-year phase 3 clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred twenty-nine participants with recurrent noninfectious posterior uveitis were assigned randomly to FA insert (n = 87) or sham injection (n = 42). The more severely affected eye in participants with bilateral disease was designated as the study eye. METHODS: The insert (FA, 0.18 mg) was injected into the vitreous cavity; sham injection mimicked the insert delivery procedure. Ophthalmic examinations, OCT, and ocular tolerability and discomfort assessments were conducted; study visits were on days 7 and 28 and months 2, 3, 6, 9, and 12. Uveitis recurrence was treated as needed. The 6-month recurrence rate was the primary outcome measure. RESULTS: The 6-month (28% and 91%) and 12-month (38% and 98%) uveitis recurrence rates were significantly lower (P < 0.001) with FA insert vs. sham, respectively. Fewer recurrences per study eye (mean, 0.7 vs. 2.5), lower incidence of 15-letter or more decrease in best-corrected visual acuity (14% vs. 31%), and reduced systemic (19% vs. 40%) and local (7% vs. 62%) uveitis adjunctive treatments were observed with FA insert vs. sham, respectively. The FA insert group showed higher rates of cataract. Intraocular pressure-lowering treatment use was similar between groups. No deaths, treatment-related study discontinuations, or unanticipated safety signals were observed through 12 months. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic noninfectious posterior uveitis was managed successfully in this study population; FA insert eyes experienced fewer uveitis recurrence episodes, required fewer adjunctive treatments, and demonstrated less visual acuity loss compared with sham eyes. The FA insert treatment group showed higher rates of cataract; delivery by injection was not associated with an increase in ocular adverse events or any other safety measures not typically associated with local steroid use, suggesting the procedure is appropriate for an office setting.
Noble CW, Gangaputra SS, Thompson IA, Yuan A, Apolo AB, Lee J-M, Papaliodis GN, Kodati S, Bishop R, Magone TM, Sobrin L, Sen NH. Ocular Adverse Events following Use of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Metastatic Malignancies. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2019;:1-6.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report the clinical features, severity, and management of ocular immune-related adverse events (irAEs) in the setting of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy for metastatic malignancies. METHODS: Retrospective chart review at three tertiary ophthalmology clinics. Electronic medical records were reviewed between 2000 and 2017 for patients with new ocular symptoms while undergoing checkpoint inhibition therapy. RESULTS: Eleven patients were identified. Ocular irAEs ranged from keratoconjunctivitis sicca to Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada-like findings. Average timing of irAEs from starting checkpoint inhibitor therapy was 15.7 weeks. Ocular inflammation was successfully controlled with corticosteroids in most cases, however three patients discontinue treatment as a result of ocular inflammation with decreased visual acuity, two discontinued due to progression of metastatic disease, and one discontinued due to severe systemic irAEs. CONCLUSION: We found a wide spectrum of ocular irAEs associated with immune checkpoint inhibitors. In most cases, ocular AEs did not limit ongoing cancer treatment.

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