Immunology and Uveitis

Levin MH, Pistilli M, Daniel E, Gangaputra SS, Nussenblatt RB, Rosenbaum JT, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, Foster SC, Jabs DA, Levy-Clarke GA, Kempen JH. Incidence of visual improvement in uveitis cases with visual impairment caused by macular edema. Ophthalmology 2014;121(2):588-95.e1.Abstract
PURPOSE: Among cases of visually significant uveitic macular edema (ME), to estimate the incidence of visual improvement and identify predictive factors. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Eyes with uveitis, seen at 5 academic ocular inflammation centers in the United States, for which ME was documented to be currently present and the principal cause of reduced visual acuity (<20/40). METHODS: Data were obtained by standardized chart review. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Decrease of ≥ 0.2 base 10 logarithm of visual acuity decimal fraction-equivalent; risk factors for such visual improvement. RESULTS: We identified 1510 eyes (of 1077 patients) with visual impairment to a level <20/40 attributed to ME. Most patients were female (67%) and white (76%), and had bilateral uveitis (82%). The estimated 6-month incidence of ≥ 2 lines of visual acuity improvement in affected eyes was 52% (95% confidence interval [CI], 49%-55%). Vision reduced by ME was more likely to improve by 2 lines in eyes initially with poor visual acuity (≤ 20/200; adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.5; 95% CI, 1.3-1.7), active uveitis (HR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.5), and anterior uveitis as opposed to intermediate (HR, 1.2), posterior (HR, 1.3), or panuveitis (HR, 1.4; overall P = 0.02). During follow-up, reductions in anterior chamber or vitreous cellular activity or in vitreous haze each led to significant improvements in visual outcome (P <0.001 for each). Conversely, snowbanking (HR, 0.7; 95% CI, 0.4-0.99), posterior synechiae (HR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.6-0.9), and hypotony (HR, 0.2; 95% CI, 0.06-0.5) each were associated with lower incidence of visual improvement with respect to eyes lacking each of these attributes at a given visit. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that many, but not all, patients with ME causing low vision in a tertiary care setting will enjoy meaningful visual recovery in response to treatment. Evidence of significant ocular damage from inflammation (posterior synechiae and hypotony) portends a lower incidence of visual recovery. Better control of anterior chamber or vitreous activity is associated with a greater incidence of visual improvement, supporting an aggressive anti-inflammatory treatment approach for ME cases with active inflammation.
Artornsombudh P, Pistilli M, Foster SC, Pujari SS, Gangaputra SS, Jabs DA, Levy-Clarke GA, Nussenblatt RB, Rosenbaum JT, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, Kempen JH. Factors predictive of remission of new-onset anterior uveitis. Ophthalmology 2014;121(3):778-84.Abstract
PURPOSE: To identify factors predictive of remission of inflammation in new-onset anterior uveitis cases treated at tertiary uveitis care facilities. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Patients seeking treatment at participating academic uveitis clinics within 90 days of initial diagnosis of anterior uveitis. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study based on standardized chart review. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Factors predictive of remission (no disease activity without corticosteroid or immunosuppressive treatments at all visits during a 90-day period). RESULTS: Nine hundred ninety eyes (687 patients) had a first-ever diagnosis of anterior uveitis within 90 days before initial presentation and had follow-up visits thereafter. The median follow-up time was 160 days. Systemic diagnoses with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA; adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.19-0.74) and Behçet's disease (aHR, 0.10; 95% CI, 0.01-0.85) were associated with a lower incidence of uveitis remission. Cases of bilateral uveitis (aHR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.54-0.87) and those with a history of cataract surgery before presentation (aHR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.29-0.87) also had a lower incidence of remission. Regarding clinical findings at the initial visit, a high degree of vitreous cells at initial presentation was associated with a lower incidence of remission (for 1+ or more vs. none: aHR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.55-0.95). An initial visual acuity of 20/200 or worse, with respect to 20/40 or better, also was predictive of a lower incidence of remission (aHR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.32-0.86). CONCLUSIONS: Factors associated with a lower incidence of remission among new-onset anterior uveitis cases included diagnosis with JIA, Behçet's disease, bilateral uveitis, history of cataract surgery, findings of 1+ or more vitreous cells at presentation, and an initial visual acuity of 20/200 or worse. Patients with these risk factors seem to be at higher risk of persistent inflammation; reciprocally, patients lacking these factors would be more likely to experience remission. Patients with risk factors for nonremission of uveitis should be managed taking into account the higher probability of a chronic inflammatory course.
Sen NH, Vitale S, Gangaputra SS, Nussenblatt RB, Liesegang TL, Levy-Clarke GA, Rosenbaum JT, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, Foster SC, Jabs DA, Kempen JH. Periocular corticosteroid injections in uveitis: effects and complications. Ophthalmology 2014;121(11):2275-86.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the benefits and complications of periocular depot corticosteroid injections in patients with ocular inflammatory disorders. DESIGN: Multicenter, retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 914 patients (1192 eyes) who had received ≥ 1 periocular corticosteroid injection at 5 tertiary uveitis clinics in the United States. METHODS: Patients were identified from the Systemic Immunosuppressive Therapy for Eye Diseases Cohort Study. Demographic and clinical characteristics were obtained at every visit via medical record review by trained reviewers. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Control of inflammation, improvement of visual acuity (VA) to ≥ 20/40, improvement of VA loss attributed to macular edema (ME), incident cataract affecting VA, cataract surgery, ocular hypertension, and glaucoma surgery. RESULTS: Among 914 patients (1192 eyes) who received ≥ 1 periocular injection during follow-up, 286 (31.3%) were classified as having anterior uveitis, 303 (33.3%) as intermediate uveitis, and 324 (35.4%) as posterior or panuveitis. Cumulatively by ≤ 6 months, 72.7% (95% CI, 69.1-76.3) of the eyes achieved complete control of inflammation and 49.7% (95% CI, 45.5-54.1) showed an improvement in VA from <20/40 to ≥ 20/40. Among the subset with VA <20/40 attributed to ME, 33.1% (95% CI, 25.2-42.7) improved to ≥ 20/40. By 12 months, the cumulative incidence of ≥ 1 visits with an intraocular pressure of ≥ 24 mmHg and ≥ 30 mmHg was 34.0% (95% CI, 24.8-45.4) and 15.0% (95% CI, 11.8-19.1) respectively; glaucoma surgery was performed in 2.4% of eyes (95% CI, 1.4-3.9). Within 12 months, among phakic eyes initially ≥ 20/40, the incidence of a reduction in VA to <20/40 attributed to cataract was 20.2% (95% CI, 15.9-25.6); cataract surgery was performed within 12 months in 13.8% of the initially phakic eyes (95% CI, 11.1-17.2). CONCLUSIONS: Periocular injections were effective in treating active intraocular inflammation and in improving reduced VA attributed to ME in a majority of patients. The response pattern was similar across anatomic locations of uveitis. Overall, VA improved in one half of the patients at some point within 6 months. However, cataract and ocular hypertension occurred in a substantial minority.
Baxter SL, Pistilli M, Pujari SS, Liesegang TL, Suhler EB, Thorne JE, Foster SC, Jabs DA, Levy-Clarke GA, Nussenblatt RB, Rosenbaum JT, Kempen JH. Risk of choroidal neovascularization among the uveitides. Am J Ophthalmol 2013;156(3):468-477.e2.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the risk, risk factors, and visual impact of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in uveitis cases. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. METHODS: Standardized medical record review at 5 tertiary centers. RESULTS: Among 15,137 uveitic eyes (8868 patients), CNV was rare in the cases of anterior or intermediate uveitis. Among the 4041 eyes (2307 patients) with posterior uveitis or panuveitis, 81 (2.0%) had CNV at presentation. Risk factors included posterior uveitis in general and specific uveitis syndromes affecting the outer retina-retinal pigment epithelium-choroid interface. Among the 2364 eyes (1357 patients) with posterior uveitis or panuveitis and free of CNV at the time of cohort entry, the cumulative 2-year incidence of CNV was 2.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.8% to 3.5%). Risk factors for incident CNV included currently active inflammation (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.13; 95% CI, 1.26 to 3.60), preretinal neovascularization (aHR, 3.19; 95% CI, 1.30 to 7.80), and prior diagnosis of CNV in the contralateral eye (aHR, 5.79; 95% CI, 2.77 to 12.09). Among specific syndromes, the incidence was greater in Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome (aHR, 3.37; 95% CI, 1.52 to 7.46) and punctate inner choroiditis (aHR, 8.67; 95% CI, 2.83 to 26.54). Incident CNV was associated with a 2-line loss of visual acuity (+0.19 logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution units; 95% CI, 0.079 to 0.29) from the preceding visit. CONCLUSIONS: CNV is an uncommon complication of uveitis associated with visual impairment that occurs more commonly in forms affecting the outer retina-retinal pigment epithelium-choroid interface, during periods of inflammatory activity, in association with preretinal neovascularization, and in second eyes of patients with unilateral CNV. Because CNV is treatable, a systematic approach to early detection in high-risk patients may be appropriate.
Werdich XQ, Jakobiec FA, Singh AD, Kim IK. A review of advanced genetic testing for clinical prognostication in uveal melanoma. Semin Ophthalmol 2013;28(5-6):361-71.Abstract
Uveal melanoma (UM) has a strong propensity to metastasize and the prognosis for metastatic disease is very poor. It has been suggested that occult micrometastases are already present, but undetectable, in many patients at the time when the primary ocular tumor is diagnosed and treated. To identify high-risk patients for close monitoring and early intervention with prophylactic adjuvant systemic therapy, an accurate predictive system is necessary for stratifying those patients at risk of developing metastatic disease. To date, many clinical and histopathological features, molecular pathway characteristics, and genetic fingerprints of UM have been suggested for disease prognostication. Among the newest of them, tumor genetics has received the most attention in demonstrating promise as a prognostic tool. Because of the plethora of recent developments, we summarize and compare in this review the important standard and more advanced cytogenetic prognostic markers. We further describe the variety of genetic tests available for prognostication of UM, and provide a critical assessment of the respective advantages and disadvantages of these tools.
Stein-Streilein J. Mechanisms of immune privilege in the posterior eye. Int Rev Immunol 2013;32(1):42-56.Abstract
Immune privilege protects vital organs and their functions from the destructive interference of inflammation. Because the eye is easily accessible for surgical manipulation and for assessing and imaging the outcomes, the eye has been a major tissue for the study of immune privilege. Here, we focus on the immune regulatory mechanisms in the posterior eye, in part, because loss of immune privilege may contribute to development of certain retinal diseases in the aging population. We begin with a background in immune privilege and then focus on the select regulatory mechanisms that have been studied in the posterior eye. The review includes a description of the immunosuppressive environment, regulatory surface molecules expressed by cells in the eye, types of cells that participate in immune regulation and finally, discusses animal models of retinal laser injury in the context of mechanisms that overcome immune privilege.
Nicholson L, Sobrin L. Anterior uveitis secondary to type II essential cryoglobulinemia. J Ophthalmic Inflamm Infect 2013;3(1):56.Abstract
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this report is to describe the association of severe anterior uveitis with type II essential cryoglobulinemia. FINDINGS: A 40-year-old male with a history of psoriatic arthritis presented with severe anterior uveitis associated with type II essential cryoglobulinemia. His uveitis, refractory to steroid treatments, was well controlled following treatments for cryoglobulinemia. The temporal association between his cryoglobulinemia and uveitis, combined with his improved visual acuity and inflammation after plasmapheresis and rituximab infusions, suggests cryoglobulinemia to be the underlying condition of his uveitis. CONCLUSIONS: To our best knowledge, this is the first reported case of anterior uveitis secondary to type II essential cryoglobulinemia.
Durrani K, Foster SC. Fundus autofluorescence imaging in posterior uveitis. Semin Ophthalmol 2012;27(5-6):228-35.Abstract
Although the phenomenon of fundus autofluorescence has been known for decades, it has only recently been recognized as a measure of retinal pigment epithelial function and health. Characteristic fundus autofluorescence patterns have been described in eyes affected by inflammation of the posterior segment, and these patterns have provided insights into the pathogenesis of posterior uveitis entities. In addition, preliminary data indicate that fundus autofluorescence characteristics may serve as markers of disease activity, allow prediction of visual prognosis, and may help determine the adequacy of therapy. We provide an overview of the current state of fundus autofluorescence imaging technology and review our current knowledge of fundus autoflourescence findings and their clinical use in the posterior uveitis entities.
Hunter RS, Skondra D, Papaliodis G, Sobrin L. Role of OCT in the diagnosis and management of macular edema from uveitis. Semin Ophthalmol 2012;27(5-6):236-41.Abstract
Uveitis is a potentially visually threatening disease accounting for 10% of vision loss in the developed world. The most common cause of vision loss in patients with uveitis has been shown to be macular edema (ME). The early detection and management of ME is critical to preserve vision in these patients. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a valuable tool in the management of many ocular diseases. The use of OCT has revolutionized the diagnosis and management of macular edema from a wide variety of ophthalmological diseases, including uveitis. In this review, we evaluate the role of OCT in the diagnosis and management of uveitic macular edema.
Suzuki J, Yoshimura T, Simeonova M, Takeuchi K, Murakami Y, Morizane Y, Miller JW, Sobrin L, Vavvas DG. Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide ameliorates experimental autoimmune uveitis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2012;53(7):4158-69.Abstract
PURPOSE: To investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of an adenosine monophosphate (AMP) analog, aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR), in experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU). METHODS: C57BL/6 mice were injected daily with AICAR (200 mg/kg, intraperitoneally [IP]) from day 0, the day of interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP) immunization, until day 21. The severity of uveitis was assessed clinically and histopathologically. T-cell proliferation and cytokine production of IFN-γ, IL-17, and IL-10 in response to IRBP stimulation were determined. In addition, regulatory T-cell (Treg) populations were measured. Co-stimulatory molecule expression (CD40, 80, 86, and I-Ab) on dendritic cells (DCs) in EAU and on bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) treated with AICAR was measured. RESULTS: AICAR treatment significantly reduced clinical and histologic severity of EAU as well as ocular cytokine production. An anti-inflammatory effect associated with the inhibition of T-cell proliferation and Th1 and Th17 cytokine production was observed. Increases in the Th2 response and Treg population were not observed with AICAR treatment. AICAR did significantly inhibit BMDC maturation by reducing co-stimulatory molecule expression. CONCLUSIONS: AICAR attenuates EAU by preventing generation of Ag-specific Th1 and Th17 cells. Impaired DC maturation may be an underlying mechanism for this anti-inflammatory effect observed with AICAR.