Pediatric Ophthalmology

Pediatric Ophthalmology Publications

PURPOSE: Fibrovascular contraction and tractional retinal detachment (TRD) are recognized complications associated with the use of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents in vasoproliferative vitreoretinopathies. The authors characterize TRDs that developed after intravitreal bevacizumab or ranibizumab therapy for vascularly active retinopathy of prematurity. METHODS: This is an international, multicenter, interventional, retrospective, case series. Thirty-five eyes from 23 infants were included. Inclusion required anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatment of Type 1 retinopathy of prematurity with progression to TRD. RESULTS: Mean gestational age was 26 ± 2 weeks, and mean birth weight was 873 ± 341 g. Mean postmenstrual age on the day of injection was 35 ± 2 weeks. Retinal detachment was noted a mean of 70 days (median, 34; range, 4-335) after injection. Eleven percent detached within 1 week, 23% within 2 weeks, and 49% within 4 weeks. The highest stage of retinopathy of prematurity noted was 4A in 29%, 4B in 37%, and 5 in 34% of eyes. Time to RD negatively correlated with postmenstrual age at the time of injection (Rho = -0.54; P < 0.01). Three TRD configurations were observed: 1) conventional peripheral elevated ridge or volcano-shaped Stage 5 detachment, 2) midperipheral detachment with tight circumferential vectors, and 3) very posterior detachment with prepapillary contraction. Full or partial reattachment was achieved with surgical intervention in 86% of eyes. CONCLUSION: Progressive atypical TRD may occur after anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections for retinopathy of prematurity. The configuration of the detachment varies with the extent of primary retinal vascularization present at the time of treatment.
Phanphruk W, Alkharashi M, Bilge A, Hunter DG. Sedated suture adjustment in children undergoing adjustable-suture strabismus surgery. J AAPOS 2017;Abstract
PURPOSE: To study methods and adverse events of postoperative, sedated suture adjustment after strabismus surgery in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU). METHODS: We reviewed the postoperative experience of all children ≤18 years of age undergoing adjustable suture strabismus surgery at Boston Children's Hospital over a 3-year period. Time in the hospital, adverse events, and surgical outcomes were reviewed to evaluate safety and healthcare resource utilization. RESULTS: Of 356 patients, 113 required suture adjustment in the PACU, including 24 adjusted while awake and 89 adjusted under sedation. For sedation, sequential boluses of propofol were administered until adjustment was complete. Complete data from the sedated adjustment was available in 76 patients. The median initial bolus was 30 mg; the median total propofol rate was 273 mcg/kg/min. Twelve patients (16%) required only a single bolus of propofol. Of remaining 64 patients, median time from initial to final propofol dose was 7 minutes. Median anesthesiologist time in the PACU was 13 minutes. In the sedated adjustment group, there were no clinically significant adverse events, and the pain score never exceeded 6 (of a possible 10). Median duration of PACU stay was shortest in the group not requiring adjustment. CONCLUSIONS: Sedated suture adjustment allows for fine-tuning of postoperative binocular alignment in children and uncooperative adults. No adverse events were observed in our study group, but the procedure does increase the time patients spend in the hospital. This work will inform disclosure of risks and benefits of sedated adjustment while allowing for more accurate assessment of the cost and quality of adjustable sutures in children.
Gong Y, Fu Z, Liegl R, Chen J, Hellström A, Smith LEH. ω-3 and ω-6 long-chain PUFAs and their enzymatic metabolites in neovascular eye diseases. Am J Clin Nutr 2017;Abstract
Neovascular eye diseases, including retinopathy of prematurity, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration, threaten the visual health of children and adults. Current treatment options, including anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy and laser retinal photocoagulation, have limitations and are associated with adverse effects; therefore, the identification of additional therapies is highly desirable. Both clinical and experimental studies show that dietary ω-3 (n-3) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) reduce retinal and choroidal angiogenesis. The ω-3 LC-PUFA metabolites from 2 groups of enzymes, cyclooxygenases and lipoxygenases, inhibit [and the ω-6 (n-6) LC-PUFA metabolites promote] inflammation and angiogenesis. However, both of the ω-3 and the ω-6 lipid products of cytochrome P450 oxidase 2C promote neovascularization in both the retina and choroid, which suggests that inhibition of this pathway might be beneficial. This review summarizes our current understanding of the roles of ω-3 and ω-6 LC-PUFAs and their enzymatic metabolites in neovascular eye diseases.
Altschwager P, Moskowitz A, Fulton AB, Hansen RM. Multifocal ERG Responses in Subjects With a History of Preterm Birth. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2017;58(5):2603-2608.Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to assess cone-mediated central retinal function in children with a history of preterm birth, including subjects with and without retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) records activity of the postreceptor retinal circuitry. Methods: mfERG responses were recorded to an array of 103 hexagonal elements that subtended 43° around a central fixation target. The amplitude and latency of the first negative (N1) and first positive (P1) response were evaluated in six concentric rings centered on the fovea. Responses were recorded from 40 subjects with a history of preterm birth (severe ROP, mild ROP, no ROP) and 19 term-born control subjects. Results: The amplitude of N1 and P1 varied significantly with eccentricity and ROP severity. For all four groups, these amplitudes were largest in the center and decreased with eccentricity. At all eccentricities, N1 amplitude was significantly smaller in severe ROP and did not differ significantly among the other three groups (mild ROP, no ROP, term-born controls). P1 amplitude in all preterm groups was significantly smaller than in controls; P1 amplitude was similar in no ROP and mild ROP and significantly smaller in severe ROP. Conclusions: These results provide evidence that premature birth alone affects cone-mediated central retinal function and that the magnitude of the effect varies with severity of the antecedent ROP. The lack of difference in mfERG amplitude between the mild and no ROP groups is evidence that the effect of ROP on the neurosensory retina may not depend solely on appearance of abnormal retinal vasculature.
Alkharashi M, Hunter DG. Reduced surgical success rate of rectus muscle plication compared to resection. J AAPOS 2017;Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the surgical success of rectus muscle plication compared to resection and to compare the short- and long-term changes in ocular alignment after both procedures. METHODS: The medical records of all patients who underwent a rectus muscle tightening procedure (resection or plication) at a single institution over a 5-year period by a single surgeon were reviewed retrospectively. Binocular alignment was recorded before and immediately after surgery and again at 6-12 weeks and final follow-up visit. Primary outcome was surgical success rate, defined as distance alignment of ≤10(Δ) for horizontal and ≤6(Δ) for vertical strabismus. Secondary outcomes were reoperation rate and postoperative alignment drift. RESULTS: A total of 72 surgeries were identified for inclusion: 48 resections and 24 plications. Surgical success was significantly higher in the resection group than in the plication group (89% vs 58%; P = 0.005) at both 6-12 weeks' follow-up (P = 0.005) and at mean final follow-up of 19 ± 13 months (range, 3-56 months [n = 48]; P = 0.03). Reoperations were performed in 3 patients in the plication group (12.5%), all for undercorrection; there were no reoperations in the resection group (P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Rectus muscle plication has many potential advantages over resection, including sparing of the ciliary circulation. In our experience, however, patients treated with plication had lower surgical success rates and a higher reoperation rate. Surgeons should monitor their long-term results before considering plication as their procedure of choice over resection.
Wallace DK, Kraker RT, Freedman SF, Crouch ER, Hutchinson AK, Bhatt AR, Rogers DL, Yang MB, Haider KM, VanderVeen DK, Siatkowski MR, Dean TW, Beck RW, Repka MX, Smith LE, Good WV, Hartnett ME, Kong L, Holmes JM, Holmes JM. Assessment of Lower Doses of Intravitreous Bevacizumab for Retinopathy of Prematurity: A Phase 1 Dosing Study. JAMA Ophthalmol 2017;Abstract

Importance: Intravitreous bevacizumab (0.25 to 0.625 mg) is increasingly used to treat type 1 retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), but there remain concerns about systemic toxicity. A much lower dose may be effective while reducing systemic risk. Objective: To find a dose of intravitreous bevacizumab that was lower than previously used for severe ROP, was effective in this study, and could be tested in future larger studies. Design, Setting, and Participants: Between May 2015 and September 2016, 61 premature infants with type 1 ROP in 1 or both eyes were enrolled in a masked, multicenter, phase 1 dose de-escalation study. One eye of 10 to 14 infants received 0.25 mg of intravitreous bevacizumab. If successful, the dose was reduced for the next group of infants (to 0.125 mg, then 0.063 mg, and finally 0.031 mg). Diluted bevacizumab was delivered using 300 µL syringes with 5/16-inch, 30-gauge fixed needles. Interventions: Bevacizumab injections at 0.25 mg, 0.125 mg, 0.063 mg, and 0.031 mg. Main Outcomes and Measures: Success was defined as improvement in preinjection plus disease or zone I stage 3 ROP by 5 days after injection or sooner, and no recurrence of type 1 ROP or severe neovascularization requiring additional treatment within 4 weeks. Results: Fifty-eight of 61 enrolled infants had 4-week outcomes completed; mean birth weight was 709 g and mean gestational age was 24.9 weeks. Success was achieved in 11 of 11 eyes at 0.25 mg, 14 of 14 eyes at 0.125 mg, 21 of 24 eyes at 0.063 mg, and 9 of 9 eyes at 0.031 mg. Conclusions and Relevance: A dose of bevacizumab as low as 0.031 mg was effective in 9 of 9 eyes in this phase 1 study and warrants further investigation. Identifying a lower effective dose of bevacizumab may reduce the risk for neurodevelopmental disability or detrimental effects on other organs.

VanderVeen DK, Melia M, Yang MB, Hutchinson AK, Wilson LB, Lambert SR. Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Therapy for Primary Treatment of Type 1 Retinopathy of Prematurity: A Report by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Ophthalmology 2017;124(5):619-633.Abstract

PURPOSE: To review the available evidence on the ocular safety and efficacy of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents for the treatment of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) compared with laser photocoagulation therapy. METHODS: A literature search of the PubMed and Cochrane Library databases was conducted last on September 6, 2016, with no date restrictions and limited to articles published in English. This search yielded 311 citations, of which 37 were deemed clinically relevant for full-text review. Thirteen of these were selected for inclusion in this assessment. The panel methodologist assigned ratings to the selected articles according to the level of evidence. RESULTS: Of the 13 citations, 6 articles on 5 randomized clinical trials provided level II evidence supporting the use of anti-VEGF agents, either as monotherapy or in combination with laser therapy. The primary outcome for these articles included recurrence of ROP and the need for retreatment (3 articles), retinal structure (2 articles), and refractive outcome (1 article). Seven articles were comparative case series that provided level III evidence. The primary outcomes included the effects of anti-VEGF treatment on development of peripheral retinal vessels (1 article), refractive outcomes (1 article), or both structural and refractive or visual outcomes (5 articles). CONCLUSIONS: Current level II and III evidence indicates that intravitreal anti-VEGF therapy is as effective as laser photocoagulation for achieving regression of acute ROP. Although there are distinct ocular advantages to anti-VEGF pharmacotherapy for some cases (such as eyes with zone I disease or aggressive posterior ROP), the disadvantages are that the ROP recurrence rate is higher, and vigilant and extended follow-up is needed because retinal vascularization is usually incomplete. After intravitreal injection, bevacizumab can be detected in serum within 1 day, and serum VEGF levels are suppressed for at least 8 to 12 weeks. The effects of lowering systemic VEGF levels on the developing organ systems of premature infants are unknown, and there are limited long-term data on potential systemic and neurodevelopmental effects after anti-VEGF use for ROP treatment. Anti-VEGF agents should be used judiciously and with awareness of the known and unknown or potential side effects.

Wu S, Fan Y, Wu D, Hong J, Xu J. The association of maternal factors with epibulbar dermoid of newborn: a retrospective, matched case-control study. Eye (Lond) 2017;Abstract

PurposeTo determine the association of maternal factors and exposure during pregnancy with the incidence in newborns of epibulbar dermoid (ED), a congenital ocular surface benign tumor.Patients and methodsThis is a retrospective, paired case-control study in which 121 children with ED (case group) and 121 children without ED (control group) were recruited. Questionnaire-based interviews with mothers of participants were performed and maternal medical records during pregnancy were reviewed. The questionnaire investigated basic information, personal history, environmental exposure, exposure to maternal diseases, symptoms and corresponding medical treatments during pregnancy, and parental socioeconomic status. The case and control participants were matched for sex, birth weight, gestational age, and parental socioeconomic status level. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted with ED as the main outcome variable.ResultsFactors significantly associated with ED were: history of maternal inevitable miscarriage (odds ratio (OR), 2.59; 95% confidence intervals (CI), 1.13-5.90), common cold in the first trimester (OR, 3.94; CI, 1.74-8.93), and paternal smoke exposure >half a pack per day during pregnancy (OR, 4.81; CI, 1.74-13.28).ConclusionHistory of maternal miscarriage, common cold exposure in the first trimester, and paternal smoking (>half a pack per day) during pregnancy could result in significant risk factors for ED of newborns. These data also imply that paternal smoking delivers nicotine to maternal respiratory system and uterine microenvironment that may both affect microvascular development and predispose the fetus to future ED.Eye advance online publication, 24 March 2017; doi:10.1038/eye.2017.40.

Oke I, Alkharashi M, Petersen RA, Ashenberg A, Shah AS. Treatment of Ocular Pyogenic Granuloma With Topical Timolol. JAMA Ophthalmol 2017;135(4):383-385.Abstract

Importance: Pyogenic granulomas, acquired vascular lesions, form on the ocular or palpebral surface related to inflammation from chalazia, trauma, or surgery. They can be unsightly, spontaneously bleed, and cause irritation to patients. Observations: A case series is presented of 4 consecutive children with acquired ocular surface pyogenic granulomas treated at Boston Children's Hospital from 2014 to 2016 with only topical timolol, 0.5%, twice daily for a minimum of 21 days. In all cases, complete resolution occurred within the treatment period with no recurrence for at least 3 months. There were no adverse effects from the timolol during follow-up. Conclusions and Relevance: This case series of 4 children, while limited to no greater than 12 weeks of follow-up and without control children, suggests that ocular surface pyogenic granulomas respond to topical timolol treatment, which has a lower adverse-effect profile than conventional topical steroid treatments or other medical or surgical therapies. If confirmed in larger studies with longer follow-up and controls, this may be the desired treatment modality.

Wan MJ, Mantagos IS, Shah AS, Kazlas M, Hunter DG. Comparison of Botulinum Toxin With Surgery for the Treatment of Acute-Onset Comitant Esotropia in Children. Am J Ophthalmol 2017;176:33-39.Abstract

PURPOSE: To determine whether botulinum toxin is as effective as strabismus surgery in the treatment of acute-onset comitant esotropia in children. DESIGN: Retrospective, nonrandomized, comparative clinical study. METHODS: Setting: Tertiary care pediatric hospital. STUDY POPULATION: Forty-nine children with acute-onset comitant esotropia. INTERVENTION: Treatment with either botulinum toxin ("chemodenervation group") or standard incisional strabismus surgery ("surgery group"). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Success rate at 6 months (total horizontal deviation of 10 prism diopters or less and evidence of binocular single vision). RESULTS: There were 16 patients in the chemodenervation group and 33 patients in the surgery group. The success rate was not significantly different at 6 months (81% vs 61%, P = .20) or at 18 months (67% vs 58%, P = .74). The median angle of deviation and median stereoacuity were not significantly different at 6 or 18 months. The chemodenervation procedure was not inferior to incisional strabismus surgery at 6 months. The duration of general anesthesia (5 vs 71 min, P < .001) and time in the post-anesthesia care unit (37 vs 93 min, P < .001) were significantly shorter in the chemodenervation group. Botulinum toxin injection payment averaged $874 per procedure compared with $2783 for strabismus surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Botulinum toxin is at least as effective as surgery in the treatment of acute-onset comitant esotropia at 6 months while reducing the duration of general anesthesia and healthcare costs.

Gradstein L, Hansen RM, Cox GF, Altschwager P, Fulton AB. Progressive retinal degeneration in a girl with Knobloch syndrome who presented with signs of ocular albinism. Doc Ophthalmol 2017;134(2):135-140.Abstract

PURPOSE: We report for the first time electroretinographic (ERG) evidence of progressive retinal abnormalities in a girl who presented in infancy with ocular features of albinism and gradually developed choroidal sclerosis and patchy retinal atrophy leading to a diagnosis of Knobloch syndrome (KS, OMIM 267750, COL18A1). METHODS: At age 2 months, nystagmus and esotropia prompted ophthalmic evaluation. The appearance of choroidal sclerosis and atrophic retinal patches led to further evaluation at age 8 years. Genetics consultation was obtained in infancy and again at age 8 years as retinal findings evolved. Full field ERG responses in both scotopic and photopic conditions were recorded at both ages and compared to those in healthy control subjects. RESULTS: At age 2 months ERG response parameters were within normal limits for age and tyrosinase (TYR) gene sequencing revealed one novel mutation, p.S466F, and the temperature-sensitive polymorphism, p.R402Q, suggesting the diagnosis of oculocutaneous albinism type 1 (OCA1). At age 8 years, there was significant attenuation of both scotopic and photopic ERG responses. Genetic re-analysis led to the identification of a homozygous mutation, c.3213dupC, in the COL18A1 gene, thus confirming the diagnosis of Knobloch syndrome. CONCLUSIONS: Our patient with Knobloch syndrome developed abnormal ERG responses similar to those found in col18a1 knockout mice. Thus, we have documented progressive attenuation of the scotopic and photopic responses in KS.

Alkharashi M, Fulton AB. Available Evidence on Leber Congenital Amaurosis and Gene Therapy. Semin Ophthalmol 2017;32(1):14-21.Abstract

Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) is a group of severe inherited retinal dystrophies that lead to early childhood blindness. In the last decade, interest in LCA has increased as advances in genetics have been applied to better identify, classify, and treat LCA. To date, 23 LCA genes have been identified. Gene replacement in the RPE65 form of LCA represents a major advance in treatment, although limitations have been recognized. In this article, we review the clinical and genetic features of LCA and evaluate the evidence available for gene therapy in RPE65 disease.

Gilbert AL, Hunter DG. Duane syndrome with prominent oculo-auricular phenomenon. J AAPOS 2017;21(2):165-167.Abstract

Duane syndrome is a congenital cranial dysinnervation disorder involving absent or anomalous innervation of the lateral and medial rectus muscles that is sometimes associated with other manifestations of dysinnervation. We describe a patient with right esotropic Duane syndrome with a long-standing retroauricular tugging sensation in right gaze who was noted to have prominent ipsilateral oculo-auricular phenomenon, representing either abnormal enhancement of existing innervation or an uncommon dysinnervation. After successful strabismus surgery the tugging sensation improved but the phenomenon could still be elicited.

Nihalani BR, VanderVeen DK. Benchmarks for outcome indicators in pediatric cataract surgery. Eye (Lond) 2017;31(3):417-421.Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this study was to establish benchmarks for outcome indicators that may help ascertain the quality of pediatric cataract surgery with primary intraocular lens (IOL) implantation.Patients and methodsA retrospective chart review of patients older than 2 years undergoing cataract surgery with primary IOL implantation, by multiple surgeons in a tertiary-care center, from November 2005 to February 2016 was conducted. Patients with ocular comorbidities that would affect the outcomes were excluded. The outcome measures chosen were as follows: (1) final best corrected Snellen visual acuity (BCVA) in patients who had bilateral cataract surgery analyzed at the last clinic visit; (2) prediction error (PE)=expected refraction-actual refraction. Mean PE and mean absolute PE were assessed 1 month postoperatively, irrespective of age or laterality.ResultsMean age at surgery was 8.3±4.6 years and mean follow-up duration was 3.7±2.7 years. The results of outcome measures were as follows: (1) BCVA was 20/40 or better in 96% (n=124 eyes, mean patient age: 8.3±4.6 years). Remaining five eyes had amblyopia with two eyes having BCVA worse than 20/100 that did not respond to amblyopia treatment. (2) Mean PE was 0.3±1.1 D and mean absolute PE was 0.9±0.7 D. PE was within ±0.5 D in 43.0%, ±1.0 D in 66%, and ±2.0 D in 95% (n=235 eyes).ConclusionGood visual acuity after cataract surgery should be expected for children with bilateral cataracts, setting a high benchmark similar to that recommended in adult cataract surgery. Prediction error is greater in pediatric eyes than in adult eyes, setting a lower benchmark. This study establishes benchmark for outcome indicators in pediatric patients older than 2 years undergoing cataract surgery with primary IOL implantation.

Avery RA, Katowitz JA, Fisher MJ, Heidary G, Dombi E, Packer RJ, Widemann BC, Widemann BC. Orbital/Periorbital Plexiform Neurofibromas in Children with Neurofibromatosis Type 1: Multidisciplinary Recommendations for Care. Ophthalmology 2017;124(1):123-132.Abstract

TOPIC: Children and adults with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a common autosomal dominant condition, manifest a variety of ophthalmologic conditions. Plexiform neurofibromas (PNs) involving the eyelid, orbit, periorbital, and facial structures (orbital-periorbital plexiform neurofibroma [OPPN]) can result in significant visual loss in children. Equally important, OPPNs can cause significant alteration in physical appearance secondary to proptosis, ptosis, and facial disfigurement, leading to social embarrassment and decreased self-esteem. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Although NF1 is a relatively common disease in which routine ophthalmologic examinations are required, no formal recommendations for clinical care of children with OPPNs exist. Although medical and surgical interventions have been reported, there are no agreed-on criteria for when OPPNs require therapy and which treatment produces the best outcome. METHODS: Because a multidisciplinary team of specialists (oculofacial plastics, pediatric ophthalmology, neuro-ophthalmology, medical genetics, and neuro-oncology) direct management decisions, the absence of a uniform outcome measure that represents visual or aesthetic sequelae complicates the design of evidence-based studies and feasible clinical trials. RESULTS: In September 2013, a multidisciplinary task force, composed of pediatric practitioners from tertiary care centers experienced in caring for children with OPPN, was convened to address the lack of clinical care guidelines for children with OPPN. CONCLUSIONS: This consensus statement provides recommendations for ophthalmologic monitoring, outlines treatment indications and forthcoming biologic therapy, and discusses challenges to performing clinical trials in this complicated condition.