PDGFRβ plays an essential role in patient vitreous-stimulated contraction of retinal pigment epithelial cells from epiretinal membranes. Exp Eye Res 2020;:108116.Abstract.
Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) is associated with clinical proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), which is characterized by formation of sub- or epi-retinalmembranes that consist of cells including retinal pigment epithelial （ RPE ） cells and extracellular matrix. RPE cells play an important role in PVR pathogenesis. Previous findings indicated that PDGF receptor (PDGFR)α was essential in experimental PVR induced by fibroblasts. In RPE cells derived from epiretinal membranes from patients with PVR (RPEMs) ， Akt was activated by PDGF-B but not PDGF-A, which suggested that PDGFRβ was the predominant PDGFR isoform expressed in RPEMs. Indeed, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated depletion of PDGFRβ attenuated patient vitreous-induced Akt activation and cellular responses intrinsic to PVR including cell proliferation, migration, and contraction. We conclude that PDGFRβ appears to be the relevant PDGFR isoform in RPEMs.
Two-year results of intravitreal injections of aflibercept in Coats' Disease; a case report. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2020;Abstract.
PURPOSE: To report long term results of treatment with intravitreal injections of aflibercept in a newly diagnosed case of Coats' disease. CASE REPORT: An 18-year-old man presented to the Retina Clinic of our Hospital complaining of blurred vision in the right eye (OD) for the past 3 months. His past medical and ocular history were unremarkable. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was 20/200 OD and 20/20 in the left eye. Fundoscopy in OD revealed extensive macular edema with a circinate ring of hard exudates in the posterior pole temporally to the macula. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) demonstrated macular edema with subretinal fluid. Peripheral telangiectasias and light bulb aneurysms in the inferior temporal arcade, as well as in the nasal far periphery were found in OD in fluorescein angiography (FA), confirming the diagnosis of stage 2B Coats' disease. The left eye was normal. The original therapeutic strategy proposed was anti-VEGF injections in OD followed by laser photocoagulation. However, the patient did not consent to laser treatment and was treated with aflibercept monotherapy with 8 monthly intravitreal injections of aflibercept followed by 6 injections every 2 months for a total of 14 injections over a period of 2 years. The BCVA in OD improved to 20/25 while OCT imaging revealed significant decrease in retinal thickness with resolution of macular edema and FA demonstrated prominent regression of aneurysms and leakage. CONCLUSION: To our knowledge this is the first case treated with aflibercept monotherapy, suggesting the significant role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in vascular permeability in Coats' and supporting the rationale that anti-VEGFs are a valuable therapeutic option for Coats' disease.
Late-Onset Retinal Findings and Complications in Untreated Retinopathy of Prematurity. Ophthalmol Retina 2020;4(6):602-612.Abstract.
PURPOSE: To investigate late retinal findings and complications of eyes with a history of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) that did not meet treatment criteria and did not receive treatment during infancy. DESIGN: Retrospective, nonconsecutive, noncomparative, multicenter case series. PARTICIPANTS: Three hundred sixty-three eyes of 186 patients. METHODS: Data were requested from multiple providers on premature patients with a history of ROP and no treatment during infancy who demonstrated late retinal findings or complications and included age, gender, gestational age and weight, zone and stage at infancy, visual acuity, current retina vascularization status, vitreous character, presence of peripheral retinal findings such as lattice retinal tears and detachments (RDs), retinoschisis, and fluorescein findings. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Rate of RDs and factors conferring a higher risk of RDs. RESULTS: The average age was 34.5 years (range, 7-76 years), average gestational age was 26.6 weeks (range, 23-34 weeks), and average birth weight was 875 g (range, 425-1590 g). Findings included lattice in 196 eyes (54.0%), atrophic holes in 126 eyes (34.7%), retinal tears in 111 eyes (30.6%), RDs in 140 eyes (38.6 %), tractional retinoschisis in 44 eyes (11.9%), and visible vitreous condensation ridge-like interface in 112 eyes (30.5%). Fluorescein angiography (FA) was performed in 113 eyes, of which 59 eyes (52.2%) showed leakage and 16 eyes (14.2%) showed neovascularization. Incomplete vascularization posterior to zone 3 was common (71.6% of eyes). Retinal detachments were more likely in patients with a gestational age of 29 weeks or less (P < 0.05) and in eyes with furthest vascularization to posterior zone 2 eyes compared with zone 3 eyes (P = 0.009). CONCLUSIONS: Eyes with ROP not meeting the treatment threshold during infancy showed various late retinal findings and complications, of which RDs were the most concerning. Complications were seen in all age groups, including patients born after the Early Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity Study. Contributing factors to RDs included atrophic holes within peripheral avascular retina, visible vitreous condensation ridge-like interface with residual traction, and premature vitreous syneresis. We recommend regular examinations and consideration of ultra-widefield FA examinations. Prospective studies are needed to explore the frequency of complications and benefit of prophylactic treatment and if eyes treated with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy are at risk of similar findings and complications.
Cell Atlas of The Human Fovea and Peripheral Retina. Sci Rep 2020;10(1):9802.Abstract.
Most irreversible blindness results from retinal disease. To advance our understanding of the etiology of blinding diseases, we used single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) to analyze the transcriptomes of ~85,000 cells from the fovea and peripheral retina of seven adult human donors. Utilizing computational methods, we identified 58 cell types within 6 classes: photoreceptor, horizontal, bipolar, amacrine, retinal ganglion and non-neuronal cells. Nearly all types are shared between the two retinal regions, but there are notable differences in gene expression and proportions between foveal and peripheral cohorts of shared types. We then used the human retinal atlas to map expression of 636 genes implicated as causes of or risk factors for blinding diseases. Many are expressed in striking cell class-, type-, or region-specific patterns. Finally, we compared gene expression signatures of cell types between human and the cynomolgus macaque monkey, Macaca fascicularis. We show that over 90% of human types correspond transcriptomically to those previously identified in macaque, and that expression of disease-related genes is largely conserved between the two species. These results validate the use of the macaque for modeling blinding disease, and provide a foundation for investigating molecular mechanisms underlying visual processing.
Mislocalization of cone nuclei impairs cone function in mice. FASEB J 2020;Abstract.
The nuclei of cone photoreceptors are located on the apical side of the outer nuclear layer (ONL) in vertebrate retinas. However, the functional role of this evolutionarily conserved localization of cone nuclei is unknown. We previously showed that Linkers of the Nucleoskeleton to the Cytoskeleton (LINC complexes) are essential for the apical migration of cone nuclei during development. Here, we developed an efficient genetic strategy to disrupt cone LINC complexes in mice. Experiments with animals from both sexes revealed that disrupting cone LINC complexes resulted in mislocalization of cone nuclei to the basal side of ONL in mouse retina. This, in turn, disrupted cone pedicle morphology, and appeared to reduce the efficiency of synaptic transmission from cones to bipolar cells. Although we did not observe other developmental or phototransduction defects in cones with mislocalized nuclei, their dark adaptation was impaired, consistent with a deficiency in chromophore recycling. These findings demonstrate that the apical localization of cone nuclei in the ONL is required for the timely dark adaptation and efficient synaptic transmission in cone photoreceptors.
Validation of a vision-related activity scale for patients with retinitis pigmentosa. Health Qual Life Outcomes 2020;18(1):196.Abstract.
PURPOSE: There have been few systematic reports of vision-related activity limitations of people with retinitis pigmentosa (RP). We report a merging of data from the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI-VFQ) obtained in five previous studies. We asked whether the Vision Function Scale (VFS; Pesudovs et al., 2010) which was developed for cataract patients would apply in this new population (condition). METHODS: Five hundred ninety-four individuals completed a total of 1753 questionnaires, with 209 participants providing responses over at least 4 years. Rasch analysis showed that the 15-item VFS was poorly targeted. A new instrument created by adding four driving-related items to the VFS had better targeting. As an indirect validation, VFS-plus person scores were compared to visual field area measured using a Goldmann perimeter, to the summed score for the combined 30-2 and 30/60-1 Humphrey Field Analyzer programs (HFA), to 30-Hz full-field cone electroretinogram (ERG) amplitude, and to ETDRS visual acuity. Changes in VFS-plus person scores with age and between four common heredity groups were also examined. RESULTS: The Rasch model of responses to the 19 VFS-plus items had person and item separation of 2.66 and 24.43 respectively. The VFS-plus person scores were related to each vision measure (p < 0.001). Over a five-year period, there was a reduction in person scores of 0.5 logits (p < 0.001). Person scores fell by an average of 0.34 logits per decade (p < 0.0001). Participants with an X-linked hereditary pattern had, on average, lower person scores (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The VFS-plus instrument quantified a highly-significant annual reduction in perceived vision-related ability over a five-year period. The outcome was consistent with clinical measures of vision, and detected lower perceived vision-related ability in participants with X-linked disease. It may be of use in future studies, but this needs to be tested in a representative population sample.
Validation of the Retinopathy of Prematurity Activity Scale (ROP-ActS) using retrospective clinical data. Acta Ophthalmol 2020;Abstract.
PURPOSE: The International Neonatal Consortium recently published a proposed retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) activity scale intended for use in clinical trials after validation. The aim of this study was to validate the ROP activity scale (ROP-ActS) in a ROP screened cohort with protocol based collected data by evaluating the ability of the ROP-Act scores to predict ROP treatment. In addition, we aimed to evaluate the scale's sensitivity characteristic of disease severity by studying association with gestational age (GA) in comparison with conventionally used ROP stage and zone. METHODS: A cohort of 535 preterm infants with 3324 ROP examinations with an end-point of ROP treatment or end of screening in Gothenburg, Sweden, was included. Median GA was 28.1 weeks, 47.5% were girls, and 74 (13.8%) infants were treated for ROP. The validation was performed by estimating probabilities for ROP treatment, and by applying logistic and linear regression. RESULTS: The original ROP-ActS was overall well-ordered with respect to ability to predict ROP treatment but could be improved by re-ordering score 3 (zone II stage 1) and 5 (zone III stage 3) based on our clinical cohort data. The modified ROP-ActS was superior to ROP stage and zone in the prediction analysis of ROP treatment. Modified ROP-ActS was more strongly related to GA than currently used ROP stage, but not zone. CONCLUSION: In the studied cohort, the modified ROP-ActS could better predict ROP treatment compared to ROP stage and zone. Retinopathy of Prematurity Activity Scale (ROP-ActS) had a superior sensitivity characteristic studied through association to GA than conventionally used ROP stage.
Lutein Supplementation for Eye Diseases. Nutrients 2020;12(6)Abstract.
Lutein is one of the few xanthophyll carotenoids that is found in high concentration in the macula of human retina. As synthesis of lutein within the human body is impossible, lutein can only be obtained from diet. It is a natural substance abundant in egg yolk and dark green leafy vegetables. Many basic and clinical studies have reported lutein's anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties in the eye, suggesting its beneficial effects on protection and alleviation of ocular diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, myopia, and cataract. Most importantly, lutein is categorized as Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS), posing minimal side-effects upon long term consumption. In this review, we will discuss the chemical structure and properties of lutein as well as its application and safety as a nutritional supplement. Finally, the effects of lutein consumption on the aforementioned eye diseases will be reviewed.
Intravenous Fibrinolysis for Central Retinal Artery Occlusion: A Cohort Study and Updated Patient-Level Meta-Analysis. Stroke 2020;51(7):2018-2025.Abstract.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Central retinal artery occlusion results in sudden, painless, usually permanent loss of vision in the affected eye. There is no proven, effective treatment to salvage visual acuity and a clear, unmet need for an effective therapy. In this work, we evaluated the efficacy of intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator (IV alteplase) in a prospective cohort study and an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. METHODS: We enrolled consecutive patients with acute central retinal artery occlusion within 48 hours of symptoms onset and with a visual acuity of <20/200 from January 2009 until May 2019. The primary outcomes were safety and functional visual acuity recovery. We compared rates of visual recovery between those treated with alteplase within 4.5 hours of symptom onset to those who did not receive alteplase (including an analysis restricted to untreated patients presenting within the window for treatment). We incorporated these results into an updated systematic review and patient-level meta-analysis. RESULTS: We enrolled 112 patients, of whom 25 (22.3% of the cohort) were treated with IV alteplase. One patient had an asymptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage after IV alteplase treatment. Forty-four percent of alteplase-treated patients had recovery of visual acuity when treated within 4.5 hours versus 13.1% of those not treated with alteplase (=0.003) and 11.6% of those presenting within 4 hours who did not receive alteplase (=0.03). Our updated patient-level meta-analysis of 238 patients included 67 patients treated with alteplase within 4.5 hours since time last known well with a recovery rate of 37.3%. This favorably compares with a 17.7% recovery rate in those without treatment. In linear regression, earlier treatment correlated with a higher rate of visual recovery (=0.01). CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that the administration of intravenous alteplase within 4.5 hours of symptom onset is associated with a higher likelihood of a favorable visual outcome for acute central retinal artery occlusion. Our results strongly support proceeding to a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
Biallelic -associated retinal dystrophies: Expanding the mutational and clinical spectrum. Mol Vis 2020;26:423-433.Abstract.
Purpose: To evaluate the phenotypic spectrum of autosomal recessive associated retinal dystrophies and assess genotypic associations. Methods: A retrospective multicenter study was performed of patients with biallelic -associated retinal dystrophies. Data including presenting symptoms and age, visual acuity, kinetic perimetry, full field electroretinogram, fundus examination, multimodal retinal imaging, and genotype were evaluated. Results: Nineteen eligible patients from 17 families were identified and ranged in age from 10 to 56 years at the most recent evaluation. Ten of the 21 unique variants identified were novel, and mutations within exon 2 accounted for nearly half of alleles across the cohort. Patients had clinical diagnoses of retinitis pigmentosa (13), cone-rod dystrophy (3), Leber congenital amaurosis (1), early-onset severe retinal dystrophy (1), and macular dystrophy (1). Macular atrophy was a common feature across the cohort. Symptom onset occurred between 4 and 30 years of age (mean 14.9 years, median 13 years), but there were clusters of onset age that correlated with the effects of mutations at a protein level. Patients with later-onset disease, including retinitis pigmentosa, had at least one missense variant in an exon 2 DCX domain. Conclusions: Biallelic mutations cause a broad spectrum of retinal disease. Exon 2 missense mutations are a significant contributor to disease and can be associated with a considerably later onset of retinitis pigmentosa than that typically associated with biallelic mutations.
POSTERIORLY INSERTED VITREOUS BASE: Preoperative Characteristics, Intraoperative Findings, and Outcomes After Vitrectomy. Retina 2020;40(5):943-950.Abstract.
PURPOSE: To determine the preoperative characteristics, intraoperative and postoperative complications, and outcomes of eyes with posteriorly inserted vitreous base. METHODS: In this retrospective, observational, consecutive case series at 2 academic centers, 37 patients were studied who had posteriorly inserted vitreous base noted during vitrectomy. Posteriorly inserted vitreous base was defined as the insertion of the posterior hyaloid membrane being located posterior to the vortex veins. Fifteen eyes were analyzed in a histopathologic study of donor eyes to determine the average distance of the ora serrata from the vortex veins as this distance is uncertain. RESULTS: Posteriorly inserted vitreous base was identified during vitrectomy in 31 eyes with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (84%), 4 with macular hole (11%), 1 with vitreous hemorrhage, and 1 with epiretinal membrane. Adjunctive buckle was used in 24%; 54% had 360° laser. Average number of tears seen preoperatively in those with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment was 3.1. Thirty percent had new breaks identified intraoperatively. Forty-one percent had lattice degeneration; new breaks were found in 40% of eyes with lattice. Thirteen percent of rhegmatogenous retinal detachments developed proliferative vitreoretinopathy. Average distance from the ora serrata to the vortex veins was 7.6 mm. CONCLUSION: Any eye undergoing vitrectomy may have posteriorly inserted vitreous base, but those with a high number of retinal breaks and lattice near the equator may be at highest risk. Redetachment and proliferative vitreoretinopathy still occur despite knowledge of the disorder and adjuvant treatments.
CD4 T Cell Responses Mediate Progressive Neurodegeneration in Experimental Ischemic Retinopathy. Am J Pathol 2020;Abstract.
Retinal ischemic events as a result of occlusion of the ocular vasculature share similar etiologies of central nervous system (CNS) stroke and are among the most common cause of acute and irreversible vision loss in elderly patients. Currently, there is no established treatment, and the condition often leaves patients with seriously impaired vision or blindness. The immune system, particularly T cell-mediated responses, is thought to be intricately involved, but their exact roles remain elusive. Here we showed that acute ischemia/reperfusion injury to the retina induced a prolonged phase of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss that continued to progress over 8 weeks post procedure. This was accompanied by microglial activation and CD4 T cell infiltration into the retina. Adoptive transfer of CD4 T cells isolated from diseased mice exacerbated RGC loss in mice with retinal reperfusion damage. Whereas, T cell deficiency or administration of T cell or interferon-γ neutralizing antibody attenuated RGC degeneration and retinal function loss after injury. These findings demonstrate a crucial role for T cell-mediated responses in the pathogenesis of neural ischemia. They point to novel therapeutic targets of limiting or preventing neuron and function loss for currently untreatable conditions of optic neuropathy and/or CNS ischemic stroke.
Henle fibre layer haemorrhage: clinical features and pathogenesis. Br J Ophthalmol 2020;Abstract.
BACKGROUND: To describe the clinical presentation and characteristic imaging features of deep retinal haemorrhages primarily located in the Henle fibre layer (HFL) of the macula. The spectrum of aetiologies and a comprehensive theory of pathogenesis are presented. METHODS: This is a retrospective, multicentre case series evaluating eyes with retinal haemorrhage in HFL. Clinical features, underlying aetiology, systemic and ocular risk factors, visual acuity, and multimodal imaging including fundus photography and cross-sectional and en face optical coherence tomography (OCT) are presented. RESULTS: Retinal haemorrhages localised to HFL in 33 eyes from 23 patients were secondary to acute blunt trauma to the head (n=2), eye (n=1) and trunk (n=1), ruptured intracranial aneurysm (Terson's syndrome, n=3), general anaesthesia (n=1), epidural anaesthesia (n=1), hypertension with anaemia (n=1), decompression retinopathy (n=1), postvitrectomy with intraocular gas (n=1), retinal vein occlusion (n=7), myopic degeneration (n=2), macular telangiectasia type 2 (n=1), and polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (n=1). Defining clinical features included deep retinal haemorrhage with feathery margin and petaloid pattern radiating from the fovea. OCT demonstrated characteristic hyper-reflectivity from the haemorrhage delineated by obliquely oriented fibres in the Henle layer. Spontaneous resolution of HFL haemorrhage occurred after 3 months in 15 patients with follow-up. CONCLUSION: The characteristic petaloid-shaped, deep intraretinal haemorrhage with a feathery margin localised to HFL is associated with various disorders. The terminology 'Henle fiber layer hemorrhage (HH)' is proposed to describe the clinical and OCT findings, which may result from abnormal retinal venous pressure from systemic or local retinovascular disorders affecting the deep capillary plexus or from choroidal vascular abnormalities.