Reddy AK, Gonzalez MA, Henry CR, Yeh S, Sobrin L, Albini TA. Diagnostic Sensitivity of Indocyanine Green Angiography for Birdshot Chorioretinopathy. JAMA Ophthalmol 2015;133(7):840-3.Abstract

IMPORTANCE: To describe a cohort of patients with birdshot chorioretinopathy who did not manifest birdshot lesions on clinical examination but had retinal vasculitis, low-grade to moderate vitritis, and hypocyanescent lesions on indocyanine green angiography (ICGA). OBSERVATIONS: Case series of 3 patients with mild to moderate vitritis and retinal vasculitis without definite birdshot lesions on clinical examination evaluated from January 2007 to December 2014 at 4 academic ophthalmology centers. All patients' results were positive for human leukocyte antigen-A29. All cases had hypocyanescent lesions visible on ICGA but not detectable on fluorescein angiography. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Patients with retinal vasculitis and low-grade vitritis with or without macular edema may have birdshot chorioretinopathy evident on ICGA before lesions are visible on clinical examination or fluorescein angiography. Expanding birdshot chorioretinopathy diagnostic criteria to include the presence of hypocyanescent lesions on ICGA could improve the sensitivity of diagnosis.


PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy of systemic infliximab for the induction of remission in patients with retinal vasculitis, inadequately responsive to other immunomodulatory therapy, based on fluorescein angiography grading for retinal vasculitis evaluation. METHODS: We analyzed 60 patients with retinal vasculitis, from the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution in Cambridge, MA. Response to therapy was based on analysis of serial fluorescein angiography and fundus photography, including a baseline angiogram before initiation of infliximab. RESULTS: Sixty patients received infliximab therapy between July 2007 and July 2012 at Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution for a diagnosis of retinal vasculitis. All had previously showed a poor clinical response to other immunomodulatory regimens, or ceased therapy due to intolerable side effects. The initial dose of infliximab was 5 mg/kg in all patients and remained at this dose for the extent of treatment in 57 (95%) patients. At 6 months, 45 of 51 (88.23%) patients were maintaining remission with therapy, 5 (9.8%) were in partial remission, and 1 patient had failed. At 12 months, 39 of 39 (100%) patients were maintaining remission with therapy. CONCLUSION: Infliximab is effective for the treatment of recalcitrant noninfectious retinal vasculitis, refractory to conventional immunomodulatory therapy.

Vodopivec I, Venna N, Rizzo JF, Prasad S. Clinical features, diagnostic findings, and treatment of Susac syndrome: A case series. J Neurol Sci 2015;357(1-2):50-7.Abstract

BACKGROUND: Susac syndrome (SS) is a rare, presumed autoimmune condition characterized by the clinical triad of branch retinal artery occlusions (BRAOs), encephalopathy, and sensorineural hearing loss. The aim of this study was to evaluate clinical features, diagnostic results, treatment, and outcomes in SS. METHODS: Five patients with SS were referred to three tertiary care centers in Boston. The observation period across these patients was 7-57months. RESULTS: At initial presentation, none of the patients demonstrated the complete triad of BRAO, sensorineural hearing loss, and encephalopathy. The interval between symptom onset and diagnosis of SS was 4-30weeks. Brain MRI findings thought to be characteristic of SS (including callosal fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) hyperintense and T1 hypointense lesions) were frequently absent. Microinfarcts noted on diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), BRAOs and vessel wall hyperfluorescence on fluorescein angiography (FA) were present in all cases in the acute encephalopathic phase. All patients treated with glucocorticoids and intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg) alone experienced further clinical progression until additional immunosuppressive therapy was instituted. CONCLUSIONS: The rarity of SS, its incomplete and variable presentation, and the nonspecific imaging findings invariably led to delayed diagnosis. DWI and FA should be used to identify the acute microvascular injury and monitor treatment response. Immunomodulatory agents more potent than glucocorticoids and IVIg might be required to control the disease.

Silva PS, Aiello LP. Reply. Retina 2015;35(7):e37-8.
Sweigard HJ, Matsumoto H, Smith KE, Kim LA, Paschalis EI, Okonuki Y, Castillejos A, Kataoka K, Hasegawa E, Yanai R, Husain D, Lambris JD, Vavvas D, Miller JW, Connor KM. Inhibition of the alternative complement pathway preserves photoreceptors after retinal injury. Sci Transl Med 2015;7(297):297ra116.Abstract

Degeneration of photoreceptors is a primary cause of vision loss worldwide, making the underlying mechanisms surrounding photoreceptor cell death critical to developing new treatment strategies. Retinal detachment, characterized by the separation of photoreceptors from the underlying retinal pigment epithelium, is a sight-threatening event that can happen in a number of retinal diseases. The detached photoreceptors undergo apoptosis and programmed necrosis. Given that photoreceptors are nondividing cells, their loss leads to irreversible visual impairment even after successful retinal reattachment surgery. To better understand the underlying disease mechanisms, we analyzed innate immune system regulators in the vitreous of human patients with retinal detachment and correlated the results with findings in a mouse model of retinal detachment. We identified the alternative complement pathway as promoting early photoreceptor cell death during retinal detachment. Photoreceptors down-regulate membrane-bound inhibitors of complement, allowing for selective targeting by the alternative complement pathway. When photoreceptors in the detached retina were removed from the primary source of oxygen and nutrients (choroidal vascular bed), the retina became hypoxic, leading to an up-regulation of complement factor B, a key mediator of the alternative pathway. Inhibition of the alternative complement pathway in knockout mice or through pharmacological means ameliorated photoreceptor cell death during retinal detachment. Our current study begins to outline the mechanism by which the alternative complement pathway facilitates photoreceptor cell death in the damaged retina.

Hoshi S, Okamoto F, Arai M, Hirose T, Sugiura Y, Kaji Y, Oshika T. In Vivo and In Vitro Feasibility Studies of Intraocular Use of Polyethylene Glycol-Based Synthetic Sealant to Close Retinal Breaks in Porcine and Rabbit Eyes. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2015;56(8):4705-11.Abstract

PURPOSE: Absorbable polyethylene glycol-based synthetic sealant (PEG sealant) polymerizes under xenon illumination and forms a clear, flexible, and firmly adherent hydrogel. The intraocular biocompatibility of PEG sealant and efficacy for closing retinal breaks were evaluated. METHODS: In an in vitro study, retinal detachment with a tear was created in porcine eyecups after vitreous gel removal. Polyethylene glycol-based synthetic sealant was applied to cover the tear and polymerized with a 40-second application of xenon light. Retinal adhesion strength was tested by forcefully squirting balanced salt solution (BSS) onto the retinal tear. Polyethylene glycol-based synthetic sealant was soaked in the BSS, incubated at 37°C, and the pH measured periodically over 72 hours. In an in vivo study, PEG sealant was injected into the vitreous cavity of the left eyes of rabbits. Ophthalmologic examinations were performed and bilateral ERGs were recorded simultaneously before and 28 days after injection. The eyes were enucleated for histological evaluation. RESULTS: Adhesion of PEG sealant to the retina was good in BSS. A forceful squirt of BSS onto the retinal tear covered with PEG sealant did not detach the retina; the retinal tear without PEG sealant detached immediately. The pH of the BSS containing PEG sealant was between 7.2 and 8.2. No inflammatory reaction was observed in the eyes throughout 28 days of follow-up. The ERGs recorded before and after injection showed typical patterns. Histological examinations did not reveal any abnormality or inflammation. CONCLUSIONS: Polyethylene glycol-based synthetic sealant appeared to effectively seal retinal breaks and was not toxic to the eye.

Lim LS, Ng WY, Wong D, Wong E, Yeo I, Ang CL, Kim L, Vavvas D, Lee SY. Prognostic factor analysis of vitrectomy for myopic foveoschisis. Br J Ophthalmol 2015;99(12):1639-43.Abstract

PURPOSE: To describe the anatomical and functional outcomes in a cohort of subjects undergoing vitrectomy for myopic foveoschisis, and to analyse the factors predicting foveal reattachment and visual improvement. METHODS: This retrospective case series evaluated case records and optical coherence tomography images 6 months after surgery. Multivariate linear and logistic regressions were performed to assess the factors predicting anatomical and visual improvement. RESULTS: In total, 55 eyes of 54 patients were analysed. The mean spherical equivalent refraction was -11.83±4.94D. Foveal detachment was present in 63.5% of eyes preoperatively and subjects with foveal detachment had 0.70 logMAR units (95% CI 0.02 to 1.39) poorer visual acuity than subjects without (p=0.046). The mean preoperative visual acuity was 0.84±0.59 logMAR units and the mean postoperative visual acuity was 0.64±0.64 logMAR units (mean difference 0.20±0.68 logMAR units (p=0.04)). The proportion of eyes with foveal detachment was significantly lower after surgery (12.5%; p<0.001). However, the proportion of eyes with ellipsoid zone disruption was significantly higher after surgery (59.6% vs 34.0%; p<0.001). In multivariate analyses, the preoperative central foveal thickness significantly predicted postoperative visual improvement by two or more lines (OR 1.004 (95% CI 1.000 to 1.007), per μm increase; p=0.049). The presence of ellipsoid zone disruption preoperatively was associated with 0.96 logMAR (95% CI 0.2 to 1.72) poorer final acuity (p=0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Eyes with myopic foveoschisis with preoperative ellipsoid disruption and thinner central foveal thickness tend to have poorer visual outcomes. While current surgical manoeuvres are effective in reattaching the fovea, they may also cause iatrogenic injury to the photoreceptors.

Yu D, Zheng J, Zhu R, Wu N, Guan A, Cho K-S, Chen DF, Luo G. Computer-aided analyses of mouse retinal OCT images - an actual application report. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2015;35(4):442-9.Abstract

PURPOSE: There is a need for automated retinal optical coherence tomography (OCT) image analysis tools for quantitative measurements in small animals. Some image processing techniques for retinal layer analysis have been developed, but reports about how useful those techniques are in actual animal studies are rare. This paper presents the use of a retinal layer detection method we developed in an actual mouse study that involves wild type and mutated mice carrying photoreceptor degeneration. METHODS: Spectral domain OCT scanning was performed by four experimenters over 12 months on 45 mouse eyes that were wild-type, deficient for ephrin-A2 and ephrin-A3, deficient for rhodopsin, or deficient for rhodopsin, ephrin-A2 and ephrin-A3. The thickness of photoreceptor complex between the outer plexiform layer and retinal pigment epithelium was measured on two sides of the optic disc as the biomarker of retinal degeneration. All the layer detection results were visually confirmed. RESULTS: Overall, 96% (8519 out of 9000) of the half-side images were successfully processed using our technique in a semi-automatic manner. There was no significant difference in success rate between mouse lines (p = 0.91). Based on a human observer's rating of image quality for images successfully and unsuccessfully processed, the odds ratios for 'easily visible' images and 'not clear' images to be successfully processed is 62 and 4, respectively, against 'indistinguishable' images. Thickness of photoreceptor complex was significantly different across the quadrants compared (p < 0.001). It was also found that the average thickness based on 4-point sparse sampling was not significantly different from the full analysis, while the range of differences between the two methods could be up to about 6 μm or 16% for individual eyes. Differences between mouse lines and progressive thickness reduction were revealed by both sampling measures. CONCLUSIONS: Although the thickness of the photoreceptor complex layer is not even, manual sparse sampling may be as sufficiently accurate as full analysis in some studies such as ours, where the error of sparse sampling was much smaller than the effect size of rhodopsin deficiency. It is also suggested that the image processing method can be useful in actual animal studies. Even for images poorly visible to human eyes the image processing method still has a good chance to extract the complex layer.

Harrison WJ, Bex PJ. Integrating retinotopic features in spatiotopic coordinates. J Neurosci 2014;34(21):7351-60.Abstract
The receptive fields of early visual neurons are anchored in retinotopic coordinates (Hubel and Wiesel, 1962). Eye movements shift these receptive fields and therefore require that different populations of neurons encode an object's constituent features across saccades. Whether feature groupings are preserved across successive fixations or processing starts anew with each fixation has been hotly debated (Melcher and Morrone, 2003; Melcher, 2005, 2010; Knapen et al., 2009; Cavanagh et al., 2010a,b; Morris et al., 2010). Here we show that feature integration initially occurs within retinotopic coordinates, but is then conserved within a spatiotopic coordinate frame independent of where the features fall on the retinas. With human observers, we first found that the relative timing of visual features plays a critical role in determining the spatial area over which features are grouped. We exploited this temporal dependence of feature integration to show that features co-occurring within 45 ms remain grouped across eye movements. Our results thus challenge purely feedforward models of feature integration (Pelli, 2008; Freeman and Simoncelli, 2011) that begin de novo after every eye movement, and implicate the involvement of brain areas beyond early visual cortex. The strong temporal dependence we quantify and its link with trans-saccadic object perception instead suggest that feature integration depends, at least in part, on feedback from higher brain areas (Mumford, 1992; Rao and Ballard, 1999; Di Lollo et al., 2000; Moore and Armstrong, 2003; Stanford et al., 2010).
Grob S, Yonekawa Y, Eliott D. Multimodal imaging of adult-onset foveomacular vitelliform dystrophy. Saudi J Ophthalmol 2014;28(2):104-10.Abstract
Adult-onset foveomacular vitelliform dystrophy (AOFVD) is a clinically heterogeneous maculopathy that may mimic other conditions and be difficult to diagnose. It is characterized by late onset, slow progression and high variability in morphologic and functional alterations. Diagnostic evaluation should include careful ophthalmoscopy and imaging studies. The typical ophthalmoscopic findings are bilateral, asymmetric, foveal or perifoveal, yellow, solitary, round to oval elevated subretinal lesions, often with central pigmentation. The lesions characteristically demonstrate increased autofluorescence and hypofluorescent lesions surrounded by irregular annular hyperfluorescence on fluorescein angiography. Optical coherence tomography studies demonstrate homogenous or heterogeneous hyperreflective material between the retinal pigment epithelium and the neurosensory retina. The visual prognosis is generally favorable, but visual loss can occur from chorioretinal atrophy and choroidal neovascularization.
Huang R, Baranov P, Lai K, Zhang X, Ge J, Young MJ. Functional and morphological analysis of the subretinal injection of human retinal progenitor cells under Cyclosporin A treatment. Mol Vis 2014;20:1271-80.Abstract
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the functional and morphological changes in subretinal xenografts of human retinal progenitor cells (hRPCs) in B6 mice treated with Cyclosporin A (CsA; 210 mg/l in drinking water). METHODS: The hRPCs from human fetal eyes were isolated and expanded for transplantation. These cells, with green fluorescent protein (GFP) at 11 passages, were transplanted into the subretinal space in B6 mice. A combination of invasive and noninvasive approaches was used to analyze the structural and functional consequences of the subretinal injection of the hRPCs. The process of change was monitored using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SDOCT), histology, and electroretinography (ERG) at 3 days, 1 week, and 3 weeks after transplantation. Cell counts were used to evaluate the survival rate with a confocal microscope. ERGs were performed to evaluate the physiologic changes, and the structural changes were evaluated using SDOCT and histological examination. RESULTS: The results of the histological examination showed that the hRPCs gained a better survival rate in the mice treated with CsA. The SDOCT showed that the bleb size of the retinal detachment was significantly decreased, and the retinal reattachment was nearly complete by 3 weeks. The ERG response amplitudes in the CsA group were less decreased after the injection, when compared with the control group, in the dark-adapted and light-adapted conditions. However, the cone-mediated function in both groups was less affected by the transplantation after 3 weeks than the rod-mediated function. CONCLUSIONS: Although significant functional and structural recovery was observed after the subretinal injection of the hRPCs, the effectiveness of CsA in xenotransplantation may be a novel and potential approach for increasing retinal progenitor cell survival.
Wu DM, Fawzi AA, Recasens MA, Bertoni B, Chopra V, Rao NA, Eliott D. Good visual outcome after repair of a very large macular hole with neurosensory retinal operculum. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2014;8(2):138-40.Abstract
PURPOSE: To describe a favorable outcome after the surgical repair of a very large macular hole with a neurosensory operculum. METHODS: Case report. A 42-year-old man with a history of decreased vision for 3 months was found to have vision of 20/400, a very large macular hole (1159 μm in diameter), and an operculum suspended on the posterior hyaloid above the hole. RESULTS: Vitrectomy and internal limiting membrane peel were performed. The operculum was processed for histology and found to contain neurons and glial cells. Fourteen months later, the patient's vision improved to 20/60. CONCLUSION: Very large macular holes have traditionally been considered to have a poor prognosis. Here, we demonstrate that such large holes can be repaired with good visual outcome, even in the setting of an operculum consisting of avulsed neural retina.