Retina

Yu G, Seto BK, Yamada K, Zeng K, Arroyo JG. COMBINED PNEUMATIC AND ENZYMATIC VITREOLYSIS FOR SEVERE CASES OF VITREOMACULAR TRACTION. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2022;16(5):631-636.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy of combined pneumatic and enzymatic vitreolysis for treatment of severe cases of vitreomacular traction (VMT). METHODS: We analyzed a retrospective, consecutive series of five patients diagnosed with severe VMT refractory to pneumatic vitreolysis who then received an additional ocriplasmin injection while their gas bubble from pneumatic vitreolysis was still present between February 2015 and February 2019. Vitreomacular traction release was confirmed using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. RESULTS: Four of the five patients treated with combined pneumatic and enzymatic vitreolysis achieved VMT release by Day 28, and all cases eventually achieved complete VMT release. In addition to having VMT refractory to pneumatic vitreolysis, patient characteristics included broad adhesion diameter (>1,500 µ m, n = 1), presence of epiretinal membrane (n = 2), age >65 years (n = 4), and pseudophakia (n = 1). The visual acuity improved by three or more lines at 6 months in both of the patients with initial vision worse than 20/50 on an Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study chart but not in those whose vision was already fairly good (i.e., visual acuity >20/60). None of the patients experienced the following complications after receiving this combined treatment: retinal tears or detachments, vitreous floaters, and ellipsoid zone changes. CONCLUSION: Sequential, combined pneumatic and enzymatic vitreolysis resulted in VMT release in all 5 cases (4 cases by 28 days) and may be a potentially useful alternative to surgical intervention for refractory VMT cases.
Georgakopoulos CD, Tsapardoni FN, Makri OE, Vavvas D. TWO-YEAR RESULTS OF INTRAVITREAL INJECTIONS OF AFLIBERCEPT IN COATS DISEASE: A CASE REPORT. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2022;16(4):473-478.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report long-term results of treatment with intravitreal injections of aflibercept in a newly diagnosed case of Coats disease. METHODS: An 18-year-old man presented to the retina clinic of our hospital complaining of blurred vision in the right eye for the past 3 months. His past medical and ocular history were unremarkable. The best-corrected visual acuity was 20/200 in the right eye and 20/20 in the left eye. Fundoscopy in the right eye revealed extensive macular edema with a circinate ring of hard exudates in the posterior pole temporally to the macula. Optical coherence tomography 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 the right eye in fluorescein angiography, confirming the diagnosis of stage 2B Coats disease. The left eye was normal. RESULTS: The original therapeutic strategy proposed was antivascular endothelial growth factor injections in the right eye, 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 best-corrected visual acuity in the right eye improved to 20/25 while optical coherence tomography imaging revealed significant decrease in retinal thickness with resolution of macular edema, and fluorescein angiography demonstrated prominent regression of aneurysms and leakage. CONCLUSION: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case treated with aflibercept monotherapy, suggesting the significant role of vascular endothelial growth factor in vascular permeability in Coats and supporting the rationale that antivascular endothelial growth factors are a valuable therapeutic option for Coats disease.
Wang JC, Lu Y, Sobrin L, Husain D. MULTIMODAL IMAGING IN ACUTE RETINAL NECROSIS PRESENTING WITH MACULAR INVOLVEMENT. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2022;16(3):347-350.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report an unusual case of early macular necrosis in acute retinal necrosis and its features on multimodal imaging. METHODS: Findings on fundus examination, laboratory workup, fluorescein angiography, autofluorescence, optical coherence tomography, and optical coherence tomography angiography. RESULTS: A 31-year-old healthy woman presented with 1 week of photophobia and central scotoma of the right eye. Initial examination revealed vitritis, hyperemia of the optic disc, and a yellow-white macular lesion without any peripheral findings. Peripheral involvement was first noted only 4 days later. The patient was diagnosed with acute retinal necrosis secondary to varicella zoster virus and was successfully treated with intravitreal and oral antiviral medications. Optical coherence tomography imaging of the macular lesion showed involvement of both the inner and outer retina. Optical coherence tomography angiography revealed a large flow void in the choriocapillaris, which has not been previously demonstrated. CONCLUSION: Multimodal imaging offers valuable information in the evaluation of patients with acute retinal necrosis.
Cai LZ, Lin J, Starr MR, Obeid A, Ryan EH, Ryan C, Forbes NJ, Arias D, Ammar MJ, Patel LG, Capone A, Emerson GG, Joseph DP, Eliott D, Gupta OP, Regillo CD, Hsu J, Yonekawa Y, Yonekawa Y. PRO score: predictive scoring system for visual outcomes after rhegmatogenous retinal detachment repair. Br J Ophthalmol 2021;Abstract
BACKGROUND/AIMS: To compare risk factors for poor visual outcomes in patients undergoing primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) repair and to develop a scoring system. METHODS: Analysis of the Primary Retinal detachment Outcomes (PRO) study, a multicentre interventional cohort of consecutive primary RRD surgeries performed in 2015. The main outcome measure was a poor visual outcome (Snellen VA ≤20/200). RESULTS: A total of 1178 cases were included. The mean preoperative and postoperative logMARs were 1.1±1.1 (20/250) and 0.5±0.7 (20/63), respectively. Multivariable logistic regression identified preoperative risk factors predictive of poor visual outcomes (≤20/200), including proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) (OR 1.26; 95% CI 1.13 to 1.40), history of antivascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injections (1.38; 1.11 to 1.71), >1-week vision loss (1.17; 1.08 to 1.27), ocular comorbidities (1.18; 1.00 to 1.38), poor presenting VA (1.06 per initial logMAR unit; 1.02 to 1.10) and age >70 (1.13; 1.04 to 1.23). The data were split into training (75%) and validation (25%) and a scoring system was developed and validated. The risk for poor visual outcomes was 8% with a total score of 0, 17% with 1, 29% with 2, 47% with 3, and 71% with 4 or higher. CONCLUSIONS: Independent risk factors were compared for poor visual outcomes after RRD surgery, which included PVR, anti-VEGF injections, vision loss >1 week, ocular comorbidities, presenting VA and older age. The PRO score was developed to provide a scoring system that may be useful in clinical practice.
Yemanyi F, Bora K, Blomfield AK, Wang Z, Chen J. Wnt Signaling in Inner Blood-Retinal Barrier Maintenance. Int J Mol Sci 2021;22(21)Abstract
The retina is a light-sensing ocular tissue that sends information to the brain to enable vision. The blood-retinal barrier (BRB) contributes to maintaining homeostasis in the retinal microenvironment by selectively regulating flux of molecules between systemic circulation and the retina. Maintaining such physiological balance is fundamental to visual function by facilitating the delivery of nutrients and oxygen and for protection from blood-borne toxins. The inner BRB (iBRB), composed mostly of inner retinal vasculature, controls substance exchange mainly via transportation processes between (paracellular) and through (transcellular) the retinal microvascular endothelium. Disruption of iBRB, characterized by retinal edema, is observed in many eye diseases and disturbs the physiological quiescence in the retina's extracellular space, resulting in vision loss. Consequently, understanding the mechanisms of iBRB formation, maintenance, and breakdown is pivotal to discovering potential targets to restore function to compromised physiological barriers. These unraveled targets can also inform potential drug delivery strategies across the BRB and the blood-brain barrier into retinas and brain tissues, respectively. This review summarizes mechanistic insights into the development and maintenance of iBRB in health and disease, with a specific focus on the Wnt signaling pathway and its regulatory role in both paracellular and transcellular transport across the retinal vascular endothelium.
Tomita Y, Qiu C, Bull E, Allen W, Kotoda Y, Talukdar S, Smith LEH, Fu Z. Müller glial responses compensate for degenerating photoreceptors in retinitis pigmentosa. Exp Mol Med 2021;Abstract
Photoreceptor degeneration caused by genetic defects leads to retinitis pigmentosa, a rare disease typically diagnosed in adolescents and young adults. In most cases, rod loss occurs first, followed by cone loss as well as altered function in cells connected to photoreceptors directly or indirectly. There remains a gap in our understanding of retinal cellular responses to photoreceptor abnormalities. Here, we utilized single-cell transcriptomics to investigate cellular responses in each major retinal cell type in retinitis pigmentosa model (P23H) mice vs. wild-type littermate mice. We found a significant decrease in the expression of genes associated with phototransduction, the inner/outer segment, photoreceptor cell cilium, and photoreceptor development in both rod and cone clusters, in line with the structural changes seen with immunohistochemistry. Accompanying this loss was a significant decrease in the expression of genes involved in metabolic pathways and energy production in both rods and cones. We found that in the Müller glia/astrocyte cluster, there was a significant increase in gene expression in pathways involving photoreceptor maintenance, while concomitant decreases were observed in rods and cones. Additionally, the expression of genes involved in mitochondrial localization and transport was increased in the Müller glia/astrocyte cluster. The Müller glial compensatory increase in the expression of genes downregulated in photoreceptors suggests that Müller glia adapt their transcriptome to support photoreceptors and could be thought of as general therapeutic targets to protect against retinal degeneration.
Sena DF, Kilian R, Liu S-H, Rizzo S, Virgili G. Pneumatic retinopexy versus scleral buckle for repairing simple rhegmatogenous retinal detachments. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2021;11:CD008350.Abstract
BACKGROUND: A rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) is a separation of the neurosensory retina from the retinal pigment epithelium caused by a full-thickness break associated with vitreous traction. While pneumatic retinopexy (PR), scleral buckle (SB), and vitrectomy are all well-received surgical interventions for eyes with RRD, their relative effectiveness has remained controversial. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness and safety of PR versus SB or PR versus a combination treatment of SB and vitrectomy for people with RRD and to summarize any data on economic measures and quality of life. SEARCH METHODS: We searched CENTRAL; which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Trials Register; 2021, Issue 3); Ovid MEDLINE; Ovid Embase; and four other databases on 11 March 2021. We used no date or language restrictions in the electronic searches for trials. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included all randomized or quasi-randomized controlled trials comparing the effectiveness of PR versus SB (with or without vitrectomy) for eyes with RRD. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: After screening for eligibility, two review authors independently extracted study characteristics, methods, and outcomes. We followed systematic review standards as set by Cochrane. MAIN RESULTS: In this update, we identified and included one new randomized controlled trial. Together with two trials from the 2015 version of the review, we included three trials (276 eyes of 274 participants) comparing the effectiveness of PR versus SB. None compared PR versus a combined treatment of SB and vitrectomy.  Of the three trials, one was a small study (published in 1996) with 20 participants (20 eyes) enrolled in Ireland and followed for a mean of 16 months; the second (published in 1989) included 196 participants (198 eyes) in the US followed for at least six months, and the third (published in 2021) was conducted in Italy and enrolled 58 participants (58 eyes) with a follow-up of 12 months. Overall, poor reporting quality resulted in unclear or high risks of bias.  We found low-certainty evidence that PR may achieve retinal reattachment slightly less often than SB (risk ratio [RR] 0.91, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.81 to 1.02; I2 = 0%; 3 studies, 276 eyes). Eyes undergoing PR may also display a higher risk of recurrent retinal detachment (low-certainty evidence), but the RR estimates were very imprecise (RR 1.70, 95% CI 0.97 to 2.98; I2 = 0%; 3 studies, 276 eyes). All three studies described the final visual acuity (VA) after the two procedures. However, the results were reported using different metrics and could not be combined. One study (196 participants) reported the proportion of eyes with a final VA of 20/40 or greater and favored PR (RR 1.31, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.65; low-certainty evidence), whereas in the 2021 study, both groups showed an improvement in final VA and there was no evidence of a difference between the two (mean difference [MD] -0.03, 95% CI -0.25 to 0.19; low-certainty evidence). No study reported data on quality of life or economic measures. Postoperative safety outcomes generally favored PR versus SB (low/very low-certainty evidence); however, there was considerable uncertainty regarding the risk of any operative ocular adverse events (RR 0.55 CI 0.28 to 1.11; 276 eyes), glaucoma (RR 0.31, 95% CI 0.01 to 7.46; 198 eyes), macular pucker (RR 0.65, 95% CI 0.20 to 2.11; 256 eyes), proliferative vitreoretinopathy (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.30 to 2.96; 276 eyes), and persistent diplopia (RR 0.24, 95% CI 0.03 to 2.09; 256 eyes). Eyes undergoing PR experienced fewer postoperative cataract developments (RR 0.40, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.75; 153 eyes), choroidal detachments (RR 0.17, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.57; 198 eyes), and myopic shift (RR 0.03, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.10; 256 eyes). AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The current update confirms the findings of the previous review. PR may result in lower rates of reattachment and higher rates of recurrence than SB, but carries a lower burden of postoperative complications. The effects of these two procedures on other functional outcomes and quality of life remain uncertain. The available evidence remains insufficient and of low quality.
Comin CH, Tsirukis DI, Sun Y, Xu X. Quantification of retinal blood leakage in fundus fluorescein angiography in a retinal angiogenesis model. Sci Rep 2021;11(1):19903.Abstract
Blood leakage from the vessels in the eye is the hallmark of many vascular eye diseases. One of the preclinical mouse models of retinal blood leakage, the very-low-density-lipoprotein receptor deficient mouse (Vldlr-/-), is used for drug screening and mechanistic studies. Vessel leakage is usually examined using Fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA). However, interpreting FFA images of the Vldlr-/- model is challenging as no automated and objective techniques exist for this model. A pipeline has been developed for quantifying leakage intensity and area including three tasks: (i) blood leakage identification, (ii) blood vessel segmentation, and (iii) image registration. Morphological operations followed by log-Gabor quadrature filters were used to identify leakage regions. In addition, a novel optic disk detection algorithm based on graph analysis was developed for registering the images at different timepoints. Blood leakage intensity and area measured by the methodology were compared to ground truth quantifications produced by two annotators. The relative difference between the quantifications from the method and those obtained from ground truth images was around 10% ± 6% for leakage intensity and 17% ± 8% for leakage region. The Pearson correlation coefficient between the method results and the ground truth was around 0.98 for leakage intensity and 0.94 for leakage region. Therefore, we presented a computational method for quantifying retinal vascular leakage and vessels using FFA in a preclinical angiogenesis model, the Vldlr-/- model.
Hellström A, Pivodic A, Gränse L, Lundgren P, Sjöbom U, Nilsson AK, Söderling H, Hård A-L, Smith LEH, Löfqvist CA. Association of Docosahexaenoic Acid and Arachidonic Acid Serum Levels With Retinopathy of Prematurity in Preterm Infants. JAMA Netw Open 2021;4(10):e2128771.Abstract
Importance: Supplementing preterm infants with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) has been inconsistent in reducing the severity and incidence of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Furthermore, few studies have measured the long-term serum lipid levels after supplementation. Objective: To assess whether ROP severity is associated with serum levels of LC-PUFA, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA), during the first 28 postnatal days. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study analyzed the Mega Donna Mega study, a randomized clinical trial that provided enteral fatty acid supplementation at 3 neonatal intensive care units in Sweden. Infants included in this cohort study were born at a gestational age of less than 28 weeks between December 20, 2016, and August 6, 2019. Main Outcomes and Measures: Severity of ROP was classified as no ROP, mild or moderate ROP (stage 1-2), or severe ROP (stage 3 and type 1). Serum phospholipid fatty acids were measured through gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Ordinal logistic regression, with a description of unadjusted odds ratio (OR) as well as gestational age- and birth weight-adjusted ORs and 95% CIs, was used. Areas under the curve were used to calculate mean daily levels of fatty acids during postnatal days 1 to 28. Blood samples were obtained at the postnatal ages of 1, 3, 7, 14, and 28 days. Results: A total of 175 infants were included in analysis. Of these infants, 99 were boys (56.6%); the median (IQR) gestational age was 25 weeks 5 days (24 weeks 3 days to 26 weeks 6 days), and the median (IQR) birth weight was 785 (650-945) grams. A higher DHA proportion was seen in infants with no ROP compared with those with mild or moderate ROP or severe ROP (OR per 0.5-molar percentage increase, 0.49 [95% CI, 0.36-0.68]; gestational age- and birth weight-adjusted OR, 0.66 [95% CI, 0.46-0.93]). The corresponding adjusted OR for AA levels per 1-molar percentage increase was 0.83 (95% CI, 0.66-1.05). The association between DHA levels and ROP severity appeared only in infants with sufficient AA levels, suggesting that a mean daily minimum level of 7.8 to 8.3 molar percentage of AA was necessary for a detectable association between DHA level and less severe ROP. Conclusions and Relevance: This cohort study found that higher mean daily serum levels of DHA during the first 28 postnatal days were associated with less severe ROP even after adjustment for known risk factors, but only in infants with sufficiently high AA levels. Further studies are needed to identify LC-PUFA supplementation strategies that may prevent ROP and other morbidities.
Laíns I, Wang JC, Cui Y, Katz R, Vingopoulos F, Staurenghi G, Vavvas DG, Miller JW, Miller JB. Retinal applications of swept source optical coherence tomography (OCT) and optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). Prog Retin Eye Res 2021;84:100951.Abstract
The advent of optical coherence tomography (OCT) revolutionized both clinical assessment and research of vitreoretinal conditions. Since then, extraordinary advances have been made in this imaging technology, including the relatively recent development of swept-source OCT (SS-OCT). SS-OCT enables a fast scan rate and utilizes a tunable swept laser, thus enabling the incorporation of longer wavelengths than conventional spectral-domain devices. These features enable imaging of larger areas with reduced motion artifact, and a better visualization of the choroidal vasculature, respectively. Building on the principles of OCT, swept-source OCT has also been applied to OCT angiography (SS-OCTA), thus enabling a non-invasive in depth-resolved imaging of the retinal and choroidal microvasculature. Despite their advantages, the widespread use of SS-OCT and SS-OCTA remains relatively limited. In this review, we summarize the technical details, advantages and limitations of SS-OCT and SS-OCTA, with a particular emphasis on their relevance for the study of retinal conditions. Additionally, we comprehensively review relevant studies performed to date to the study of retinal health and disease, and highlight current gaps in knowledge and opportunities to take advantage of swept source technology to improve our current understanding of many medical and surgical chorioretinal conditions. We anticipate that SS-OCT and SS-OCTA will continue to evolve rapidly, contributing to a paradigm shift to more widespread adoption of new imaging technology to clinical practice.
Townes-Anderson E, Halasz E, Wang W, Zarbin M. Coming of Age for the Photoreceptor Synapse. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2021;62(12):24.Abstract
Purpose: To discuss the potential contribution of rod and cone synapses to the loss of visual function in retinal injury and disease. Methods: The published literature and the authors' own work were reviewed. Results: Retinal detachment is used as a case study of rod spherule and cone pedicle plasticity after injury. Both rod and cone photoreceptors terminals are damaged after detachment although the structural changes observed are only partially overlapping. For second-order neurons, only those associated with rod spherules respond consistently to injury by remodeling. Examination of signaling pathways involved in plasticity of conventional synapses and in neural development has been and may continue to be productive in discovering novel therapeutic targets. Rho kinase (ROCK) inhibition is an example of therapy that may reduce synaptic damage by preserving normal synaptic structure of rod and cone cells. Conclusions: We hypothesize that synaptic damage contributes to poor visual restoration after otherwise successful anatomical repair of retinal detachment. A similar situation may exist for patients with degenerative retinal disease. Thus, synaptic structure and function should be routinely studied, as this information may disclose therapeutic strategies to mitigate visual loss.
Maidana DE, Gonzalez-Buendia L, Miller JW, Vavvas DG. Local photoreceptor cell death differences in the murine model of retinal detachment. Sci Rep 2021;11(1):18798.Abstract
To investigate local cell death differences in the attached and detached retina at different regions in a murine experimental retinal detachment model. Subretinal injection of sodium hyaluronate was performed in eight-week-old C57BL/6J mice. Retinal regions of interest were defined in relation to their distance from the peak of the retinal detachment, as follows: (1) attached central; (2) attached paracentral; (3) detached apex; and (4) detached base. At day 0, the outer nuclear layer cell count for the attached central, attached paracentral, detached apex, and detached base was 1247.60 ± 64.62, 1157.80 ± 163.33, 1264.00 ± 150.7, and 1013.80 ± 67.16 cells, respectively. There were significant differences between the detached base vs. attached central, and between detached base vs. detached apex at day 0. The detached apex region displayed a significant and progressive cell count reduction from day 0 to 14. In contrast, the detached base region did not show progressive retinal degeneration in this model. Moreover, only the detached apex region had a significant and progressive cell death rate compared to baseline. Immediate confounding changes with dramatic differences in cell death rates are present across regions of the detached retina. We speculate that mechanical and regional differences in the bullous detached retina can modify the rate of cell death in this model.
Musayeva A, Unkrig JC, Zhutdieva MB, Manicam C, Ruan Y, Laspas P, Chronopoulos P, Göbel ML, Pfeiffer N, Brochhausen C, Daiber A, Oelze M, Li H, Xia N, Gericke A. Betulinic Acid Protects from Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in the Mouse Retina. Cells 2021;10(9)Abstract
Ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) events are involved in the pathophysiology of numerous ocular diseases. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that betulinic acid protects from I/R injury in the mouse retina. Ocular ischemia was induced in mice by increasing intraocular pressure (IOP) to 110 mm Hg for 45 min, while the fellow eye served as a control. One group of mice received betulinic acid (50 mg/kg/day p.o. once daily) and the other group received the vehicle solution only. Eight days after the I/R event, the animals were killed and the retinal wholemounts and optic nerve cross-sections were prepared and stained with cresyl blue or toluidine blue, respectively, to count cells in the ganglion cell layer (GCL) of the retina and axons in the optic nerve. Retinal arteriole responses were measured in isolated retinas by video microscopy. The levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were assessed in retinal cryosections and redox gene expression was determined in isolated retinas by quantitative PCR. I/R markedly reduced cell number in the GCL and axon number in the optic nerve of the vehicle-treated mice. In contrast, only a negligible reduction in cell and axon number was observed following I/R in the betulinic acid-treated mice. Endothelial function was markedly reduced and ROS levels were increased in retinal arterioles of vehicle-exposed eyes following I/R, whereas betulinic acid partially prevented vascular endothelial dysfunction and ROS formation. Moreover, betulinic acid boosted mRNA expression for the antioxidant enzymes SOD3 and HO-1 following I/R. Our data provide evidence that betulinic acid protects from I/R injury in the mouse retina. Improvement of vascular endothelial function and the reduction in ROS levels appear to contribute to the neuroprotective effect.
Uemura A, Fruttiger M, D'Amore PA, De Falco S, Joussen AM, Sennlaub F, Brunck LR, Johnson KT, Lambrou GN, Rittenhouse KD, Langmann T. VEGFR1 signaling in retinal angiogenesis and microinflammation. Prog Retin Eye Res 2021;84:100954.Abstract
Five vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) ligands (VEGF-A, -B, -C, -D, and placental growth factor [PlGF]) constitute the VEGF family. VEGF-A binds VEGF receptors 1 and 2 (VEGFR1/2), whereas VEGF-B and PlGF only bind VEGFR1. Although much research has been conducted on VEGFR2 to elucidate its key role in retinal diseases, recent efforts have shown the importance and involvement of VEGFR1 and its family of ligands in angiogenesis, vascular permeability, and microinflammatory cascades within the retina. Expression of VEGFR1 depends on the microenvironment, is differentially regulated under hypoxic and inflammatory conditions, and it has been detected in retinal and choroidal endothelial cells, pericytes, retinal and choroidal mononuclear phagocytes (including microglia), Müller cells, photoreceptor cells, and the retinal pigment epithelium. Whilst the VEGF-A decoy function of VEGFR1 is well established, consequences of its direct signaling are less clear. VEGFR1 activation can affect vascular permeability and induce macrophage and microglia production of proinflammatory and proangiogenic mediators. However the ability of the VEGFR1 ligands (VEGF-A, PlGF, and VEGF-B) to compete against each other for receptor binding and to heterodimerize complicates our understanding of the relative contribution of VEGFR1 signaling alone toward the pathologic processes seen in diabetic retinopathy, retinal vascular occlusions, retinopathy of prematurity, and age-related macular degeneration. Clinically, anti-VEGF drugs have proven transformational in these pathologies and their impact on modulation of VEGFR1 signaling is still an opportunity-rich field for further research.
Konstantinou EK, Shaikh N, Ramsey DJ. Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome associated with chorioretinopathy and nyctalopia: a case report and review of the literature. Ophthalmic Genet 2021;:1-7.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report a rare case of Birt-Hogg-Dubé Syndrome (BHD) with progressive chorioretinopathy. METHODS: Case report. RESULTS: A 55-year-old woman presented with longstanding nyctalopia attributed to a congenital retinal dystrophy, but no prior genetic testing. Her posterior pole examination demonstrated retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) mottling with extensive macular drusen and paracentral chorioretinal atrophy, consistent with a fleck retinopathy. Her past medical history was remarkable for nephrectomy for unilateral renal malignancy, parotid tumors and thyroid nodules. Dark adaptation time was prolonged, and electroretinography (ERG) revealed abnormal waveforms with depressed amplitudes. Genetic testing confirmed a deletion mutation in the folliculin (FLCN) gene and was negative for other relevant mutations, including EFEMP1 responsible for autosomal dominant macular and peripapillary drusen in Doyne honeycomb retinal dystrophy and TIMP3 responsible for Sorsby Fundus Dystrophy. CONCLUSION: BHD is a rare autosomal-dominant disorder with multi-systemic clinical manifestations caused by a mutation in the FLCN gene. Affected individuals are prone to renal and pulmonary cysts, renal cancer, and fibrofolliculomas. Reports on ocular manifestations of BHD include eyelid fibrofolliculomas, flecked chorioretinopathy, choroidal melanoma, choroidal melanoma with sector melanocytosis, and retinal pigment epithelial micro-detachments. In this case of BHD, we note a fleck retinopathy with bilateral chorioretinal atrophy, displaying a phenotype of extensive chorioretinopathy associated with impaired dark adaptation and ERG abnormalities. ABBREVIATIONS: BHD: Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome; FLCN: Folliculin. RPE: retinal pigment epithelium; OD: Oculus dexter (right eye); OS: Oculus sinister (left eye). OU: Oculus uterque (both eyes); ERG: electroretinogram; mfERG: multifocal electroretinography. ffERG: full-field electroretinography; FAF: fundus autofluorescence; OCT: optical coherence tomography; FA: fluorescein angiography; DA: dark-adapted; LA: light-adapted; mTOR: mammalian target of rapamycin; EFEMP1: epithelial growth factor-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1; VPS13B: Vacuolar Protein Sorting 13 Homolog B; AGBL5: AATP/GTP-Binding Protein Like 5; ALMS1: Alstrom Syndrome 1; COL1BA1: Collagen Type I Beta, Alpha Chain 1; PDE6A: Rod Phosphodiesterase 6-alpha; USH2A: Usherin 2a; VCAN: Versican; RP: Retinitis pigmentosa; AR: Autosomal recessive.

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