Welcome to the Ophthalmology Journal News page! This page will showcase the latest news from the world of Ophthalmology, as published by The British Journal of Ophthalmology (BMJ).
For the British Ophthalmology Journal Archives, please visit http://bjo.bmj.com/ .
These news items are mainly specific study results that are relevant to the layman.
We have also added another news page with more ‘general’ Opthalmogy news here: Opthamologist News.
Furthermore, we have added a page with general news articles about Eye Health here: Eye Problems Articles , which is a good read for both patients and Ophthalmologists alike.
Ophthalmology Journal News:
To develop a technique using amniotic membrane (AM) to prevent admixture of conjunctival epithelial cells and limbal explant-derived corneal epithelial cells in patients undergoing limbal stem cell transplantation. To compare this technique with the current method of ‘sequential sector conjunctival epitheliectomy’ (SSCE).
26 patients with total limbal stem cell deficiency who underwent ocular surface reconstruction with limbal stem cells transplantation were retrospectively studied. Patients were categorised into group A (11) in which AM was used to direct the conjunctival epithelial cells away from the corneal surface so that the latter could be covered by the limbal explant-derived epithelial cells—the procedure was termed ‘amnion-assisted conjunctival epithelial redirection’ (ACER)—and group B (15) in which the conjunctival epithelium was prevented from migrating on to the corneal surface by SSCE.
In nine eyes of group A, the conjunctival epithelium was successfully directed on to the AM, preventing admixture with limbal explant-derived corneal epithelial cells. The AM was removed or it came off spontaneously within 1–4 weeks. Patients treated with SSCE (group B) underwent two to four interventions until complete re-epithelialisation. 12 patients had pain or discomfort. 11 patients had conjunctival haemorrhage during SSCE. The cornea was epithelised from the limbal explant-derived epithelium in all patients.
ACER is a viable option in limbal transplantation that reduces multiple patient visits, bleeding and pain that can be associated with SSCE.
To assess the refractive improvements and the corneal endothelial safety of an individualised topography-guided regimen for corneal crosslinking in progressive keratoconus.
An open-label prospective randomised clinical trial was performed at the Department of Clinical Sciences, Ophthalmology, Umeå University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden. Thirty-seven patients (50 eyes) with progressive keratoconus planned for corneal crosslinking were included. The patients were randomised to topography-guided crosslinking (photorefractive intrastromal crosslinking (PiXL); n=25) or uniform 9 mm crosslinking (corneal collagen crosslinking (CXL); n=25). Visual acuity, refraction, keratometry (K1, K2 and Kmax) and corneal endothelial morphometry were assessed preoperatively and at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months postoperatively. The PiXL treatment involved an asymmetrical treatment zone centred on the area of maximum corneal steepness with treatment energies ranging from 7.2 to 15.0 J/cm2; the CXL treatment was a uniform 9 mm 5.4 J/cm2 pulsed crosslinking. The main outcome measures were changes in refractive errors and corneal endothelial cell density.
The spherical refractive errors decreased (p<0.05) and the visual acuity improved (p<0.01) at 3, 6 and 12 months after PiXL, but not after CXL. The between-groups differences, however, were not significant. K2 and Kmax decreased at 3, 6 and 12 months after PiXL (p<0.01), but not after CXL (p<0.01 when comparing the two treatments). No corneal endothelial cell loss was seen after either treatment.
Individualised topography-based crosslinking treatment centred on the ectatic cone has the potential to improve the corneal shape in keratoconus with decreased spherical refractive errors and improved visual acuity, without damage to the corneal endothelium.
To compare the vessel calibre measurements between optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) and colour fundus photography.
In this retrospective comparative study, OCTA and colour fundus images of healthy eyes and eyes with optic atrophy were evaluated. The colour fundus image was registered manually using Image J software to the OCTA image of the optic disc. Two independent graders measured the vessel calibre of the widest vein and artery in each peripapillary quadrant on a 3.4 mm diameter circle centred on the optic disc in the same location on both images. The difference in vessel calibre between the two techniques was assessed.
A total of 312 vessels from 29 healthy eyes and 20 eyes with atrophic optic discs were included. There was a high level of agreement between graders for measurement of vessel calibre in both colour fundus (intraclass correlation coefficient=0.93, coefficient of variation=0.07) and OCTA images (intraclass correlation coefficient=0.94, coefficient of variation=0.05). The mean vessel calibre in colour fundus images (94.5±23.2 µm) and OCT images (112.2±26.1 µm) was correlated (r=0.8, p<0.001), but the difference was statistically significant (mean difference: 17.6±1.5 µm, p<0.001). This difference was evident for both arteries (mean difference: 18.2±16.3 µm, p<0.001) and veins (mean difference: 15.1±16.2 µm, p<0.001) individually, with a similar magnitude of difference for both vessel types (p=0.08). In addition, the magnitude of difference between imaging modalities was similar in atrophic and healthy discs (17.1±15.9 vs 18.4±15.2 µm, respectively, p=0.4). The difference, however, was significantly higher in vessels with a calibre of ≤94.5 compared with larger vessels (19.3±16.3 vs 15.6±14.4 µm, respectively, p=0.02).
Vessel calibre measurements were significantly larger in OCTA images compared with colour fundus photographs, particularly for smaller vessels. These differences may need to be accounted for when using OCTA-derived metrics.
To discuss foveal development in the context of detailed retinal vasculature imaging in foveal hypoplasia using optical coherence tomography angiography.
In this case series, the optical coherence tomography angiography results of four patients with idiopathic foveal hypoplasia and two patients with foveal hypoplasia secondary to oculocutaneous albinism are presented.
Cases with intact visual acuity demonstrated lower grades of foveal hypoplasia on optical coherence tomography, while those with poor vision demonstrated high grades of foveal hypoplasia. The superficial retinal capillary plexus was intact in the foveal area in all cases, with no demonstrable foveal avascular zone. The deep retinal capillary plexus was absent to variable degrees in most cases, but was most persistent in those cases with reduced vision.
The superficial retinal capillary plexus is present in cases with foveal hypoplasia, while the deep retinal capillary plexus is absent to varying degrees. Our findings support the hypothesis that an intact foveal avascular zone of the deep capillary plexus allows for outer retinal photoreceptor specialisation to occur unimpeded, resulting in preserved visual acuity, while this process may be inhibited by an absent deep capillary foveal avascular zone with resultant poor vision.
To examine the relationship between retinal vascular morphology and cognitive abilities in a narrow-age cohort of community-dwelling older people.
Digital retinal images taken at age ~73 years from 683 participants of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (LBC1936) were analysed with Singapore I Vessel Assessment (SIVA) software. Multiple regression models were applied to determine cross-sectional associations between retinal vascular parameters and general cognitive ability (g), memory, processing speed, visuospatial ability, crystallised cognitive ability and change in IQ from childhood to older age.
After adjustment for cognitive ability at age 11 years and cardiovascular risk factors, venular length-to-diameter ratio was nominally significantly associated with processing speed (β=–0.116, p=0.01) and g (β=–0.079, p=0.04). Arteriolar length-to-diameter ratio was associated with visuospatial ability (β=0.092, p=0.04). Decreased arteriolar junctional exponent deviation and increased arteriolar branching coefficient values were associated with less relative decline in IQ between childhood and older age (arteriolar junctional exponent deviation: β=–0.101, p=0.02; arteriolar branching coefficient: β=0.089, p=0.04). Data are presented as standardised β coefficients (β) reflecting change in cognitive domain score associated with an increase of 1 SD unit in retinal parameter. None of these nominally significant associations remained significant after correction for multiple statistical testing.
Retinal parameters contributed <1% of the variance in the majority of associations observed. Whereas retinal analysis may have potential for early detection of some types of age-related cognitive decline and dementia, our results present little evidence that retinal vascular features are associated with non-pathological cognitive ageing.
The aim is to compare the therapeutic effects of three antivascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs (bevacizumab, aflibercept and ranibizumab) on fibrovascular pigment epithelial detachments (fvPEDs) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
This was a retrospective, comparative, consecutive case series of 88 unique eyes with fvPEDs in neovascular AMD treated with anti-VEGF monotherapy for a minimum of 6 months. All eyes were treatment naive. Diagnosis was confirmed retrospectively by fluorescein angiography and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. Exclusion criteria included serous/drusenoid PEDs or patients who switched anti-VEGF. Mean follow-up across all therapies was 313.9±85.3 days.
Average age of all patients was 80.6 years. Baseline maximum subfoveal PED height was 326.8±185.1 μm, 394.5±238.6 μm and 258.0±145.3 μm for bevacizumab, aflibercept and ranibizumab, respectively (p=0.05). All patients had subretinal fluid, intraretinal fluid or a combination of the two at an initial presentation. Central retinal thickness decreased at all time points compared with baseline across all three anti-VEGF therapies. Subfoveal PED height decreased in patients treated with aflibercept at all time points and decreased in patients treated with bevacizumab at 1-month, 3-month and 6-month time points. Aflibercept reduced PED height more than bevacizumab at 1-month and 12-month follow-ups (p=0.02 and p=0.03, respectively) and ranibizumab at 1-month and 6-month follow-ups (p=0.03 and p=0.02, respectively). No differences in best-corrected visual acuity were appreciated at any time point between drugs.
There was a significant reduction in subfoveal PED height for aflibercept and bevacizumab compared with baseline. A direct comparison of drugs demonstrated a beneficial reduction of PED height, albeit inconsistently, favouring aflibercept. There were no differences in visual acuity across the groups at any time point.
The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) in the population aged 50 years and older in Hungary, and to assess the coverage of diabetic eye care services.
In total, 105 clusters of 35 people aged 50 years or older were randomly selected. The standardised rapid assessment of avoidable blindness (RAAB) with the diabetic retinopathy module (DRM) was used. Participants were classified as having DM if they were known to have DM or if their random blood glucose level was ≥200 mg/dL. Dilated fundus examination and Scottish DR grading were performed.
In total, 3523 (95.9%) out of 3675 eligible subjects were examined. And 705 (20.0%) out of 3523 had known (661) or newly diagnosed DM (44). Twenty per cent of participants with known DM had a blood glucose level ≥200 mg/dL, and 27.4% had never had an ophthalmological examination for DR. Prevalence of DR and/or maculopathy was 20.7% and prevalence of sight-threatening DR (STDR) was 4.3% in one or both eyes among participants with DM.
Prevalence of DM was in line with findings of other RAAB+DRM surveys and slightly lower than the unpublished earlier age-matched Hungarian estimate. Prevalence of DR was slightly lower than expected. The prevalence of STDR was low in people aged 50 years and older in Hungary compared with the results of other RAAB with DRM surveys. DR screening coverage was low. To prevent severe complications of DM and possible concomitant visual loss, the coverage of ophthalmic examinations in patients with DM should be increased.
The purpose of this study is to investigate whether gene polymorphisms of the vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) and its receptor (VEGFR-2) have a pharmacogenetics effect on the anti-VEGF treatment for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD).
We carried out a meta-analysis focusing on the relationship between VEGF-related gene polymorphisms and treatment response of nAMD.
For the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within VEGF-A and VEGFR-2, anti-VEGF treatment was much more effective in patients with nAMD having rs833061 (CC vs TT:OR=2.222, 95% CI 1.252 to 3.944, p=0.006; CT vs TT: OR=2.537,95% CI 1.478 to 4.356, p=0.001 and CC vs CT+TT: OR=2.362, 95% CI 1.414 to 3.946, p=0.001), particularly for Asians (CC vs TT: OR=2.903, 95% CI 1.150 to 7.330, p=0.024; CT vs TT: OR=3.849, 95% CI 1.522 to 9.733, p=0.004 and CC vs CT+TT: OR=3.339, 95% CI 1.369 to 8.145, p=0.008, respectively). In subgroup analysis, rs833061 was more likely to be a predictor of response to anti-VEGF therapy specifically when ranibizumab (RBZ) only regime was adopted or visual acuity (VA) was taken as the standardised assessment of outcome. No association with response to anti-VEGF treatment was detected for the other eight polymorphisms.
Pharmacogenetics of VEGF-A polymorphism rs833061 may play a positive role in response to anti-VEGF therapy for nAMD.
To report the natural history of subretinal fluid (SRF) causing foveal detachment in macular telangiectasia type 2 (MacTel) and our experience of therapeutic intervention with intravitreal steroids or antivascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor (anti-VEGF) agents in some cases.
Retrospective case series. Three of the MacTel study's largest registries were searched to identify eyes with foveal detachment.
We identified 7 eyes from 6 exclusively female patients. The prevalence of foveal detachment was low, present in 1.4% of the assessed MacTel population. Age at presentation ranged from 50 to 66 years. Follow-up ranged from 2 to 8 years. There was late-phase leakage on fluorescein angiography from what was presumed to be ectatic capillaries. The SRF fluctuated without a rapid decline in visual acuity in cases that were not treated. When they were, intravitreal anti-VEGF and steroid therapy in general reduced SRF, at least temporarily, but did not halt the gradual long-term decrease in visual acuity. In one case, optical coherence tomography angiography showed significant reduction in the extent of the predominantly deep intraretinal vascular complex 1 month after anti-VEGF therapy.
As the natural history of this unusual MacTel phenotype is not characterised by rapid visual decline, intervention with intravitreal anti-VEGF or steroid therapy may not be necessary.
To study the relationship between the size of primary full-thickness macular hole (MH) and the vitreomacular attachment status.
Single-centre retrospective observational case series.
The records of 100 consecutive eyes operated for primary full-thickness MH were retrospectively reviewed. The vitreous status and MH diameter were assessed on the preoperative optical coherence tomography scans. MH were classified depending on the presence or absence of vitreomacular traction (VMT) and their size as small (<250 µm), medium (250–400 µm) and large (>400 µm), as suggested in the International VMT Study Group Classification.
22% of MH had VMT and 13% had both VMT and a diameter <400 µm. The MH diameter was not significantly different depending on the presence or absence of VMT (respectively, 339±134 and 423±191 µm (p=0.094)), with large overlap between groups. Small, medium and large MH were similarly distributed regardless of the presence or absence of VMT (p=0.69).
Our series of 100 MH did not reveal any significant relationship between the MH size and the presence or absence of VMT. Only 13% of MH had VMT and a diameter <400 mm, then were eligible for intravitreal ocriplasmin as a possible treatment.
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