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Br J Ophthalmol. 2007 May; 91(5): 563.
PMCID: PMC1954770

BJO at a glance

Creig Hoyt, Editor

Mooren's ulcer: clinical characteristics

Mooren's ulcer is a rare and potentially blinding eye condition. Cunningham and coworkers describe a 10 year experience at the Aravind Eye Hospital in South India. In this study men were more often affected than women. The disease may present with either unilateral or bilateral expression. Perforation was observed in approximately one in ten affected eyes and occurred most often in the setting of peripheral ulceration.

See page 570

Nystagmus and drug exposure in utero

A number of ocular abnormalities have been attributed to maternal drug exposure. Cackett and coworkers report 14 children who presented with nystagmus whose mothers had abused opiates and/or benzodiazepines during pregnancy. The combined use of opiates and benzodiazepines appears to be a particular risk factor for development of this form of infantile nystagmus.

See page 613

Confocal microscopy in fungal keratitis

Fungal keratitis continues to be a major ocular problem throughout the world. Baudouin and coworkers describe the use of the Heidelberg Retina Tomograph II‐Rostock Cornea Module Confocal Microscope in the evaluation of five patients with fungal keratitis. They conclude that confocal microscopy provides a rapid technique for early diagnosis of fungal keratitis as it shows high resolution images resembling fungal structures at an early phase of the disease.

See page 588

Teenager's perception of blindness related to smoking

The adverse medical effects related to cigarette smoking are generally well known. Nevertheless, an alarming number of teenagers continue to smoke. Kelly and coworkers surveyed a group of teenagers who were significantly fearful of the development of blindness but were unaware of its association with smoking. The authors conclude that awareness of the risk of blindness from smoking is low among teenagers. However, the fear of blindness may motivate teenagers to stop smoking more than the fear of the development of lung or heart disease.

See page 605

Refractive outcomes and intraocular lens implantation in infants

Intraocular lens implantation is increasingly being used as a primary procedure in the treatment of cataracts in infants. Concern has been raised that the refractive error that may result may be difficult to predict. Ashworth and coworkers reviewed 25 patients who underwent cataract surgery with primary intraocular lens implantation at less than 12 months of age. They conclude that intraocular lens power can be calculated with reasonable accuracy in infants using current formulae. 83% of their cases were within two diopters of the target refraction.

See page 596

Diagnosis of Treponema pallidum using PCR

Ocular involvement of syphilis still poses a clinical diagnostic challenge. Mueller and coworkers report the use of real‐time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of Treponema pallidum in diagnostic vitrectomies of two patients with acute chorioretinitis. They report that this delivered a sensitive, quick and inexpensive answer to the diagnostic dilemma of whether syphilis was the underlying cause of the chorioretinitis.

See page 596

Surgical removal of choroidal neovascular membranes

Medical therapies for the treatment of choroidal neovascular membranes appear to be promising. Nevertheless, surgical options are still a viable alternative. Aylward and coworkers report the 2‐year outcomes of surgical removal of non AMD‐related choroidal neovascular membranes. In this study surgical incision of these membranes resulted in improvement of visual acuity in the majority of eyes. Five eyes underwent cataract surgery during the follow‐up. Best visual improvements were seen in the patients who presented with the worst initial visual acuity.

See page 649

Wagner syndrome: Clinical characteristics and molecular analysis

Considerable confusion has surrounded the distinction between Wagner syndrome and ocular Stickler syndrome. It is now apparent that the two conditions are clinically and genetically distinct. Snead and coworkers detailed the clinical findings of a British family with Wagner syndrome. The main clinical features of the syndrome are vitreous syneresis, thickening and incomplete separation of the posterior hyaloid membrane, chorioretinal changes accompanied by subnormal electroretinographic responses, and ectopic fovea and early onset cataract.

See page 655

Oral vs topical azithromycin in the treatment of trachoma

Cochereau and coworkers performed a randomised controlled double masked study to investigate the efficacy and safety of a short duration treatment of 1.5% azithromycin eye drops vs oral azithromycin to treat active trachoma. In this study active trachoma was as effectively treated by twice daily eye drops for two to three days as oral therapy. The authors suggest that topical therapy is an innovative alternative to oral azithromycin in the treatment of trachoma.

See page 667

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