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1.  Incidence rates of surgically treated rhegmatogenous retinal detachment among manual workers, non-manual workers and housewives in Tuscany, Italy 
Purpose
Candidate risk factors for idiopathic rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) include heavy manual handling (requiring Valsalva’s maneuver). We assessed incidence rates of surgically treated idiopathic RRD among manual workers, non-manual workers and housewives resident in Tuscany, Italy.
Methods
We retrieved all hospital discharge records bearing a principal diagnosis corresponding to RRD coupled with retinal surgery for any resident of Tuscany during 1997-2009. After elimination of repeated admissions and patients with coexistent, associated conditions (including recent trauma), subjects aged 25–59 years were classified as manual workers, non-manual workers or housewives. Population data were extracted from the 2001 census.
Results
We identified 1,946 eligible cases (1,142 men). Among men, manual workers experienced a 1.8-fold higher age-standardized rate per 100,000 person-years than non-manual workers (17.4 [95% CI, 16.1–18.7] vs. 9.8 [95% CI, 8.8–10.8]). Age-standardized rates among women were 1.9-fold higher for manual workers (11.1 [95% CI, 9.8–12.3]) and 1.7-fold higher for housewives (9.5 [95% CI, 8.3–10.8]) than in non-manual workers (5.7 [95% CI, 4.8–6.6]).
Conclusions
This large population-based study suggests that manual workers are affected by idiopathic RRD requiring surgical treatment more often than non-manual workers. The higher rates of surgically treated RRD experienced by manual workers accord with the hypothesis that heavy manual handling may have a causal role.
doi:10.1007/s00420-013-0894-5
PMCID: PMC3855483  PMID: 23893253
manual work; retinal surgery; patient discharge; incidence study
2.  Cord blood serum-based eye drops: the impact of donor haematological and obstetric factors on the variability of epidermal growth factor levels 
Blood Transfusion  2014;12(Suppl 1):s44-s50.
Background
Cord blood serum (CBS)-based eye drops are successfully used in corneal epithelial wound healing and are prepared to supply a known amount of epidermal growth factor (EGF). Product standardisation includes expensive EGF dosage in all cord blood (CB) units. The influence of donor obstetric and haematological characteristics on EGF content was evaluated, to exclude unsuitable CBS and pre-select those CB units able to provide the correct EGF supply for healing corneal wounds.
Materials and methods
Data were retrospectively collected from 135 donors included in the Emilia Romagna Cord Blood Bank records. Obstetric characteristics, parity and gestational age of the mother, sex, birth weight and Apgar score of the neonate, placental weight, duration of labour and mode of delivery were considered. Haematological characteristics, CD34+ cell number, and total nucleated cell, white blood cell and platelet counts were recorded. EGF content in CB units was estimated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Statistical evaluation was performed by Mann-Whitney unpaired and Student’s t tests. Correlations between variables were evaluated by using Pearson’s (r) or Spearman’s (ρ) correlation coefficients.
Results
EGF content was significantly higher in CBS from donors aged <30 years and after vaginal deliveries as compared with scheduled Caesarean sections (1,386±580 vs 1,106±391 pg/mL; P=0.002). EGF content was significantly correlated with duration of labour (r=0.45; P=0.0001), number of CD34+ cells/mL (r=0.3; P=0.002) particularly in vaginal deliveries (r=0.36; P=0.003), mother’s age (−0.25; P=0.005), neonate’s birth weight (r=0.27; P=0.005), and total nucleated cell (r=0.25; P=0.006), white cell (r=0.29; P=0.001) and platelet (r=0.24; P=0.009) counts. No significant correlations were found between EGF content and parity, gestational age, placental weight, neonate’s sex or Apgar scores.
Discussion
EGF levels are higher in CB units from younger mothers (<30 years), with longer labour duration (>6 hours), and higher CD34+ cell content (>0.05×106/mL). In order to optimise the preparation and costs of CBS–based eye drops, pre-selection of CB units is recommended.
doi:10.2450/2013.0115-13
PMCID: PMC3934281  PMID: 24120597
cord blood serum; eye drops; epidermal growth factor; CD34+ cells; child delivery
3.  Subtenon injection of natural leukocyte interferon α-2a in diabetic macular edema: a case report 
BMC Ophthalmology  2013;13:63.
Background
To report the effect of subtenon injections of natural leukocyte interferon α-2a (IFNα) on best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and central macular thickness (CMT) in a patient with diabetic macular edema (DME).
Case presentation
A 66-year-old man affected by DME, with glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) at 6.9%, refractory to laser grid treatment and intravitreal injections of triamcinolone, was selected to receive a cycle of three subtenon injections/week of IFNα (1×106 IU/ml). BCVA and CMT, using spectral domain ocular coherence tomography (SD-OCT), were evaluated preoperatively and at 1 week, 1 month, 4 months, and 1 year postoperatively. BCVA and CMT were significantly improved at 1 week after the three injections (20/200 vs. 20/40 and 498 μm vs. 237 μm, respectively). BCVA remained stable during the 1-year follow-up. CMT was slightly increased, but was still lower than the baseline value (215 μm, 255 μm, and 299 μm during the follow-up visits). No adverse events were recorded, with the exception of mild subconjunctival hemorrhage at the injection site.
Conclusions
IFNα, with its immunomodulatory, anti-proliferative and anti-angiogenic actions, was effective in improving BCVA and reducing CMT in refractory DME. Further randomized controlled studies are required to assess the effect of IFNα alone or in combination with other therapies for DME treatment.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-13-63
PMCID: PMC3829108  PMID: 24165224
Diabetic macular edema; Interferon; Subtenon injections; Central macular thickness; Spectral domain optical coherence tomography
4.  Incidence rates of surgically treated rhegmatogenous retinal detachment among manual workers, non-manual workers and housewives in Tuscany, Italy 
Purpose
Candidate risk factors for idiopathic rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) include heavy manual handling (requiring Valsalva’s maneuver). We assessed incidence rates of surgically treated idiopathic RRD among manual workers, non-manual workers and housewives resident in Tuscany, Italy.
Methods
We retrieved all hospital discharge records bearing a principal diagnosis corresponding to RRD coupled with retinal surgery for any resident of Tuscany during 1997–2009. After elimination of repeated admissions and patients with coexistent, associated conditions (including recent trauma), subjects aged 25–59 years were classified as manual workers, non-manual workers or housewives. Population data were extracted from the 2001 census.
Results
We identified 1,946 eligible cases (1,142 men). Among men, manual workers experienced a 1.8-fold higher age-standardized rate per 100,000 person-years than non-manual workers [17.4 (95 % confidence interval (CI) 16.1–18.7) vs. 9.8 (95 % CI 8.8–10.8)]. Age-standardized rates among women were 1.9-fold higher for manual workers [11.1 (95 % CI 9.8–12.3)] and 1.7-fold higher for housewives [9.5 (95 % CI 8.3–10.8)] than in non-manual workers [5.7 (95 % CI 4.8–6.6)].
Conclusions
This large population-based study suggests that manual workers are affected by idiopathic RRD requiring surgical treatment more often than non-manual workers. The higher rates of surgically treated RRD experienced by manual workers are in accord with the hypothesis that heavy manual handling may have a causal role.
doi:10.1007/s00420-013-0894-5
PMCID: PMC3855483  PMID: 23893253
Manual work; Retinal surgery; Patient discharge; Incidence study
5.  Diagnostic performance of a tear protein panel in early dry eye 
Molecular Vision  2013;19:1247-1257.
Purpose
To evaluate the tear protein pattern in patients with recent subjective symptoms of dry eye (DE) and with poor distinctive DE clinical signs.
Methods
One hundred sixty patients suspected of suffering from mild to moderate DE according to the Dry Eye Workshop (DEWS report 2007) severity grade and 45 matched normal volunteers were included in the study. Subjective symptom score (Ocular Surface Disease index score), Schirmer test I, tear film break-up time, cornea and conjunctiva staining (National Eye Institute score); and tear protein analysis were performed. Statistical evaluation of data was performed with Mann–Whitney unpaired and Student t tests, (significance p<0.05). Correlations between variables were evaluated by using Pearson's (r) or Spearman's (ρ) correlation coefficients. Thresholds were selected from receiver operating curves; sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratio (LR+), and positive predictive values were calculated for each protein. The combination of variables was carried out by univariate analysis, representing the best combination of tests for early DE diagnosis.
Results
Total protein content (TP) and the following proteins were recognized in all samples: lysozyme-C (LYS-C), lactoferrin (LACTO), tear lipocalin 1 (LIPOC-1), zinc-alpha-2-glycoprotein (ZAG-2), transferrin (TRANSF), and exudated serum albumin (ALB). A statistically significant decrease was demonstrated between normal subjects and patients with DE (mg/ml, mean±SD) for TP (9.89±2.28 versus 6.44±2.1), LYS-C (3.06±1.07 versus 2.15±0.78), LIPOC-1 (1.71±0.52 versus 0.98±0.5), ZAG-2 (0.43±0.24 versus 0.25±0.2), TRANSF (0.9±0.6 versus 0.33±0.3), and LACTO (2.11±0.74 versus 1.47±0.76), while an increase was found for ALB (0.21±0.5 versus 0.94±1.28). LIPOC-1 and ZAG-2 were strongly correlated to tear film break-up time. The proteins were related to the DEWS severity grade. Changes in each protein were a better predictor of early DE than were clinical variables; TP, LIPOC-1, and ALB exhibited the highest diagnostic performance either alone (LR+ 16.7, 12.3, 4.7, respectively) or when combined in a univariate analysis (LR+: 41.8, positive predictive value: 99.9).
Conclusions
Our results demonstrated in tears from patients with early DE a significant reduction in tear protein content as a whole, associated with a decrease in proteins with antibacterial and protective functions. A decrease in proteins with lipid binding properties and an increase in inflammatory-related proteins were also shown. Changes in the abundance of a panel of tear proteins with divergent functions was found to better diagnose early DE than did conventional clinical tests.
PMCID: PMC3675053  PMID: 23761727
6.  Frequency doubling technology, optical coherence technology and pattern electroretinogram in ocular hypertension 
BMC Ophthalmology  2012;12:33.
Background
To assess which of three methods, namely, optical coherence tomography (OCT), pattern electroretinogram (PERG) or frequency-doubling technology (FDT), is the most sensitive and specific for detecting early glaucomatous damage in ocular hypertension (OH).
Methods
Fifty-two patients with OH (24 men and 28 women, mean age of 56 ± 9.6 years) with an intraocular pressure (IOP) > 21 mmHg and fifty-two control patients (25 men and 27 women, mean age of 54.8 ± 10.4 years) with IOP < 21 mmHg, were assessed. All the patients had normal visual acuity, normal optic disk and normal perimetric indices.
All subjects underwent OCT, FDT and PERG. Data were analyzed with unpaired t-tests, Chi-square test and Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analyses.
Results
In patients with OH, OCT showed retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thinner than in control group in the superior quadrant (130.16 ± 10.02 vs 135.18 ± 9.27 μm, respectively; p < 0.011) and inferior quadrant (120.14 ± 11.0 vs 132.68 ± 8.03 μm; p < 0.001). FDT showed a significantly higher pattern standard deviation (PSD) (3.46 ± 1.48 vs 1.89 ± 0.7 dB; p < 0.001). With respect to PERG, only the amplitude showed significant differences (p < 0.044) between the two groups. ROC curve analysis revealed a sensitivity and specificity of 92% and 86%, respectively, for FDT-PSD (with an area under the ROC curve of 0.940), whereas with OCT, a sensitivity of 82% and a specificity of 74% was recorded in the inferior RNFL quadrant (with an area under the ROC curve of 0.806) finally with PERG amplitude we found a sensitivity of 52% and specificity of 77% (with an area under the ROC curve of 0.595).
Conclusions
FDT is the most sensitive and specific method for detecting early glaucomatous damage in eyes with OH, and together with OCT, can be useful in identifying those patients who may develop glaucoma.
Trial registration
ISRCT number: ISRCTN70295497
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-12-33
PMCID: PMC3444883  PMID: 22853436
Frequency-doubling technology; Ocular hypertension; Optical coherence tomography; Pattern electroretinogram; Retinal ganglion cells; Retinal nerve fiber layer
7.  Secondary IOL Implantation without Capsular Support: A Laser Flare Cell Meter Study 
ISRN Ophthalmology  2012;2011:653246.
Phacoemulsification and the contemporary implantation of intraocular lens (IOL) within the capsular bag represent the standard of care in cataract surgery, but sometimes a primary IOL implant is not possible due to intraoperative complications or preexisting conditions so that a secondary implantation of IOL within the anterior or posterior chamber is necessary. The aim of our study was to assess the degree of inflammation due to a secondary implant of claw lenses, angle-supported IOLs, and scleral-fixated IOLs by means of an objective, repeatable, and noninvasive device, the laser flare cell meter, which evaluates aqueous flare and cells within the anterior chamber in vivo and to show the contribution of the single IOLs to the genesis of inflammation.
doi:10.5402/2011/653246
PMCID: PMC3912603  PMID: 24533188
8.  Multifocal electroretinogram and Optical Coherence tomography spectral-domain in arc welding macular injury: a case report 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:40.
Background
the purpose of this study was to report a binocular photic retinal injury induced by plasma arc welding and the follow-up after treatment with vitamin supplements for a month. In our study, we used different diagnostic tools such as fluorescein angiography (FA), optical coherence tomography (OCT) and multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG).
Case presentation
in the first visit after five days from arc welding injury in the left eye (LE) the visual acuity was 0.9 and 1.0 in the right eye (RE). FA was normal in both eyes. OCT in the left eye showed normal profile and normal reflectivity and one month later, a hyperreflectivity appeared in the external limiting membrane (ELM). The mfERG signal in the LE was 102.30 nV/deg2 five days after the injury and 112.62 nV/deg2 after one month and in the RE respectively 142.70 nV/deg2 and 159.46 nV/deg2.
Conclusions
in cases of retinal photo injury it is important for the ophthalmologist to evaluate tests such as OCT and the mfERG in the diagnosis and follow-up of the patient because the recovery of visual acuity cannot exclude the persistence of phototoxic damage charged to the complex inner-outer segment of photoreceptors.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-11-40
PMCID: PMC3274443  PMID: 22208163
9.  Efficacy of two-month treatment with Xiloial® eyedrops for discomfort from disposable soft contact lenses 
Purpose:
To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of Xiloial® monodose eyedrops in the treatment of patients suffering from subjective symptoms of discomfort related to disposable soft contact lens (dSCL) wear.
Methods:
Fifteen (12 female, three male, medium age 39 ± 9 years) dSCL wearers were enrolled. Inclusion criteria were Ocular Surface Disease Index (ODSI) symptom questionnaire score >12, tear film break-up time (TFBUT) <10 sec, Schirmer test I >10 mm over five minutes, mild punctuate keratopathy, and conjunctival staining (Oxford grading ≤4). Monodose Xiloial eyedrops were administered three times daily for a two-month period. Patients were evaluated at enrollment, after three days of washout (baseline), and after one and two months of treatment, by OSDI score, Schirmer test I, TFBUT, ferning test, ocular surface damage (Oxford grade), and serum albumin in tears (index of passive exudation related to serum leakage).
Results:
At endpoint versus baseline, respectively, the mean ± standard deviation of all variables improved as follows: OSDI (8.5 ± 3 versus 20.2 ± 1.6); TFBUT (9.6 ± 1.1 versus 7.1 ± 1.0); Oxford grading (0.5 ± 0.1 versus 3.6 ± 0.8); ferning test (2 ± 1 versus 2.4 ± 0.5); and Schirmer test I (14.6 ± 1.1 versus 12 ± 2.1), with P < 0.05 for all variables (Friedman and Wilcoxon tests). Tolerability was high, with no adverse events noted.
Conclusions:
A two-month treatment with Xiloial showed good tolerance and appeared to reduce ocular surface damage and symptoms of discomfort.
PMCID: PMC2946994  PMID: 20922039
discomfort; dry eye; disposable contact lens; biopolymer tamarind seed polysaccharide–hyaluronic acid
10.  Corneoscleral graft in Mooren's ulcer: a case report 
Cases Journal  2009;2:180.
Introduction
Mooren's ulcer is a rare disorder of unknown etiology that is refractory to treatment. It can affect not just the cornea but also the scleral tissue and can involve both eyes.
Case presentation
We report a case of a 74-year-old man with a history of bilateral and malignant Mooren's ulcer. The patient had undergone an exenteratio bulbi of the left eye because of the perforation of a Mooren's corneal ulcer. The perforated Mooren's corneal ulcer also presented in the right eye and involved the adjacent scleral tissue. It was decided to perform a corneal-scleral graft to preserve the anatomical integrity of the eye.
Conclusion
This report highlights how a corneal-scleral graft followed by systemic and local immunosuppressive treatment should be considered in monocular patients with malignant Mooren's ulcer where there is serious damage to the corneal and scleral tissue.
doi:10.1186/1757-1626-2-180
PMCID: PMC2783135  PMID: 19946490
11.  Matrix metalloproteinases and their tissue inhibitors after selective laser trabeculoplasty in pseudoexfoliative secondary glaucoma 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:20.
Background
The aim of this study was to assess changes in metalloproteinases (MMP-2) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP-2) following selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) in patients with pseudoexfoliative glaucoma (PEXG).
Methods
We enrolled 15 patients with PEXG and cataracts (PEXG-C group) and good intraocular pressure (IOP) controlled with β-blockers and dorzolamide eye drops who were treated by cataract phacoemulsification and 15 patients with pseudoexfoliative glaucoma (PEXG-SLT group). The PEXG-SLT patients underwent a trabeculectomy for uncontrolled IOP in the eye that showed increased IOP despite the maximum drug treatment with β-blockers and dorzolamide eye drops and after ineffective selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT). The control group consisted of 15 subjects with cataracts. Aqueous humor was aspirated during surgery from patients with PEXG-C, PEXG-SLT and from matched control patients with cataracts during cataract surgery or trabeculectomy. The concentrations of MMP-2 and TIMP-2 in the aqueous humor were assessed with commercially available ELISA kits.
Results
In PEXG-SLT group in the first 10 days after SLT treatment a significant reduction in IOP was observed: 25.8 ± 1.9 vs 18.1.0 ± 1.4 mm/Hg (p < 0.001), but after a mean time of 31.5 ± 7.6 days IOP increased and returned to pretreatment levels: 25.4 ± 1.6 mm/Hg (p < 0.591). Therefore a trabeculectomy was considered necessary.
The MMP-2 in PEXG-C was 57.77 ± 9.25 μg/ml and in PEXG-SLT was 58.52 ± 9.66 μg/ml (p < 0.066). TIMP-2 was 105.19 ± 28.53 μg/ml in PEXG-C and 105.96 ± 27.65 μg/ml in PEXG-SLT (p < 0.202). The MMP-2/TIMP-2 ratio in the normal subjects was 1.11 ± 0.44. This ratio increase to 1.88 ± 0.65 in PEXG-C (p < 0.001) and to 1.87 ± 0.64 in PEXG-SLT (p < 0.001). There was no statistically significant difference between the PEXG-C and PEXG-SLT ratios (p < 0.671).
Conclusion
This case series suggest that IOP elevation after SLT can be a serious adverse event in some PEXG patients. The IOP increase in these cases would be correlated to the failure to decrease the TIMP-2/MMP-2 ratio.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN79745214
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-20
PMCID: PMC2575190  PMID: 18939999
12.  Intravitreal vs. subtenon triamcinolone acetonide for the treatment of diabetic cystoid macular edema 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:5.
Background
To assess the efficacy of the intravitreal (IVT) injection of Triamcinolone Acetonide (TA) as compared to posterior subtenon (SBT) capsule injection for the treatment of cystoid diabetic macular edema.
Methods
Fourteen patients with type II diabetes mellitus and on insulin treatment, presenting diffuse cystoid macular edema were recruited. Before TA injection all focal lakes were treated by laser photocoagulation. In the same patients one eye was assigned to 4 mg IVT injection of TA and the fellow eye was then treated with 40 mg SBT injection of TA. Before and one, three and six months after treatment we measured visual acuity with ETDRS chart as well as thickness of the macula with optical coherence tomography (OCT) and intraocular pressure (IOP).
Results
The eyes treated with an IVT injection displayed significant improvement in visual acuity, both after one (0.491 ± 0.070; p < 0.001) and three months (0.500 ± 0.089; p < 0.001) of treatment. Significant improvement was displayed also in eyes treated with an SBT injection, again after one (0.455 ± 0.069; p < 0.001) and three months (0.427 ± 0.065; p < 0.001). The difference between an IVT injection (0.809 ± 0.083) and SBT injection (0.460 ± 0.072) becomes significant six months after the treatment (p < 0.001).
Macular thickness of the eyes treated with IVT injection was significantly reduced both after one (222.7 ± 13.4 μm; p < 0.001) and after three months (228.1 ± 10.6 μm; p < 0.001) of treatment. The eyes treated with SBT injection displayed significant improvement after one (220.1 ± 15.1 μm; p < 0.001) and after three months (231.3 ± 10.9 μm; p < 0.001). The difference between the eyes treated with IVT injection (385.2 ± 11.3 μm) and those treated with SBT injection (235.4 ± 8.7 μm) becomes significant six months after the treatment (p < 0.001).
Intraocular pressure of the eyes treated with IVT injection significantly increased after one month (17.7 ± 1.1 mm/Hg; p < 0.020), three (18.2 ± 1.2 mm/Hg; p < 0.003) and six month (18.1 ± 1.3 mm/Hg; p < 0.007) when compared to baseline value (16.1 ± 1.402 mm/Hg). In the SBT injection eyes we didn't display a significant increase of intraocular pressure after one (16.4 ± 1.2 mm/Hg; p < 0.450), three (16.3 ± 1.1 mm/Hg; p < 0.630) and six months (16.2 ± 1.1 mm/Hg; p < 0.720) when compared to baseline value (16.2 ± 1.3 mm/Hg).
Conclusion
The parabulbar subtenon approach can be considered a valid alternative to the intravitreal injection.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN67086909
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-5
PMCID: PMC2277375  PMID: 18366650
13.  One month use of Systane® improves ocular surface parameters in subjects with moderate symptoms of ocular dryness 
Objective
To evaluate the efficacy of Systane® Lubricating Eye Drops in improving the symptoms of moderate ocular dryness.
Methods
Fifty subjects with moderate symptoms of ocular dryness were enrolled in this open label study. The mean age of subjects was 57.6 ± 15.4 years. To be eligible, subjects’ tear film break-up time (TFBUT) had to be <10 seconds, and subjects had to have at least one ocular discomfort symptom in addition to dryness. Saline was used for a washout period of 3–5 days. Subjects were re-examined, and those continuing to meet the inclusion criteria were dispensed Systane® and re-examined again after 28 days. At each visit, slitlamp examination was conducted, and ocular discomfort symptoms and TFBUT were evaluated. Subjects rated their overall satisfaction at baseline and on the last visit.
Results
No significant changes in TFBUT or ocular discomfort symptoms were observed after saline use, compared with screening visit. After 28 days of Systane® use there was statistically significant improvement of TFBUT (p = 0.0001) compared with baseline. Subjects experienced significant symptomatic relief for all 6 ocular discomfort symptoms at the endpoint visit.
Conclusion
Systane® effectively relieved the symptoms associated with moderate ocular dryness, with measurable improvement in objective TFBUT, subjective symptoms, and overall satisfaction.
PMCID: PMC2694005  PMID: 19668764
Systane; lubricant eye drops; TFBUT; ocular dryness; ocular symptoms

Results 1-13 (13)