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1.  An N-Terminal Signal Peptide Of Vfr Protein Negatively Influences RopB-Dependent SpeB Expression and Attenuates Virulence in Streptococcus pyogenes 
Molecular microbiology  2011;82(6):1481-1495.
Streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B (SpeB) is an extracellular cysteine protease that is a critical virulence factor made by the major human pathogen group A Streptococcus (GAS). speB expression is dependent on the regulator of proteinase B (RopB) and is upregulated with increasing cell density and during infection. Because computer modeling suggested significant structural similarity between RopB and peptide-sensing regulatory proteins made by other Gram-positive bacteria, we hypothesized that speB expression is influenced by RopB-peptide interactions. Inactivation of the gene (vfr) encoding the virulence factor related (Vfr) protein resulted in increased speB transcript level during the exponential growth phase, whereas provision of only the amino-terminal region of Vfr comprising the secretion signal sequence in trans restored a wild-type speB expression profile. Addition of the culture supernatant from a Vfr signal peptide-expressing GAS strain restored wild-type speB transcript level to a vfr-inactivated isogenic mutant strain. A distinct peptide in the Vfr secretion signal sequence specifically bound to recombinant RopB. Finally, overexpression of the Vfr secretion signal sequence significantly decreased speB transcript level and attenuated GAS virulence in two mouse models of invasive infection. Taken together, these data delineate a previously unknown small peptide-mediated regulatory system that controls GAS virulence factor production.
PMCID: PMC4571278  PMID: 22040048
Virulence; gene regulation; SpeB; RopB; signal peptide
2.  Optical effects of exposing intact human lenses to ultraviolet radiation and visible light 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:41.
The human lens is continuously exposed to high levels of light. Ultraviolet radiation is believed to play a causative role in the development of cataract. In vivo, however, the lens is mainly exposed to visible light and the ageing lens absorbs a great part of the short wavelength region of incoming visible light. The aim of the present study was to examine the optical effects on human lenses of short wavelength visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
Naturally aged human donor lenses were irradiated with UVA (355 nm), violet (400 and 405 nm) and green (532 nm) lasers. The effect of irradiation was evaluated qualitatively by photography and quantitatively by measuring the direct transmission before and after irradiation. Furthermore, the effect of pulsed and continuous laser systems was compared as was the effect of short, intermediate and prolonged exposures.
Irradiation with high intensity lasers caused scattering lesions in the human lenses. These effects were more likely to be seen when using pulsed lasers because of the high pulse intensity. Prolonged irradiation with UVA led to photodarkening whereas no detrimental effects were observed after irradiation with visible light.
Irradiation with visible light does not seem to be harmful to the human lens except if the lens is exposed to laser irradiances that are high enough to warrant thermal protein denaturation that is more readily seen using pulsed laser systems.
PMCID: PMC3265411  PMID: 22208285
3.  Multifocal electroretinogram and Optical Coherence tomography spectral-domain in arc welding macular injury: a case report 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:40.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3274443  PMID: 22208163
4.  Diagnosis and treatment outcome of mycotic keratitis at a tertiary eye care center in eastern india 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:39.
Mycotic keratitis is an important cause of corneal blindness world over including India. Geographical location and climate are known to influence the profile of fungal diseases. While there are several reports on mycotic keratitis from southern India, comprehensive clinico-microbiological reports from eastern India are few. The reported prevalence of mycotic keratitis are 36.7%,36.3%,25.6%,7.3% in southern, western, north- eastern and northern India respectively. This study reports the epidemiological characteristics, microbiological diagnosis and treatment outcome of mycotic keratitis at a tertiary eye care center in eastern India.
A retrospective review of medical and microbiology records was done for all patients with laboratory proven fungal keratitis.
Between July 2006 and December 2009, 997 patients were clinically diagnosed as microbial keratitis. While no organisms were found in 25.4% (253/997) corneal samples, 23.4% (233/997) were bacterial, 26.4% (264/997) were fungal (45 cases mixed with bacteria), 1.4% (14/997) were Acanthamoeba with or without bacteria and 23.4% (233/997) were microsporidial with or without bacteria. Two hundred fifteen of 264 (81.4%, 215/264) samples grew fungus in culture while 49 corneal scrapings were positive for fungal elements only in direct microscopy. Clinical diagnosis of fungal keratitis was made in 186 of 264 (70.5%) cases. The microscopic detection of fungal elements was achieved by 10% potassium hydroxide with 0.1% calcoflour white stain in 94.8%(238/251) cases. Aspergillus species (27.9%, 60/215) and Fusarium species (23.2%, 50/215) were the major fungal isolates. Concomitant bacterial infection was seen in 45 (17.1%, 45/264) cases of mycotic keratitis. Clinical outcome of healed scar was achieved in 94 (35.6%, 94/264) cases. Fifty two patients (19.7%, 52/264) required therapeutic PK, 9 (3.4%, 9/264) went for evisceration, 18.9% (50/264) received glue application with bandage contact lens (BCL) for impending perforation, 6.1% (16/264) were unchanged and 16.3% (43/264) were lost to follow up. Poor prognosis like PK (40/52, 75.9%, p < 0.001) and BCL (30/50, 60%, p < 0.001) was seen in significantly larger number of patients with late presentation (> 10 days).
The relative prevalence of mycotic keratitis in eastern India is lower than southern, western and north-eastern India but higher than northern India, however, Aspergillus and Fusarium are the predominant genera associated with fungal keratitis across India. The response to medical treatment is poor in patients with late presentation.
PMCID: PMC3286391  PMID: 22188671
Mycotic; fungal; keratitis; microscopy; culture; treatment outcome
5.  ℮-conome: an automated tissue counting platform of cone photoreceptors for rodent models of retinitis pigmentosa 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:38.
Retinitis pigmentosa is characterized by the sequential loss of rod and cone photoreceptors. The preservation of cones would prevent blindness due to their essential role in human vision. Rod-derived Cone Viability Factor is a thioredoxin-like protein that is secreted by rods and is involved in cone survival. To validate the activity of Rod-derived Cone Viability Factors (RdCVFs) as therapeutic agents for treating retinitis Pigmentosa, we have developed e-conome, an automated cell counting platform for retinal flat mounts of rodent models of cone degeneration. This automated quantification method allows for faster data analysis thereby accelerating translational research.
An inverted fluorescent microscope, motorized and coupled to a CCD camera records images of cones labeled with fluorescent peanut agglutinin lectin on flat-mounted retinas. In an average of 300 fields per retina, nine Z-planes at magnification X40 are acquired after two-stage autofocus individually for each field. The projection of the stack of 9 images is subject to a threshold, filtered to exclude aberrant images based on preset variables. The cones are identified by treating the resulting image using 13 variables empirically determined. The cone density is calculated over the 300 fields.
The method was validated by comparison to the conventional stereological counting. The decrease in cone density in rd1 mouse was found to be equivalent to the decrease determined by stereological counting. We also studied the spatiotemporal pattern of the degeneration of cones in the rd1 mouse and show that while the reduction in cone density starts in the central part of the retina, cone degeneration progresses at the same speed over the whole retinal surface. We finally show that for mice with an inactivation of the Nucleoredoxin-like genes Nxnl1 or Nxnl2 encoding RdCVFs, the loss of cones is more pronounced in the ventral retina.
The automated platform ℮-conome used here for retinal disease is a tool that can broadly accelerate translational research for neurodegenerative diseases.
PMCID: PMC3271040  PMID: 22185426
6.  Transient peripheral edema following displaced corneal graft after descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK): case presentation 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:37.
Descemet's Stripping with Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK) is constantly gaining popularity in the management of endothelial dysfunctions such as bullous keratopathy or Fuchs' dystrophy.
Case Presentation
A 36 year - old man with Fuchs' dystrophy underwent combined phacoemulsification and DSAEK of the right eye. Immediately postoperatively, corneal graft displacement and peripheral corneal edema which remained stable during the first postoperative month were evident on slit lamp examination. Three months after the procedure the peripheral edema had completely resolved and the patients' subjective symptoms were improved.
The purpose of this case presentation is to demonstrate that corneal graft displacement after DSAEK can lead to peripheral corneal edema that can resolve without further intervention such as graft repositioning or replacement.
PMCID: PMC3252244  PMID: 22151374
7.  Intravitreal triamcinolone versus laser photocoagulation as a primary treatment for diabetic macular oedema - a comparative pilot study 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:36.
Diabetic macular oedema is the leading causes of blindness. Laser photocoagulation reduces the risk of visual loss. However recurrences are common and despite laser treatment, patients with diabetic macular oedema experienced progressive loss of vision. Stabilization of the blood retinal barrier introduces a rationale for intravitreal triamcinolone treatment in diabetic macular oedema. This study is intended to compare the best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and the macular oedema index (MEI) at 3 month of primary treatment for diabetic macular oedema between intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide (IVTA) and laser photocoagulation.
This comparative pilot study consists of 40 diabetic patients with diabetic macular oedema. The patients were randomized into two groups using envelope technique sampling procedure. Treatment for diabetic macular oedema was based on the printed envelope technique selected for every patient. Twenty patients were assigned for IVTA group (one injection of IVTA) and another 20 patients for LASER group (one laser session). Main outcome measures were mean BCVA and mean MEI at three months post treatment. The MEI was quantified using Heidelberg Retinal Tomography II.
The mean difference for BCVA at baseline [IVTA: 0.935 (0.223), LASER: 0.795 (0.315)] and at three months post treatment [IVTA: 0.405 (0.224), LASER: 0.525 (0.289)] between IVTA and LASER group was not statistically significant (p = 0.113 and p = 0.151 respectively). The mean difference for MEI at baseline [IVTA: 2.539 (0.914), LASER: 2.139 (0.577)] and at three months post treatment [IVTA: 1.753 (0.614), LASER: 1.711 (0.472)] between IVTA and LASER group was also not statistically significant (p = 0.106 and p = 0.811 respectively).
IVTA demonstrates good outcome comparable to laser photocoagulation as a primary treatment for diabetic macular oedema at three months post treatment.
Trial Registration
ISRCTN05040192 (
PMCID: PMC3231950  PMID: 22111945
8.  Absence of mutations in four genes encoding for congenital cataract and expressed in the human brain in Tunisian families with cataract and mental retardation 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:35.
To identify the genetic defect associated with autosomal recessive congenital cataract (ARCC), mental retardation (MR) and ARCC, MR and microcephaly present in most patients in four Tunisian consanguineous families.
We screened four genes implicated in congenital cataract by direct sequencing in two groups of patients; those affected by ARCC associated to MR and those who presented also microcephaly. Among its three genes PAX6, PITX3 and HSF4 are expressed in human brain and one gene LIM2 encodes for the protein MP20 that interact with the protein galectin-3 expressed in human brain and plays a crucial role in its development. All genes were screened by direct sequencing in two groups of patients; those affected by ARCC associated to MR and those who presented also microcephaly.
We report no mutation in the four genes of congenital cataract and its flanking regions. Only variations that did not segregate with the studied phenotypes (ARCC associated to MR, ARCC associated with MR and microcephaly) are reported. We detected three intronic variations in PAX6 gene: IVS4 -274insG (intron 4), IVS12 -174G>A (intron12) in the four studied families and IVS4 -195G>A (intron 4) in two families. Two substitutions polymorphisms in PITX3 gene: c.439 C>T (exon 3) and c.930 C>A (exon4) in one family. One intronic variation in HSF4 gene: IVS7 +93C>T (intron 7) identified in one family. And three intronic substitutions in LIM2 gene identified in all four studied families: IVS2 -24A>G (intron 2), IVS4 +32C>T (intron 4) and c.*15A>C (3'-downstream sequence).
Although the role of the four studied genes: PAX6, PITX3, HSF4 and LIM2 in both ocular and central nervous system development, we report the absence of mutations in all studied genes in four families with phenotypes associating cataract, MR and microcephaly.
PMCID: PMC3258189  PMID: 22103961
9.  Glial Heterotopia of the orbit: A rare presentation 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:34.
Glial heterotopias are rare, benign, congenital, midline, non-teratomatous extracranial glial tissue. They may masquerade as encephalocoele or dermoid cyst and mostly present in nose. Herein, we present an unusual case of glial heterotopia of the orbit with unilateral blindness.
Case presentation
A 6 year-old-boy presented with a progressive painless mass over the nose and medial aspect of the left eye noticed since birth. On examination, the globe was displaced laterally by a firm, regular, mobile, non-pulsatile and non-tender medial mass. The affected eye had profound loss of vision. Computed tomography scan showed a large hypodense mass in the extraconal space with no intracranial connectivity and bony erosion. The child underwent total surgical excision of the mass and histopathological examination confirmed glial heterotopia of the orbit.
Though the incidence of this condition is rare, the need of appropriate diagnosis and management of such mass to prevent the visual and cosmetic deterioration is warranted. To our knowledge this is the first reported case of Glial heterotopia of orbit causing unilateral blindness.
PMCID: PMC3226578  PMID: 22088230
10.  DPOFA, a Cl-/HCO3- exchanger antagonist, stimulates fluid absorption across basolateral surface of the retinal pigment epithelium 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:33.
Retinal detachment is a disorder of the eye in which sensory retina separates from the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) due to accumulation of fluid in subretinal space. Pharmacological stimulation of fluid reabsorption from subretinal space to choroid across the RPE has been suggested as a treatment strategy for retinal detachment. DPOFA, (R)-(+)-(5,6-dichloro 2,3,9,9a-tetrahydro 3-oxo-9a-propyl-1H-fluoren-7-yl)oxy]acetic acid, is an abandoned drug capable of inhibiting Cl-/HCO3- exchanger activity. We hypothesized that DPOFA may increase fluid absorption across basolateral surface of the RPE.
Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of mRNA for six different transporters that may act as Cl-/HCO3- exchangers was conducted in bovine and human RPE to confirm that RPE from two species expresses the same repertoire of Cl-/HCO3- exchanger isoforms. The degree of amino acid homology between orthologous human and bovine RPE-specific isoforms was calculated after performing protein alignments. Transport of fluid across bovine RPE-choroid explants mounted in the Ussing chamber was used to assess the ability of DPOFA to modulate fluid absorption across the RPE.
Using RT-PCR we showed that three isoforms (SLC4A2, SLC4A3, and SLC26A6) are strongly expressed in human and bovine RPE preparations. Amino acid comparisons conducted for RPE-specific isoforms support the use of bovine RPE-choroid explants as an adequate experimental system for assessing fluid absorption activity for DPOFA. Our data is consistent with the fact that DPOFA stimulates fluid absorption across the RPE in bovine RPE-choroid explants.
DPOFA seems to stimulate transport of water across the RPE in bovine RPE-choroid explants. Additional experiments are required to establish dose-dependent effect of DPOFA on fluid absorption in the bovine RPE-choroid experimental system.
PMCID: PMC3271048  PMID: 22085910
11.  Cataract research using electronic health records 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:32.
The eMERGE (electronic MEdical Records and Genomics) network, funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute, is a national consortium formed to develop, disseminate, and apply approaches to research that combine DNA biorepositories with electronic health record (EHR) systems for large-scale, high-throughput genetic research. Marshfield Clinic is one of five sites in the eMERGE network and primarily studied: 1) age-related cataract and 2) HDL-cholesterol levels. The purpose of this paper is to describe the approach to electronic evaluation of the epidemiology of cataract using the EHR for a large biobank and to assess previously identified epidemiologic risk factors in cases identified by electronic algorithms.
Electronic algorithms were used to select individuals with cataracts in the Personalized Medicine Research Project database. These were analyzed for cataract prevalence, age at cataract, and previously identified risk factors.
Cataract diagnoses and surgeries, though not type of cataract, were successfully identified using electronic algorithms. Age specific prevalence of both cataract (22% compared to 17.2%) and cataract surgery (11% compared to 5.1%) were higher when compared to the Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group. The risk factors of age, gender, diabetes, and steroid use were confirmed.
Using electronic health records can be a viable and efficient tool to identify cataracts for research. However, using retrospective data from this source can be confounded by historical limits on data availability, differences in the utilization of healthcare, and changes in exposures over time.
PMCID: PMC3226674  PMID: 22078460
Cataract; prevalence; risk factors; epidemiology; electronic health record
12.  The effect of different criteria on the number of patients blind from open-angle glaucoma 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:31.
The prevalence of blindness and visual impairment from glaucoma is influenced by the criteria used to define these entities, which differ between countries and regions, as well as among published reports. The objective of the present study was to ascertain the extent to which different criteria of blindness and visual impairment influence estimates of the number of patients classified as blind or visually impaired by glaucoma in a clinic-based population.
We conducted a retrospective chart review of 914 patients with open-angle glaucoma to compare numbers of patients identified as visually impaired with and without considering visual field status. We also compared proportions classified using World Health Organisation (WHO) and United States (US) blindness criteria, and applying a new US Social Security Administration (SSA) disability criterion: perimetric mean deviation (MD) ≤ -22 dB.
Forty patients (4.4%) were bilaterally blind from glaucoma by the WHO criteria. Fifty-two (5.7%) were blind by the the US criterion. Assessing only visual acuity, 14 (1.5%) patients were blind by the WHO criteria and 24 (2.6%) by the US definition. Eighty-five (9.3%) met the US SSA disability criterion. Among those, 52 were impaired also by the WHO definition. No patients impaired according to the WHO criteria had MD values better than -22 dB.
Excluding visual field status will seriously underestimate the prevalence of glaucoma blindness. In our patient population, 30% more patients were classified as blind by the US than by the WHO definition. Also, 60% more were identified as visually impaired by the US SSA criterion than by the WHO criteria. Visual field assessment is vital to determine visual impairment caused by glaucoma.
PMCID: PMC3247062  PMID: 22074185
13.  Disseminated fusariosis and endogenous fungal endophthalmitis in acute lymphoblastic leukemia following platelet transfusion possibly due to transfusion-related immunomodulation 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:30.
To report a case of disseminated fusariosis with endogenous endophthalmitis in a patient with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Transfusion-associated immune modulation secondary to platelet transfusion could play an important role in the pathophysiology of this case.
Case Presentation
A 9 year-old male with acute lymphoblastic leukemia complicated by pancytopenia and disseminated Intravascular coagulation was given platelet transfusion. He developed disseminated fusariosis and was referred to the ophthalmology team for right endogenous endophthalmitis. The infection was controlled with aggressive systemic and intravitreal antifungals.
Patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia are predisposed to endogenous fungal endophthalmitis. Transfusion-associated immune modulation may further increase host susceptibility to such opportunistic infections.
PMCID: PMC3220630  PMID: 22044440
14.  Visual function and serous retinal detachment in patients with branch retinal vein occlusion and macular edema: a case series 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:29.
The influence of serous retinal detachment (SRD) on retinal sensitivity in patients with branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) and macular edema remains unclear. This is despite the frequent co-existence of SRD and cystoid macular edema (CME) in BRVO patients on optical coherence tomography (OCT) and the fact that CME is the most common form of macular edema secondary to BRVO. We investigated visual function (visual acuity and macular sensitivity), macular thickness, and macular volume in patients with BRVO and macular edema.
Fifty-three consecutive BRVO patients (26 women and 27 men) were divided into two groups based on optical coherence tomography findings. Macular function was documented by microperimetry, while macular thickness and volume were measured by OCT.
There were 15 patients with SRD and 38 patients with CME. Fourteen of the 15 patients with SRD also had CME. Visual acuity was significantly worse in the SRD group than in the CME group (P = 0.049). Also, macular thickness and macular volume within the central 4°, 10°, and 20° fields were significantly greater in the SRD group (P = 0.008, and P = 0.007, P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, and P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively). However, macular sensitivity within the central 4°, 10°, and 20° fields was not significantly worse in the SRD group than in the CME group.
SRD itself may decrease visual acuity together with CME, because nearly all SRD patients also had CME. SRD does not seem to influence macular function on microperimetry.
PMCID: PMC3206462  PMID: 21943190
15.  A case of bilateral self-induced keratoconus in a patient with tourette syndrome associated with compulsive eye rubbing: case report 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:28.
Tourette syndrome is a neurologic disorder that is characterized by repetitive muscle contractions that produce stereotyped movements or sounds. Approximately 50% of individuals with TS also exhibit obsessive-compulsive behaviors including eye rubbing. We report a case of bilateral self-induced keratoconus in a patient with TS, associated with compulsive eye rubbing.
Case presentation
A 35-year-old man was first seen in our clinic as an outpatient due to rapid deterioration of vision in his right eye associated with pain and tearing, over a period of one month. Slit lamp biomicroscopy of the right eye showed a central stromal scar due to corneal hydrops. Clinical examination and corneal topography of the left eye were normal. Six months later the patient developed corneal hydrops of his left eye. During the following examinations his vision continued to deteriorate in both eyes, while a central stromal scar was forming in his left cornea. Four years after the initial examination the patient's visual acuity was no light perception in the right eye and counting fingers at 33 cm in the left eye. His right eye was phthisic.
Our patient developed a rapidly progressing bilateral corneal ectasia and phthisis of his right eye during a time period of 4 years. This unusual pattern suggests that the patient's compulsive behavior compromised both of his corneas and led to bilateral keratoconus.
PMCID: PMC3191478  PMID: 21936935
16.  Human pericardium graft in the management of bleb's complication performed in childhood: a case report 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:27.
To report a case with hypotony due to late leakage of the filtering bleb performed during childhood and treated surgically using human pericardium graft.
Case Presentation
A man with hypotony related to bleb's leakage in his right eye was presented. During his childhood trabeculectomy was performed to manage ocular hypertension due to pediatric glaucoma. Biomicroscopy revealed choroidal tissue incarcerated in the sclerectomy under the conjunctiva. Bleb revision was performed. Human pericardium graft was used to cover the sclerectomy and a new bleb with controlled outflow was created. The intraocular pressure (IOP) and Seidel test represent the main outcomes. Intraoperative and postoperative complications were recorded. Fifteen days postoperatively the IOP was of 7 mmHg and the bleb seemed to filter properly. Five months later the IOP was 9 mmHg and no complications were noticed. During the follow up time, the Seidel test was negative.
We used human pericardium graft with no complications in a case of bleb leakage performed for pediatric glaucoma.
PMCID: PMC3189896  PMID: 21933427
late bleb leakage; human pericardium; bleb revision; pediatric glaucoma
17.  Rapid assessment of visual impairment (RAVI) in marine fishing communities in South India - study protocol and main findings 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:26.
Reliable data are a pre-requisite for planning eye care services. Though conventional cross sectional studies provide reliable information, they are resource intensive. A novel rapid assessment method was used to investigate the prevalence and causes of visual impairment and presbyopia in subjects aged 40 years and older. This paper describes the detailed methodology and study procedures of Rapid Assessment of Visual Impairment (RAVI) project.
A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted using cluster random sampling in the coastal region of Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh in India, predominantly inhabited by fishing communities. Unaided, aided and pinhole visual acuity (VA) was assessed using a Snellen chart at a distance of 6 meters. The VA was re-assessed using a pinhole, if VA was < 6/12 in either eye. Near vision was assessed using N notation chart binocularly. Visual impairment was defined as presenting VA < 6/18 in the better eye. Presbyopia is defined as binocular near vision worse than N8 in subjects with binocular distance VA of 6/18 or better.
The data collection was completed in <12 weeks using two teams each consisting of one paramedical ophthalmic personnel and two community eye health workers. The prevalence of visual impairment was 30% (95% CI, 27.6-32.2). This included 111 (7.1%; 95% CI, 5.8-8.4) individuals with blindness. Cataract was the leading cause of visual impairment followed by uncorrected refractive errors. The prevalence of blindness according to WHO definition (presenting VA < 3/60 in the better eye) was 2.7% (95% CI, 1.9-3.5).
There is a high prevalence of visual impairment in marine fishing communities in Prakasam district in India. The data from this rapid assessment survey can now be used as a baseline to start eye care services in this region. The rapid assessment methodology (RAVI) reported in this paper is robust, quick and has the potential to be replicated in other areas.
PMCID: PMC3184277  PMID: 21929802
cataract; fishing communities; rapid assessment; India; visual impairment
18.  inVestIgating the pSychologIcal and ecONomic impAct of cataRact surgerY in Vietnam: The VISIONARY observational study protocol 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:25.
Visual impairment caused by cataracts not only affects an individual's quality of life but can also have a profound impact on other important psychological factors and on the economic circumstances of individuals and their households. Cataract surgery is an effective intervention to restore vision and is also associated with other positive consequences including improvements in quality of life, economic and psychological outcomes. While there has been an increase in the number and quality of cataract surgeries performed in Vietnam, the programs currently in place are still unable to meet the existing demand and need for surgery. Data on both the cost-effectiveness of cataract surgery and the economic and psychological impact of untreated cataract in this setting is lacking.
This study, investigating the psychological and economic impact of cataract surgery in Vietnam (VISIONARY), will recruit and interview a sample of adults (18 years or over) who are referred for cataract surgery by one of the following sites and their outreach programs: Hue Eye Hospital; Thai Binh Eye Hospital; Binh Dinh Department of Health Eye Hospital and the Vinh Long Department of Health Social Disease Centre. All participants (those who have cataract surgery and those who do not have surgery) will be followed up at six and 12 months.
This study is designed to examine the impact of low vision on household economic circumstances and psychological outcomes as well as to investigate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of cataract surgery in Vietnam. It will help to inform international and national non-government organisations working in the country and local policy-makers on priorities for further investment in eye-health services in this setting and their relevance to broader economic development goals.
PMCID: PMC3184276  PMID: 21910894
19.  Branch retinal vein occlusion associated with quetiapine fumarate 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:24.
To report a case of branch retinal vein occlusion in a young adult with bipolar mood disorder treated with quetiapine fumarate.
Case Presentation
A 29 years old gentleman who was taking quetiapine fumarate for 3 years for bipolar mood disorder, presented with sudden vision loss. He was found to have a superior temporal branch retinal vein occlusion associated with hypercholesterolemia.
Atypical antipsychotic drugs have metabolic side effects which require regular monitoring and prompt treatment.
PMCID: PMC3171721  PMID: 21867521
20.  Comparative efficacy and safety of the fixed versus unfixed combination of latanoprost and timolol in Chinese patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:23.
A noninferiority trial was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of a single evening dose of fixed-combination latanoprost 50 μg/mL and timolol 0.5 mg/mL (Xalacom®; LTFC), in Chinese patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) or ocular hypertension (OH) who were insufficiently controlled on β-blocker monotherapy or β-blocker-based dual therapy.
This 8-week, randomized, open-label, parallel-group, noninferiority study compared once-daily evening dosing of LTFC with the unfixed combination of latanoprost, one drop in the evening, and timolol, one drop in the morning (LTuFC). The primary efficacy endpoint was the mean change from baseline to week 8 in diurnal intraocular pressure (IOP; mean of 8 AM, 10 AM, 2 PM, 4 PM IOPs). LTFC was considered noninferior to LTuFC if the upper limit of the 95% confidence interval (CI) of the difference was < 1.5 mmHg (analysis of covariance).
Baseline characteristics were similar for LTFC (N = 125; POAG, 70%; mean IOP, 25.8 mmHg) and LTuFC (N = 125; POAG, 69%; mean IOP, 26.0 mmHg). Mean diurnal IOP changes from baseline to week 8 were -8.6 mmHg with LTFC and -8.9 mmHg with LTuFC (between-treatment difference: 0.3 mmHg; 95%-CI, -0.3 to 1.0). Both treatments were well tolerated.
A single evening dose of LTFC was at least as effective as the unfixed combination of latanoprost in the PM and timolol in the AM in reducing IOP in Chinese subjects with POAG or OH whose IOP was insufficiently reduced with β-blocker monotherapy or β-blocker-based dual therapy. LTFC is an effective and well tolerated once-daily treatment for POAG and OH.
Trial registration registration: NCT00219596
PMCID: PMC3175210  PMID: 21851642
21.  Cholesterol-enriched diet causes age-related macular degeneration-like pathology in rabbit retina 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:22.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) share several pathological hallmarks including β-amyloid (Aβ) accumulation, oxidative stress, and apoptotic cell death. The causes of AD and AMD are likely multi-factorial with several factors such as diet, environment, and genetic susceptibility participating in the pathogenesis of these diseases. Epidemiological studies correlated high plasma cholesterol levels with high incidence of AD, and feeding rabbits with a diet rich in cholesterol has been shown to induce AD-like pathology in rabbit brain. High intake of cholesterol and saturated fat were also long been suspected to increase the risk for AMD. However, the extent to which cholesterol-enriched diet may also cause AMD-like features in rabbit retinas is not well known.
Male New Zealand white rabbits were fed normal chow or a 2% cholesterol-enriched diet for 12 weeks. At necropsy, animals were perfused with Dulbecco's phosphate-buffered saline and the eyes were promptly removed. One eye of each animal was used for immunohistochemistry and retina dissected from the other eye was used for Western blot, ELISA assays, spectrophotometry and mass spectrometry analyses.
Increased levels of Aβ, decreased levels of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2, increased levels of the pro-apoptotic Bax and gadd153 proteins, emergence of TUNEL-positive cells, and increased generation of reactive oxygen species were found in retinas from cholesterol-fed compared to normal chow-fed rabbits. Additionally, astrogliosis, drusen-like debris and cholesterol accumulations in retinas from cholesterol-fed rabbits were observed. As several lines of evidence suggest that oxidized cholesterol metabolites (oxysterols) may be the link by which cholesterol contributes to the pathogenesis of AMD, we determined levels of oxysterols and found a dramatic increase in levels of oxysterols in retinas from cholesterol-fed rabbits.
Our results suggest that cholesterol-enriched diets cause retinal degeneration that is relevant to AMD. Furthermore, our data suggests high cholesterol levels and subsequent increase in the cholesterol metabolites as potential culprits to AMD.
PMCID: PMC3170645  PMID: 21851605
22.  An evaluation of clinical treatment of convergence insufficiency for children with reading difficulties 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:21.
The present study investigates two different treatment options for convergence insufficiency CI for a group of children with reading difficulties referred by educational institutes to a specialist eye clinic in Vienna.
One hundred and thirty four subjects (aged 7-14 years) with reading difficulties were referred from an educational institute in Vienna, Austria for visual assessment. Each child was given either 8Δ base-in reading spectacles (n = 51) or computerised home vision therapy (HTS) (n = 51). Thirty two participants refused all treatment offered (clinical control group). A full visual assessment including reading speed and accuracy were conducted pre- and post-treatment.
Factorial analyses demonstrated statistically significant changes between results obtained for visits 1 and 2 for total reading time, reading error score, amplitude of accommodation and binocular accommodative facility (within subjects effects) (p < 0.05). Significant differences were also demonstrated between treatment groups for total reading time, reading error score and binocular accommodative facility (between subjects effects) (p < 0.05).
Reading difficulties with no apparent intellectual or psychological foundation may be due to a binocular vision anomaly such as convergence insufficiency. Both the HTS and prismatic correction are highly effective treatment options for convergence insufficiency. Prismatic correction can be considered an effective alternative to HTS.
PMCID: PMC3164602  PMID: 21835034
23.  The direction of research into visual disability and quality of life in glaucoma 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:19.
Glaucoma will undoubtedly impact on a person's ability to function as they go about their day-to-day life. The purpose of this study is to investigate the amount of published knowledge in quality of life (QoL) and visual disability studies for glaucoma, and make comparisons with similar research in other chronic conditions.
A systematic literature search of the Global Health, EMBASE Psychiatry and MEDLINE databases. Title searches for glaucoma and six other example chronic diseases were entered alongside a selection of keywords chosen to capture studies focusing on QoL and everyday task ability. These results were further filtered during a manual search of resulting abstracts. Outcomes were the number of publications per year for each disease, number relating to QoL and type of glaucoma QoL research.
Fifteen years ago there were no published studies relating to the impact of glaucoma on QoL but by 2009 this had risen to 1.2% of all glaucoma articles. The number of papers relating to QoL as a proportion of all papers in glaucoma in the past 10 years (0.6%) is smaller than for AMD and some other disabling chronic diseases. Most QoL studies in glaucoma (82%) involve questionnaires.
QoL studies in glaucoma are increasing in number but represent a tiny minority of the total publications in glaucoma research. There are fewer QoL articles in glaucoma compared to some other disabling chronic conditions. The majority of QoL articles in glaucoma research use questionnaires; performance-based measures of visual disability may offer an additional method of determining how the disease impacts on QoL.
PMCID: PMC3161024  PMID: 21816060
24.  Integration and fusion of standard automated perimetry and optical coherence tomography data for improved automated glaucoma diagnostics 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:20.
The performance of glaucoma diagnostic systems could be conceivably improved by the integration of functional and structural test measurements that provide relevant and complementary information for reaching a diagnosis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the performance of data fusion methods and techniques for simple combination of Standard Automated Perimetry (SAP) and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) data for the diagnosis of glaucoma using Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs).
Humphrey 24-2 SITA standard SAP and StratusOCT tests were prospectively collected from a randomly selected population of 125 healthy persons and 135 patients with glaucomatous optic nerve heads and used as input for the ANNs. We tested commercially available standard parameters as well as novel ones (fused OCT and SAP data) that exploit the spatial relationship between visual field areas and sectors of the OCT peripapillary scan circle. We evaluated the performance of these SAP and OCT derived parameters both separately and in combination.
The diagnostic accuracy from a combination of fused SAP and OCT data (95.39%) was higher than that of the best conventional parameters of either instrument, i.e. SAP Glaucoma Hemifield Test (p < 0.001) and OCT Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness ≥ 1 quadrant (p = 0.031). Fused OCT and combined fused OCT and SAP data provided similar Area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve (AROC) values of 0.978 that were significantly larger (p = 0.047) compared to ANNs using SAP parameters alone (AROC = 0.945). On the other hand, ANNs based on the OCT parameters (AROC = 0.970) did not perform significantly worse than the ANNs based on the fused or combined forms of input data. The use of fused input increased the number of tests that were correctly classified by both SAP and OCT based ANNs.
Compared to the use of SAP parameters, input from the combination of fused OCT and SAP parameters, and from fused OCT data, significantly increased the performance of ANNs. Integrating parameters by including a priori relevant information through data fusion may improve ANN classification accuracy compared to currently available methods.
PMCID: PMC3167760  PMID: 21816080
25.  Prevalence of Pseudoexfoliation Syndrome and Pseudoexfoliation Glaucoma in Upper Egypt 
BMC Ophthalmology  2011;11:18.
Pseudoexfoliation (PXF) is a recognized risk factor for developing cataract, glaucoma and lens dislocation. PXF is also associated with increased risk of complications during cataract surgery due to poor mydriasis and zonular weakness. The aim of this study is to report the prevalence of pseudoexfoliation among Upper Egyptians attending the ophthalmology clinic of Assiut University Hospital.
A retrospective, chart review study conducted in the period from February 2002 to August 2009. A total of 7738 patients aged 40 years or older attending the general ophthalmic clinics were included in this study. A detailed evaluation including ophthalmic and general history, slit lamp biomicroscopy, intraocular pressure measurement, gonioscopy and dilated eye examination were performed. Patients with pseudoexfoliative material on the anterior lens surface and ⁄ or the pupillary margin in either or both eyes were labeled as having PXF.
Out of the 7738 patients included, three hundred twenty (4.14%) subjects had PXF. Mean age of PXF group was 68.15 years (SD 8.16, range 40-92 years). PXF was bilateral in 82.2% of cases. It was significantly associated with cataract, glaucoma and hearing loss. Of the PXF patients, 65% had cataract, 30.3% had glaucoma and 8.1% had hearing loss.
Pseudoexfoliation appears to be a common disorder in older individuals in Upper Egypt.
PMCID: PMC3141806  PMID: 21707986

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