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1.  Evaluation of a new disposable silicon limbal relaxing incision knife by experienced users 
BMC Ophthalmology  2009;9:15.
Background
Previous research has suggested that the silicon BD Atomic Edge™ knife has superior performance characteristics when compared to a metal knife and performance similar to diamond knife when making various incisions. This study was designed to determine whether a silicon accurate depth knife has equivalent performance characteristics when compared to a diamond limbal relaxing incision (LRI) knife and superior performance characteristics when compared to a steel accurate depth knife when creating limbal relaxing incision.
Methods
Sixty-five ophthalmic surgeons with limbal relaxing incision experience created limbal relaxing incisions in ex-vivo porcine eyes with silicon and steel accurate depth knives and diamond LRI knives. The ophthalmic surgeons rated multiple performance characteristics of the knives on Visual Analog Scales.
Results
The observed differences between the silicon knife and diamond knife were found to be insignificant. The mean ratio between the performance of the silicon knife and the diamond knife was shown to be greater than 90% (with 95% confidence). The silicon knife's mean performance was significantly higher than the performance of the steel knife for all characteristics. (p-value < .05)
Conclusions
For experienced users, the silicon accurate depth knife was found to be equivalent in performance to the diamond LRI knife and superior to the steel accurate depth knife when making limbal relaxing incisions in ex vivo porcine eyes. Disposable silicon LRI knives may be an alternative to diamond LRI knives.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-15
PMCID: PMC2804691  PMID: 20025762
2.  Self-inflicted penetrating eye injuries using a razor blade: Case report 
BMC Ophthalmology  2009;9:14.
Background
A 23 year old white male with a history of social and behavioural problems attempted to blind himself chemically, with alcohol, and mechanically, with a razor blade.
Methods
Observational case report of a patient who self-inflicted bilateral scleral lacerations with a razor blade, after losing his job.
Results
The patient sustained bilateral inferior scleral perforations, with hypotony and a right traumatic cataract. He received urgent surgical repair, and prophylactic antibiotics. There were no retinal breaks or detachments. He later underwent successful cataract surgery to the right eye.
Conclusion
Self-inflicted ocular injury may be possible in non-psychotic patients, as a situational response to a life event. Urgent repair can completely restore vision in some cases. Referral for psychiatric counseling is mandatory.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-14
PMCID: PMC2796640  PMID: 20003290
3.  Estimate of the direct and indirect annual cost of bacterial conjunctivitis in the United States 
BMC Ophthalmology  2009;9:13.
Background
The aim of this study was to estimate both the direct and indirect annual costs of treating bacterial conjunctivitis (BC) in the United States. This was a cost of illness study performed from a U.S. healthcare payer perspective.
Methods
A comprehensive review of the medical literature was supplemented by data on the annual incidence of BC which was obtained from an analysis of the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) database for the year 2005. Cost estimates for medical visits and laboratory or diagnostic tests were derived from published Medicare CPT fee codes. The cost of prescription drugs was obtained from standard reference sources. Indirect costs were calculated as those due to lost productivity. Due to the acute nature of BC, no cost discounting was performed. All costs are expressed in 2007 U.S. dollars.
Results
The number of BC cases in the U.S. for 2005 was estimated at approximately 4 million yielding an estimated annual incidence rate of 135 per 10,000. Base-case analysis estimated the total direct and indirect cost of treating patients with BC in the United States at $ 589 million. One- way sensitivity analysis, assuming either a 20% variation in the annual incidence of BC or treatment costs, generated a cost range of $ 469 million to $ 705 million. Two-way sensitivity analysis, assuming a 20% variation in both the annual incidence of BC and treatment costs occurring simultaneously, resulted in an estimated cost range of $ 377 million to $ 857 million.
Conclusion
The economic burden posed by BC is significant. The findings may prove useful to decision makers regarding the allocation of healthcare resources necessary to address the economic burden of BC in the United States.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-13
PMCID: PMC2791746  PMID: 19939250
4.  Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in Tehran province: a population-based study 
BMC Ophthalmology  2009;9:12.
Background
To determine the prevalence and characteristics of diabetic retinopathy (DR) among Iranian patients with diabetes.
Methods
Design: population-based cross-sectional study.
Participants: patients with diabetes aged 25 to 64 years in Tehran province, Iran. This survey was conducted from April to October 2007. The study sample was derived from the first national survey of risk factors for non-communicable disease. Diabetes mellitus was defined as a fasting plasma glucose of ≥ 7.0 mmol/l (126 mg/dl) or more, use of diabetic medications, or a physician's diagnosis of diabetes. All patients known to have diabetes underwent an eye examination by bio-microscope and indirect ophthalmoscope to check for any signs of DR through dilated pupils by + 78 lens. Participants were also interviewed and examined to determine their demographic characteristics, medical conditions and the regularity of their eye visits.
Results
Among 7989 screened patients, 759 (9.5%) had diabetes. Of them, 639 patients (84.2%) underwent eye examination. Five patients (0.7%) with media opacity were excluded. Of 634 examined patients with diabetes, 240 had some degree of diabetic retinopathy, and the overall standardized prevalence of any retinopathy was 37.0% (95% CI: 33.2-40.8), including 27.3% (95% CI: 23.7-30.8) (n = 175) with non-proliferative and 9.6% (95% CI: 7.3-11.9) (n = 65) with proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Clinically significant macular edema and vision-threatening retinopathy were detected in 5.8% (95% CI: 4.0-7.7) (n = 38) and 14.0% (95% CI: 11.3-16.7) (n = 95) of patients, respectively. Only 143 patients (22.6%) with diabetes had a history of regular eye examination.
Conclusion
This study demonstrated a high prevalence and poor control of DR in Tehran province. This suggests the need for adequate prevention and treatment in patients with diabetes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-12
PMCID: PMC2770536  PMID: 19835608
5.  Diagonal ear lobe crease in diabetic south Indian population: Is it associated with Diabetic Retinopathy?. Sankara Nethralaya Diabetic Retinopathy Epidemiology And Molecular-genetics Study (SN-DREAMS, Report no. 3) 
BMC Ophthalmology  2009;9:11.
Background
To report the prevalence of ear lobe crease (ELC), a sign of coronary heart disease, in subjects (more than 40 years old) with diabetes and find its association with diabetic retinopathy.
Methods
Subjects were recruited from the Sankara Nethralaya Diabetic Retinopathy Epidemiology And Molecular-genetics Study (SN-DREAMS), a cross-sectional study between 2003 and 2006; the data were analyzed for the1414 eligible subjects with diabetes. All patients' fundi were photographed using 45° four-field stereoscopic digital photography. The diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy was based on the modified Klein classification. The presence of ELC was evaluated on physical examination.
Results
The prevalence of ELC, among the subjects with diabetes, was 59.7%. The ELC group were older, had longer duration of diabetes, had poor glycemic control and had a high socio-economic status compared to the group without ELC and the variables were statistically significant. There was no statistical difference in the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in two groups. On multivariate analysis for any diabetic retinopathy, the adjusted OR for women was 0.69 (95% CI 0.51-0.93) (p = 0.014); for age >70 years, 0.49 (95% CI 0.26-0.89) (p = 0.024); for increasing duration of diabetes (per year increase), 1.11(95% CI 1.09-1.14) (p < 0.0001); and for poor glycemic control (per unit increase in glycosylated heamoglobin), 1.26 (95% CI 1.19-1.35) (p < 0.0001). For sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy, no variable was significant on multivariable analysis. In predicting any diabetic retinopathy, the presence of ELC had sensitivity of 60.4%, and specificity, 40.5%. The area under the ROC curve was 0.50 (95% CI 0.46-0.54) (p 0.02).
Conclusion
The ELC was observed in nearly 60% of the urban south Indian population. However, the present study does not support the use of ELC as a screening tool for both any diabetic retinopathy and sight-threatening retinopathy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-11
PMCID: PMC2762956  PMID: 19788727
6.  Customized pachymetric guided epithelial debridement for corneal collagen cross linking 
BMC Ophthalmology  2009;9:10.
Backround
We describe a modified method for deepitheliazation prior to corneal cross linking (CXL). The technique may overcome the current corneal pachymetric limitation parameter (over 400 microns) that is necessary for the safety of the procedure without affecting the overall benefits.
Methods
In a series of two patients, with inferior topographic steepening and regional thinning (less than 400 microns corresponding to the area of corneal steepening), CXL after customized epithelial removal was performed.
Results
There were no intra- or postoperative adverse events seen by the nine month follow up examination. Stabilization of the corneal ectasia was observed up to nine months post-costumized pachymetric-guided epithelial removal.
Conclusion
The technique of customized pachymetric-guided epithelial removal is easy to perform and may overcome the limitations of the preoperative corneal pachymetry expanding the application of the procedure in patients with regional corneal thinning.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-10
PMCID: PMC2744909  PMID: 19715585
7.  In-vivo imaging of retinal nerve fiber layer vasculature: imaging - histology comparison 
BMC Ophthalmology  2009;9:9.
Background
Although it has been suggested that alterations of nerve fiber layer vasculature may be involved in the etiology of eye diseases, including glaucoma, it has not been possible to examine this vasculature in-vivo. This report describes a novel imaging method, fluorescence adaptive optics (FAO) scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (SLO), that makes possible for the first time in-vivo imaging of this vasculature in the living macaque, comparing in-vivo and ex-vivo imaging of this vascular bed.
Methods
We injected sodium fluorescein intravenously in two macaque monkeys while imaging the retina with an FAO-SLO. An argon laser provided the 488 nm excitation source for fluorescence imaging. Reflectance images, obtained simultaneously with near infrared light, permitted precise surface registration of individual frames of the fluorescence imaging. In-vivo imaging was then compared to ex-vivo confocal microscopy of the same tissue.
Results
Superficial focus (innermost retina) at all depths within the NFL revealed a vasculature with extremely long capillaries, thin walls, little variation in caliber and parallel-linked structure oriented parallel to the NFL axons, typical of the radial peripapillary capillaries (RPCs). However, at a deeper focus beneath the NFL, (toward outer retina) the polygonal pattern typical of the ganglion cell layer (inner) and outer retinal vasculature was seen. These distinguishing patterns were also seen on histological examination of the same retinas. Furthermore, the thickness of the RPC beds and the caliber of individual RPCs determined by imaging closely matched that measured in histological sections.
Conclusion
This robust method demonstrates in-vivo, high-resolution, confocal imaging of the vasculature through the full thickness of the NFL in the living macaque, in precise agreement with histology. FAO provides a new tool to examine possible primary or secondary role of the nerve fiber layer vasculature in retinal vascular disorders and other eye diseases, such as glaucoma.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-9
PMCID: PMC2744910  PMID: 19698151
8.  Prevalence and causes of visual impairment in a Brazilian population: The Botucatu Eye Study 
BMC Ophthalmology  2009;9:8.
Background
This paper reports population-based data on the prevalence and causes of visual impairment among children and adults in Botucatu, Brazil.
Methods
A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted involving a random start point and then systematic sampling of an urban Brazilian population in the city of Botucatu. There were approximately 3 300 individuals aged 1 to 91 years who were eligible to participate in the study. Of this sample, 2485 (75.3%) underwent ophthalmic examination. The ophthalmic examination included uncorrected (presenting) and best corrected distance visual acuity using standardized protocols. The primary cause of decreased visual acuity was identified for all patients with visual impairment.
Results
Presenting low vision and presenting blindness were found in 5.2% (95% CI: 4.3–6.1) and 2.2% (95% CI: 1.6–2.8) of the population, respectively. Unilateral presenting low vision and unilateral presenting blindness were found in 8.3% (95% CI: 7.2–9.5) and 3.7% (95% CI: 2.9–4.4) of the population respectively. Best corrected low vision was found in 1.3% of the population (95% CI: 0.9–1.7) and best corrected blindness was discovered in 0.4% of people (95% CI: 0.2–0.7). The main cause of presenting low vision was refractive error (72.3%) and cataract was the most prevalent cause of blindness (50%).
Conclusion
The main causes of low vision and blindness in this Brazilian city were uncorrected refractive errors, cataract, and retinal diseases. Programs to further reduce the burden of visual impairment need to be targeted toward the correction of refractive error and surgery for cataracts.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-8
PMCID: PMC2734560  PMID: 19691835
9.  Comparative efficacy of topical tetraVisc versus lidocaine gel in cataract surgery 
BMC Ophthalmology  2009;9:7.
Background
To compare the clinical efficacy of lidocaine 2% with tetracaine 0.5% for cataract surgery.
Methods
In a randomized, multi-surgeon, controlled clinical trial,122 consecutive cataract cases eligible for topical anesthesia, were randomly assigned to receive lidocaine 2% gel (1 ml) or tetracaine solution 0.5% (TetraVisc, 0.5 ml) before clear corneal phacoemulsification. Main outcome measure was visual analog scale (0 to 10), which was used to measure intra-operative pain. Secondary outcome measures included patients' discomfort due to tissue manipulation and surgeon graded patients' cooperation. Duration of surgery and intra-operative complications were also recorded.
Results
The mean age in TetraVisc (TV) group was 70.4 years and in the lidocaine gel group (LG) it was 70.6 years (p = 0.89). Patient reported mean intra-operative pain scores by visual analog scale were 0.70 ± 0.31 in TV group and 1.8 ± 0.4 in LG group (P < 0.001). Mean patient cooperation was also marginally better in the TV group (8.3 ± 0.3) compared to LG group (8.4 ± 0.6) (P = 0.25). 96% of patients in TV group showed intra-operative corneal clarity compared to 91% in LG group. TV group had less (1 out of 61 patients, 1.6%) intra-operative complications than LG group (3 out of 61 patients, 4.8%). No anesthesia related complications were noted in either group
Conclusion
Topical TetraVisc solution was superior to lidocaine 2% gel for pain control in patients undergoing clear corneal phacoemulsification. Lidocaine 2% gel is similar to TetraVisc in patient comfort and surgeon satisfaction.
Trial Registration
Clinical trials number: ISRCTN78374774
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-7
PMCID: PMC2736919  PMID: 19686592
10.  Aerobic exercise and intraocular pressure in normotensive and glaucoma patients 
BMC Ophthalmology  2009;9:6.
Background
With the increasing number of people participating in physical aerobic exercise, jogging in particular, we considered that it would be worth knowing if there are should be limits to the exercise with regard to the intraocular pressure (IOP) of the eyes. The purpose of this study is to check IOP in healthy and primary glaucoma patients after aerobic exercise.
Methods
145 individuals were subdivided into seven groups: normotensives who exercised regularly (Group A); normotensives in whose right eye (RE) timolol maleate 0.5% (Group B), latanoprost 0.005% (Group C), or brimonidine tartrate 0.2% (Group D) was instilled; and primary glaucoma patients under monotherapy with β-blockers (Group E), prostaglandin analogues (Group F) or combined antiglaucoma treatment (Group G) instilled in both eyes. The IOP of both eyes was measured before and after exercise.
Results
A statistically significant decrease was found in IOP during jogging. The aerobic exercise reduces the IOP in those eyes where a b-blocker, a prostaglandin analogue or an α-agonist was previously instilled. The IOP is also decreased in glaucoma patients who are already under antiglaucoma treatment.
Conclusion
There is no ocular restriction for simple glaucoma patients in performing aerobic physical activity.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-6
PMCID: PMC2734559  PMID: 19678955
11.  Evaluation of the cytotoxic effects of ophthalmic solutions containing benzalkonium chloride on corneal epithelium using an organotypic 3-D model 
BMC Ophthalmology  2009;9:5.
Background
Benzalkonium chloride (BAC) is a common preservative used in ophthalmic solutions. The aim of this study was to compare the cytotoxic effects of BAC-containing ophthalmic solutions with a BAC-free ophthalmic solution using an organotypic 3-dimensional (3-D) corneal epithelial model and to determine the effects of latanoprost ophthalmic solution and its BAC-containing vehicle on corneal thickness in a monkey model.
Methods
The cytotoxicity of commercially available BAC-containing ophthalmic formulations of latanoprost (0.02% BAC) and olopatadine (0.01% BAC) was compared to that of BAC-free travoprost and saline in a corneal organotypic 3-D model using incubation times of 10 and 25 minutes. To compare the extent of differentiation of 3-D corneal cultures to monolayer transformed human corneal epithelial (HCE-T) cell cultures, expression levels (mRNA and protein) of the corneal markers epidermal growth factor receptor, transglutaminase 1 and involucrin were quantified. Finally, latanoprost ophthalmic solution or its vehicle was administered at suprapharmacologic doses (two 30 μL drops twice daily in 1 eye for 1 year) in monkey eyes, and corneal pachymetry was performed at baseline and at weeks 4, 13, 26 and 52.
Results
In the 3-D corneal epithelial culture assays, there were no significant differences in cytotoxicity between the BAC-containing latanoprost and olopatadine ophthalmic solutions and BAC-free travoprost ophthalmic solution at either the 10- or 25-minute time points. The 3-D cultures expressed higher levels of corneal epithelial markers than the HCE-T monolayers, indicating a greater degree of differentiation. There were no significant differences between the corneal thickness of monkey eyes treated with latanoprost ophthalmic solution or its vehicle (both containing 0.02% BAC) and untreated eyes.
Conclusion
The lack of cytotoxicity demonstrated in 3-D corneal cultures and in monkey studies suggests that the levels of BAC contained in ophthalmic solutions are not likely to cause significant direct toxicity to epithelium of otherwise normal corneas.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-5
PMCID: PMC2727490  PMID: 19638217
12.  αA-crystallin R49Cneo mutation influences the architecture of lens fiber cell membranes and causes posterior and nuclear cataracts in mice 
BMC Ophthalmology  2009;9:4.
Background
αA-crystallin (CRYAA/HSPB4), a major component of all vertebrate eye lenses, is a small heat shock protein responsible for maintaining lens transparency. The R49C mutation in the αA-crystallin protein is linked with non-syndromic, hereditary human cataracts in a four-generation Caucasian family.
Methods
This study describes a mouse cataract model generated by insertion of a neomycin-resistant (neor) gene into an intron of the gene encoding mutant R49C αA-crystallin. Mice carrying the neor gene and wild-type Cryaa were also generated as controls. Heterozygous knock-in mice containing one wild type gene and one mutated gene for αA-crystallin (WT/R49Cneo) and homozygous knock-in mice containing two mutated genes (R49Cneo/R49Cneo) were compared.
Results
By 3 weeks, WT/R49Cneo mice exhibited large vacuoles in the cortical region 100 μm from the lens surface, and by 3 months posterior and nuclear cataracts had developed. WT/R49Cneo mice demonstrated severe posterior cataracts at 9 months of age, with considerable posterior nuclear migration evident in histological sections. R49Cneo/R49Cneo mice demonstrated nearly complete lens opacities by 5 months of age. In contrast, R49C mice in which the neor gene was deleted by breeding with CreEIIa mice developed lens abnormalities at birth, suggesting that the neor gene may suppress expression of mutant R49C αA-crystallin protein.
Conclusion
It is apparent that modification of membrane and cell-cell interactions occurs in the presence of the αA-crystallin mutation and rapidly leads to lens cell pathology in vivo.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-4
PMCID: PMC2724435  PMID: 19619312
13.  Effectiveness of screening preschool children for amblyopia: a systematic review 
BMC Ophthalmology  2009;9:3.
Background
Amblyopia and amblyogenic factors like strabismus and refractive errors are the most common vision disorders in children. Although different studies suggest that preschool vision screening is associated with a reduced prevalence rate of amblyopia, the value of these programmes is the subject of a continuing scientific and health policy discussion. Therefore, this systematic review focuses on the question of whether screening for amblyopia in children up to the age of six years leads to better vision outcomes.
Methods
Ten bibliographic databases were searched for randomised controlled trials, non-randomised controlled trials and cohort studies with no limitations to a specific year of publication and language. The searches were supplemented by handsearching the bibliographies of included studies and reviews to identify articles not captured through our main search strategy.
Results
Five studies met the inclusion criteria. Of these, three studies suggested that screening is associated with an absolute reduction in the prevalence of amblyopia between 0.9% and 1.6% (relative reduction: between 45% and 62%). However, the studies showed weaknesses, limiting the validity and reliability of their findings. The main limitation was that studies with significant results considered only a proportion of the originally recruited children in their analysis. On the other hand, retrospective sample size calculation indicated that the power based on the cohort size was not sufficient to detect small changes between the groups. Outcome parameters such as quality of life or adverse effects of screening have not been adequately investigated in the literature currently available.
Conclusion
Population based preschool vision screening programmes cannot be sufficiently assessed by the literature currently available. However, it is most likely that the present systematic review contains the most detailed description of the main limitations in current available literature evaluating these programmes. Therefore, future research work should be guided by the findings of this publication.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-3
PMCID: PMC2731050  PMID: 19607693
14.  Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment in Scotland: research design and methodology 
BMC Ophthalmology  2009;9:2.
Background
Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) is a potentially blinding condition and a common cause of ocular morbidity. Establishing an accurate estimate of disease incidence and distribution is an important first step in assessing the healthcare burden related to this condition and in subsequent planning and provision of treatment strategies. The aim of this study is to obtain a first estimate incidence of RRD in Scotland, to estimate the incidence of familial RRD and to describe the known associations of RRD within the study population.
Methods/Design
We have established a national prospective observational study seeking to identify and recruit all incident cases of RRD in the Scottish population over a 2 year period. After fully informed consent, all participants will have a blood sample taken and a full medical history and clinical examination performed including visual acuity, refraction, slit-lamp examination, intra-ocular pressure measurement and detailed fundal examination. We describe the study design and protocol.
Conclusion
This study will provide the first estimate of the annual incidence of RRD in Scotland. The findings of this study will be important in estimating the burden of disease and in the planning of future health care policy related to this condition. This study will also establish a genetic resource for a genome wide association study to investigate if certain genetic variants predispose to RRD.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-2
PMCID: PMC2666641  PMID: 19317907
15.  CD133+ adult human retinal cells remain undifferentiated in Leukaemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) 
BMC Ophthalmology  2009;9:1.
Background
CD133 is a cell surface marker of haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF), sustains proliferation and not differentiation of embryonic stem cells. We used CD133 to purify adult human retinal cells and aimed to determine what effect LIF had on these cultures and whether they still had the ability to generate neurospheres.
Methods
Retinal cell suspensions were derived from adult human post-mortem tissue with ethical approval. With magnetic automated cell sorting (MACS) CD133+ retinal cells were enriched from post mortem adult human retina. CD133+ retinal cell phenotype was analysed by flow cytometry and cultured cells were observed for proliferative capacity, neuropshere generation and differentiation with or without LIF supplementation.
Results
We demonstrated purification (to 95%) of CD133+ cells from adult human postmortem retina. Proliferating cells were identified through BrdU incorporation and expression of the proliferation markers Ki67 and Cyclin D1. CD133+ retinal cells differentiated whilst forming neurospheres containing appropriate lineage markers including glia, neurons and photoreceptors. LIF maintained CD133+ retinal cells in a proliferative and relatively undifferentiated state (Ki67, Cyclin D1 expression) without significant neurosphere generation. Differentiation whilst forming neurospheres was re-established on LIF withdrawal.
Conclusion
These data support the evidence that CD133 expression characterises a population of cells within the resident adult human retina which have progenitor cell properties and that their turnover and differentiation is influenced by LIF. This may explain differences in retinal responses observed following disease or injury.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-1
PMCID: PMC2649894  PMID: 19236693

Results 1-15 (15)