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1.  Novel measures of cardiovascular health and its association with prevalence and progression of age-related macular degeneration: the CHARM study 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:25.
Background
To determine if novel measures of cardiovascular health are associated with prevalence or progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Methods
Measures of the cardiovascular system: included intima media thickness (IMT), pulse wave velocity (PWV), systemic arterial compliance (SAC), carotid augmentation index (AI). For the prevalence study, hospital-based AMD cases and population-based age- and gender-matched controls with no signs of AMD in either eye were enrolled. For the progression component, participants with early AMD were recruited from two previous studies; cases were defined as progression in one or both eyes and controls were defined as no progression in either eye.
Results
160 cases and 160 controls were included in the prevalence component. The upper two quartiles of SAC, implying good cardiovascular health, were significantly associated with increased risk of AMD (OR = 2.54, 95% CL = 1.29, 4.99). High PWV was associated with increased prevalent AMD. Progression was observed in 82 (32.3%) of the 254 subjects recruited for the progression component. Higher AI (worse cardiovascular function) was protective for AMD progression (OR = 0.30, 95%CL = 0.13, 0.69). Higher aortic PWV was associated with increased risk of AMD progression; the highest risk was seen with the second lowest velocity (OR = 6.22, 95% CL = 2.35, 16.46).
Conclusion
The results were unexpected in that better cardiovascular health was associated with increased risk of prevalent AMD and progression. Inconsistent findings between the prevalence and progression components could be due to truly different disease etiologies or to spurious findings, as can occur with inherent biases in case control studies of prevalence. Further investigation of these non-invasive methods of characterizing the cardiovascular system should be undertaken as they may help to further elucidate the role of the cardiovascular system in the etiology of prevalent AMD and progression.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-25
PMCID: PMC2627823  PMID: 19102747
2.  Traumatic Hyphaema: A report of 472 consecutive cases 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:24.
Background
Strategies for prevention of eye injuries require knowledge of the cause of the injuries. This study was done to determine the patient characteristics, the cause of injury, and where cases of traumatic hyphaema that necessitated admission to a tertiary hospital occurred. This may enable an appropriate intervention in the prevention of such injuries.
Methods
Retrospective case analysis of 472 patients with traumatic hyphaema admitted to the University College Hospital, Ibadan between January 1997 and December 2006.
Results
The home was the single most frequent place of injury for all cases and for 75% of cases in children aged 0–10 years. Injuries that occurred at school comprised about one-fifth of cases. Sport-related injuries were uncommon.
The most common activities preceeding injuries were play, corporal punishment and assault. Stones, sticks and whiplash were the agents that caused traumatic hyphaema. Occupational-related hyphaema that caused injuries was mostly in farmers and artisans, few of whom used protective goggles. The majority of patients were males. Children and young adults aged ≤ 20 years comprised 63.6% of patients. A total of 336 (76%) eyes had at least one surgical intervention. While 298 (73.2%) patients had visual acuity (VA) less than 6/60 at presentation, 143 (37.0%) of eyes had visual acuity (VA) < 6/60 3 months after injury.
Conclusion
The injuries leading to traumatic hyphaema occur mostly at home and school, and frequently affect children and young adolescents. Over one-third resulted in blindness in the affected eye. The focus should be on prevention of stick-related eye injuries at these locations and improving access to eye health services for patients who sustained eye injuries.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-24
PMCID: PMC2610027  PMID: 19036128
3.  Outcome of retinopathy of prematurity patients following adoption of revised indications for treatment 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:23.
Background
The Early Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity study (ETROP), published in 2003, established new guidelines for treatment of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and demonstrated improved outcomes compared to previous guidelines. We examined outcomes before and after implementing the ETROP recommendations.
Methods
A retrospective chart review was performed using records of infants who had laser ablations for ROP performed from January, 2000 through December, 2005. Data collected included date of birth; birth weight; estimated gestational age (EGA); grading of ROP; date of laser ablation; and outcome of laser surgery. Univariate association with threshold or prethreshold treatment (Pre-ETROP and Post-ETROP, respectively) were assessed using t-tests or Wilcoxon tests. Additional comparison between groups was performed using Fisher's exact tests.
Results
581 patients were examined before and 464 after December 2003. Of these, 29/581 (5% – Pre-ETROP Group) and 53/464 (11% – Post-ETROP Group) patients advanced to criteria requiring laser treatment respectively (P = 0.0001). The average estimated gestational age (EGA) at birth was 26.3 and 25.2 weeks, with an average birth weight of 888 and 707 grams for Pre and Post-ETROP Groups, respectively. Stage 5 retinal detachment (RD) developed in 10.3% of eyes in the Pre-ETROP Group and 1.9% of eyes in the Post-ETROP Group (P = 0.02).
Conclusion
After the ETROP guidelines were implemented, there was a decrease from 10.3% to 1.9% of eyes developing Stage 5 retinal detachment, despite this group having a lower average EGA and lower average birth weight. These results underscore the importance of adoption of the Revised Indications.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-23
PMCID: PMC2605435  PMID: 19014557
4.  Monte Carlo simulation of expected outcomes with the AcrySof® toric intraocular lens 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:22.
Background
To use a Monte Carlo simulation to predict postoperative results with the AcrySof® Toric lens, evaluating the likelihood of over- or under-correction using various toric lens selection criteria.
Methods
Keratometric data were obtained from a large patient population with preoperative corneal astigmatism <= 2.50D (2,000 eyes). The probability distributions for toric marking accuracy, surgically induced astigmatism and lens rotation were estimated using available data. Anticipated residual astigmatism was calculated using a Monte Carlo simulation under two different lens selection scenarios.
Results
This simulation demonstrated that random errors in alignment, surgically induced astigmatism and lens rotation slightly reduced the overall effect of the toric lens. Residual astigmatism was statistically significantly higher under the simulation of surgery relative to an exact calculation (p < 0.05). The simulation also demonstrated that more aggressive lens selection criteria could produce clinically significant reductions in residual astigmatism in a high percentage of patients.
Conclusion
Monte Carlo simulation suggests that surgical variability and lens orientation/rotation variability may combine to produce small reductions in the correction achieved with the AcrySof® Toric® IOL. Adopting more aggressive lens selection criteria may yield significantly lower residual astigmatism values for many patients, with negligible overcorrections. Surgeons are encouraged to evaluate their AcrySof® Toric® outcomes to determine if they should modify their individual lens selection criteria, or their default surgically induced astigmatism value, to benefit their patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-22
PMCID: PMC2586009  PMID: 18954445
5.  A novel approach to glaucoma screening and education in Nepal 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:21.
Background
Glaucoma is a major cause of blindness worldwide and an increasingly significant global health problem. Glaucoma prevention and management efforts have been challenging due to inherent difficulty in developing a simple and cost-effective screening plan, limited access to health care and educational resources, poverty, and inadequate knowledge of the disease, particularly in developing countries. Starting in 2004 the Tilganga Eye Centre in Kathmandu, Nepal has provided targeted glaucoma screening, treatment, and education through a combination of clinical outreach programs and educational activities for patients.
Methods
A simple, age-based glaucoma screening algorithm was incorporated into three one-day cataract screening clinics. Using this algorithm, patients who were newly diagnosed with glaucoma were referred to TEC, where medication and surgery were provided free of charge through private donor funding. In addition, we describe two ongoing educational programs for increasing glaucoma awareness: an annual Glaucoma Awareness Week (which includes free screening, treatment, and counseling), and a repeating lecture series which generates new counselors.
Results
From 2004 to 2007 screening at the annual Glaucoma Awareness Week resulted in the diagnosis of 120 individuals with glaucoma, or 7.6% of total registrants. Attendance increased annually with a trend toward an increasing number of returning patients but a decreasing percentage of newly diagnosed patients, though the absolute numbers have remained relatively stable (range 21 to 38). Data from the three one-day screening clinics in 2006 show that approximately 2 to 4% of patients 50 years of age or older per clinic were newly diagnosed with POAG.
Conclusion
This multi-faceted approach appears to successfully identify individuals with glaucoma and provide treatment to those who would otherwise not be able to afford it. While more data is needed to validate this model, specifically regarding the effectiveness of educational activities, long-term visual outcomes, and medication compliance, it may serve as a useful framework for other developing countries with similarly limited resources.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-21
PMCID: PMC2582224  PMID: 18950530
6.  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
7.  Refractive change following pseudophakic vitrectomy 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:19.
Background
To assess the occurrence and magnitude of refractive change in pseudophakic eyes undergoing 20 gauge pars plana vitrectomy without scleral buckling and to investigate possible aetiological factors.
Methods
Retrospective case note review of 87 pseudophakic eyes undergoing 20 gauge pars plana vitrectomy for a variety of vitreo-retinal conditions over a three-year period. Anterior chamber depth (ACD) was measured before and after vitrectomy surgery in 32 eyes. Forty-three pseudophakic fellow eyes were used as controls.
Results
Eighty-seven eyes (84 patients) were included in the study. Mean spherical equivalent refraction prior to vitrectomy was -0.20 dioptres, which changed to a mean of -0.65 dioptres postoperatively (standard deviation of refractive change 0.59, range-2.13 to 0.75 dioptres) (p < 0.001). Sixty-one of the 87(70%) eyes experienced a myopic shift and 45(52%) eyes had a myopic shift of -0.5 dioptres or more. Mean fellow eye refraction was -0.19 dioptres preoperatively and -0.17 dioptres postoperatively (p = 0.14)(n = 37)
Mean ACD preoperatively was 3.29 mm and postoperatively 3.27 mm (p = 0.53) (n = 32) and there was no significant change in ACD with tamponade use. Regression analysis revealed no statistically significant association between changes in anterior chamber depth, as well as a wide variety of other pre-, intra and postoperative factors examined, and the refractive change observed.
Conclusion
Significant refractive changes occur in some pseudophakic patients undergoing 20 g pars plana vitrectomy. The mean change observed was a small myopic shift but the range was large. The aetiology of the refractive change is uncertain.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-19
PMCID: PMC2577621  PMID: 18851731
8.  Treatment of Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion induced Macular Edema with Bevacizumab 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:18.
Background
Branch retinal vein occlusion is a frequent cause of visual loss with currently insufficient treatment options. We evaluate the effect of Bevacizumab (Avastin®) treatment in patients with macular edema induced by branch retinal vein occlusion.
Methods
Retrospective analysis of 32 eyes in 32 patients with fluorescein angiography proven branch retinal vein occlusion, macular edema and Bevacizumab treatment. Outcome measures were best corrected visual acuity in logMAR and central retinal thickness in OCT.
Results
Visual acuity was significantly better 4 to 6 weeks after Bevacizumab treatment compared to visual acuity prior to treatment (before 0.7 ± 0.3 and after 0.5 ± 0.3; mean ± standard deviation; p < 0.01, paired t-test). Gain in visual acuity was accompanied by a significant decrease in retinal thickness (454 ± 117 to 305 ± 129 μm, p < 0.01, paired t-test). Follow up (170, 27 – 418 days; median, range) shows that improvement for both visual acuity and retinal thickness last for several months after Bevacizumab use.
Conclusion
We present evidence that intravitreal Bevacizumab is an effective and lasting treatment for macular edema after branch retinal vein occlusion.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-18
PMCID: PMC2566976  PMID: 18823536
9.  The Nigerian national blindness and visual impairment survey: Rationale, objectives and detailed methodology 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:17.
Background
Despite having the largest population in Africa, Nigeria has no accurate population based data to plan and evaluate eye care services. A national survey was undertaken to estimate the prevalence and determine the major causes of blindness and low vision. This paper presents the detailed methodology used during the survey.
Methods
A nationally representative sample of persons aged 40 years and above was selected. Children aged 10–15 years and individuals aged <10 or 16–39 years with visual impairment were also included if they lived in households with an eligible adult. All participants had their height, weight, and blood pressure measured followed by assessment of presenting visual acuity, refractokeratomery, A-scan ultrasonography, visual fields and best corrected visual acuity. Anterior and posterior segments of each eye were examined with a torch and direct ophthalmoscope. Participants with visual acuity of < = 6/12 in one or both eyes underwent detailed examination including applanation tonometry, dilated slit lamp biomicroscopy, lens grading and fundus photography. All those who had undergone cataract surgery were refracted and best corrected vision recorded. Causes of visual impairment by eye and for the individual were determined using a clinical algorithm recommended by the World Health Organization. In addition, 1 in 7 adults also underwent a complete work up as described for those with vision < = 6/12 for constructing a normative data base for Nigerians.
Discussion
The field work for the study was completed in 30 months over the period 2005–2007 and covered 305 clusters across the entire country. Concurrently persons 40+ years were examined to form a normative data base. Analysis of the data is currently underway.
Conclusion
The methodology used was robust and adequate to provide estimates on the prevalence and causes of blindness in Nigeria. The survey would also provide information on barriers to accessing services, quality of life of visually impaired individuals and also provide normative data for Nigerian eyes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-17
PMCID: PMC2572038  PMID: 18808712
10.  Hospital admissions in older people with visual impairment in Britain 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:16.
Background
We aimed to assess the risk of hospital admission associated with visual impairment in a representative sample of older people living in the community in Britain.
Methods
Design: Prospective study of hospital admission in a population-based sample of community dwelling people aged 75 years and above in Britain. Setting: 53 general practices. Participants: 14,394 participants in the MRC Trial of Assessment and Management of Older people in the Community. Main outcome measure: Hospital admission.
Results
Visually impaired older people had 238.7 admissions/1000 person-years compared to 169.7 admissions/1000 person-years in people with good vision: age and sex adjusted rate ratio (RR) 1.32 (95% CI 1.19 to 1.47). Adjusting for a wide range of potential explanatory factors largely eliminated this association: RR 1.06 (95% CI 0.94 to 1.20). However, adjusting for a more limited range of confounding factors, excluding those factors possibly a consequence of reduced vision, left a modest increased risk: RR 1.19 (95% CI 1.06 to 1.34).
Conclusion
The association between visual impairment and rate of hospital admission can be attributed to higher levels of co-morbidity and reduced functional ability among people with reduced vision. Visual impairment is likely to be an important contributor to reduced functional ability, but other factors may also be involved.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-16
PMCID: PMC2564910  PMID: 18786264
11.  The ChromaTest, a digital color contrast sensitivity analyzer, for diabetic maculopathy: a pilot study 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:15.
Background
To assess the ability of the Chromatest in investigating diabetic maculopathy.
Method
Patients with Type 2 diabetes and no concurrent ocular pathology or previous laser photocoagulation were recruited. Visual acuities were assessed followed by colour contrast sensitivity testing of each eye using Chromatest. Dilated fundoscopy with slit lamp biomicroscopy with 78 D lens was then performed to confirm the stage of diabetic retinopathy according to the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study.
Results
150 eyes in 150 patients were recruited into this study. 35 eyes with no previous laser photocoagulation were shown to have clinically significant macular oedema (CSMO) and 115 eyes with untreated non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) on fundus biomicroscopy. Statistical significant difference was found between CSMO and NPDR eyes for protan colour contrast threshold (p = 0.01). Statistical significance was found between CSMO and NPDR eyes for tritan colour contrast threshold (p = 0.0002). Sensitivity and specificity for screening of CSMO using pass-fail criterion for age matched TCCT results achieved 71% (95% confidence interval: 53–85%) and 70% (95% confidence interval: 60–78%), respectively. However, threshold levels were derived using the same data set for both training and testing the effectiveness since this was the first study of NPDR using the Chromatest
Conclusion
The ChromaTest is a simple, cheap, easy to use, and quick test for colour contrast sensitivity. This study did not achieve results to justify use of the Chromatest for screening, but it reinforced the changes seen in tritan colour vision in diabetic retinopathy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-15
PMCID: PMC2531077  PMID: 18706104
12.  Tono-Pen XL tonometry during application of a suction ring in rabbits 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:14.
Background
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the use of Tono-Pen XL in measuring IOP during the application of a suction ring in rabbit eyes with manometrically controlled IOP.
Methods
Tono-Pen XL was calibrated against direct manometry in 10 rabbit eyes. A suction ring was then applied in 4 rabbit eyes and the IOP was determined manometrically during suction ring application at 350 mmHg vacuum pressure. Finally, in 6 catheterized rabbit eyes the IOP was measured with Tono-Pen XL during suction ring application at suction vacuum from 350 to 650 mmHg, while keeping actual IOP stable at 30 mmHg and 60 mmHg.
Results
Linear regression analysis revealed that the Tono-pen XL was reliable for IOPs between 10 and 70 mmHg (R2 = 0.9855). Direct manometry during suction ring application showed no statistically significant variation of Tono-Pen XL readings when the incanulation manometry intraocular pressure changed from 30 mmHg to 60 mmHg and no statistically significant correlation between suction vacuum and IOP measurements.
Conclusion
Tono-Pen XL measurements are unreliable during the application of a suction ring on living rabbit eyes even when the actual IOP is forced to be within the validated range of Tono-Pen XL measurements. This inaccuracy is probably related to altered corneal and scleral geometry and stress.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-14
PMCID: PMC2515826  PMID: 18667058
13.  Assessment of stereoscopic optic disc images using an autostereoscopic screen – experimental study 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:13.
Background
Stereoscopic assessment of the optic disc morphology is an important part of the care of patients with glaucoma. The aim of this study was to assess stereoviewing of stereoscopic optic disc images using an example of the new technology of autostereoscopic screens compared to the liquid shutter goggles.
Methods
Independent assessment of glaucomatous disc characteristics and measurement of optic disc and cup parameters whilst using either an autostereoscopic screen or liquid crystal shutter goggles synchronized with a view switching display. The main outcome measures were inter-modality agreements between the two used modalities as evaluated by the weighted kappa test and Bland Altman plots.
Results
Inter-modality agreement for measuring optic disc parameters was good [Average kappa coefficient for vertical Cup/Disc ratio was 0.78 (95% CI 0.62–0.91) and 0.81 (95% CI 0.6–0.92) for observer 1 and 2 respectively]. Agreement between modalities for assessing optic disc characteristics for glaucoma on a five-point scale was very good with a kappa value of 0.97.
Conclusion
This study compared two different methods of stereo viewing. The results of assessment of the different optic disc and cup parameters were comparable using an example of the newly developing autostereoscopic display technologies as compared to the shutter goggles system used. The Inter-modality agreement was high. This new technology carries potential clinical usability benefits in different areas of ophthalmic practice.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-13
PMCID: PMC2496897  PMID: 18651983
14.  Modelling lifetime cost consequences of ReSTOR® in cataract surgery in four European countries 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:12.
Background
To compare the lifetime costs of liberating patients from spectacles after cataract surgery by implanting the multifocal intraocular lens (IOL) 'ReSTOR®' versus monofocal IOLs in France, Italy, Germany and Spain.
Methods
A Markov model was created to follow patient cohorts from cataract surgery until death. Prevalence rates of patients not needing spectacles after cataract surgery were obtained from clinical trials. Resource utilisation included implant surgery, IOLs, spectacles, visits to ophthalmologists and eye centres, transport, and time lost by patients. Economic perspectives were those of Society and Sickness Funds (SFs).
Results
The mean number of spectacles purchased after ReSTOR® was 1.34–1.61 and after monofocal IOLs 6.05–7.27. From the societal perspective, total cost estimates discounted by 3% were between €3,551 and €4,052 with ReSTOR® compared to €3,989 and €5,548 with monofocal IOLs. Undiscounted savings related to ReSTOR® ranged from €815 to €2,164. From the SFs' perspective total cost estimates discounted by 3% were between €2,150 and €2,524 with ReSTOR® compared to €2,324 and €2,610 with monofocal IOLs. Savings related to ReSTOR®, once costs discounted, ranged from €61 to €219. Discount and spectacle freedom prevalence rates were the most sensitive parameters.
Conclusion
The bulk of the savings related to ReSTOR® were realized outside the SF. From both a societal and SF perspective, savings, after a 3% discounting, achieved by liberating patients from spectacles counterbalanced the initially higher cost of ReSTOR®. ReSTOR® is a cost saving alternative to spectacles for patients requiring cataract surgery.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-12
PMCID: PMC2488322  PMID: 18627594
15.  Comparative study of the stability of bimatoprost 0.03% and latanoprost 0.005%: A patient-use study 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:11.
Background
The stability of ophthalmic preparations in multidose containers is influenced by the preservative as well as the stability of the active ingredient. Unstable drugs may require refrigeration to preserve their active ingredient level and they are more likely to degrade over time, therefore becoming more susceptible to degradation based on patient mishandling. The purpose of this study was to determine the degree of molecular degradation that occurs in bimatoprost and latanoprost in a patient-use setting.
Methods
This was an open-label, laboratory evaluation of the relative stability of bimatoprost and latanoprost. Patients presently using bimatoprost (n = 31) or latanoprost (n = 34) were identified at 2 clinical sites in Brazil. Patients were instructed to use and store their drops as usual and return all used medication bottles between day 28 and day 34 after opening.
Results
Bimatoprost demonstrated no degradation, but latanoprost degraded at various levels. The mean age of bimatoprost was 43.0 ± 3.4 days and the mean age of latanoprost was 43.9 ± 2.8 days (P = .072). The mean percentage of labeled concentration was 103.7% in the bimatoprost bottles and 88.1% in the latanoprost bottles (P < 001).
Conclusion
This study showed that bimatoprost maintained ≥100% concentration throughout the study period while latanoprost did not.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-11
PMCID: PMC2442051  PMID: 18547433
16.  Prevalence of dry eye syndrome and diabetic retinopathy in type 2 diabetic patients 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:10.
Background
This study was performed to assess the prevalence of dry eye syndrome and diabetic retinopathy (DR) in type 2 diabetic patients and their contributing factors.
Methods
199 type 2 diabetic patients referred to Yazd Diabetes Research Center were consecutively selected. All Subjects were assessed by questionnaire about other diseases and drugs. Dry eye syndrome was assessed with Tear break up time tests and Schirmer. All the subjects underwent indirect ophthalmoscopy and retinal color photography. DR was graded according to early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy (ETDRS) criteria.
Results
Of 199 subjects, 108 patients (54.3%) suffer from dry eye syndrome. Although dry eye syndrome was more common in older and female patients, this association was not significant. But there was significantly association between dry eye syndrome and duration of diabetes (P = 0.01). Dry eye syndrome was more frequent in diabetic patients with DR (P = 0.02). DR was found in 140 patients (70.35%), which included 34 patients (17.1%) with mild non proliferative DR (NPDR), 34 patients (17.1%) with moderate NPDR, 22 patients (11.1%) with severe NPDR and 25 patients (25.1%) with proliferative DR (PDR). There were significant relation between age, sex and duration of diabetes and DR.
Conclusion
In this study the prevalence of dry eye syndrome was 54.3%. Diabetes and dry eyes appear to have a common association. Further studies need to be undertaken to establish an etiologic relationship. However, examination for dry eye should be an integral part of the assessment of diabetic eye disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-10
PMCID: PMC2435518  PMID: 18513455
17.  Effectiveness of mobile-phone short message service (SMS) reminders for ophthalmology outpatient appointments: Observational study 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:9.
Background
Non-attendance for hospital outpatient appointments is a significant problem in many countries. It causes suboptimal use of clinical and administrative staff and financial losses, as well as longer waiting times. The use of Short Message Service (SMS) appointment reminders potentially offers a cost-effective and time-efficient strategy to decrease non-attendance and so improve the efficiency of outpatient healthcare delivery.
Methods
An SMS text message was sent to patients with scheduled appointments between April and September 2006 in a hospital ophthalmology department in London, reminding them of their appointments. This group acted as the intervention group. Controls were patients with scheduled ophthalmology appointments who did not receive an SMS or any alternative reminder.
Results
During the period of the study, 11.2% (50/447) of patients who received an SMS appointment reminder were non-attenders, compared to 18.1% (1720/9512) who did not receive an SMS reminder. Non-attendance rates were 38% lower in patients who received an SMS reminder than in patients who did not receive a reminder (RR of non-attendance = 0.62; 95% CI = 0.48 – 0.80).
Conclusion
The use of SMS reminders for ophthalmology outpatient appointments was associated with a reduction of 38% in the likelihood of patients not attending their appointments, compared to no appointment reminder. The use of SMS reminders may also be more cost-effective than traditional appointment reminders and require less labour. These findings should be confirmed with a more rigorous study design before a wider roll-out.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-9
PMCID: PMC2438329  PMID: 18513438
18.  Rotational stability of the AcrySof SA60TT toric intraocular lenses: A cohort study 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:8.
Background
To evaluate the rotational stability of the three types of AcrySof SA60TT toric intraocular lenses (Alcon, Switzerland) in cataract surgery after the first postoperative week.
Methods
A retrospective study of 44 eyes in 33 patients. All patients underwent similar uncomplicated phacoemulsification cataract surgery. Seven eyes with corneal astigmatism of less than 1.5 D were implanted with the AcrySof SA60T3 intraocular lens. Seventeen eyes with astigmatism between 1.5 D and 2.25 D received the SA60T4 intraocular lens, and 20 eyes with more than 2.25 D of corneal astigmatism received the SA60T5 intraocular lens. Intraoperatively, the axis of the toric lens was aligned to the steepest axis of the corneal astigmatism. Main outcome measure was the postoperative position of the lens, assessed at 1 week and 3 months, using a specially designed angle measuring eyepiece for the slit lamp.
Results
There was no significant difference in the rotational stability of the three types of toric intraocular lenses. Overall, the postoperative rotation was within 5 degrees in 95% and within 2 degrees in 68% of eyes. The mean absolute rotation was 2.2 ± 2.2 degrees. No lens showed more than 9 degrees of rotation, and no lens required secondary repositioning. There was no trend for either clockwise or anti-clockwise rotation. The surgical procedure did not change the corneal astigmatism.
Conclusion
Once placed to it's position, each of the three types of the AcrySof SA60TT toric intraocular lenses demonstrate rotational stability in the capsular bag.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-8
PMCID: PMC2408563  PMID: 18460196
19.  Specific detection of fungal pathogens by 18S rRNA gene PCR in microbial keratitis 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:7.
Background
The sensitivity and specificity of 18S rRNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the detection of fungal aetiology of microbial keratitis was determined in thirty patients with clinical diagnosis of microbial keratitis.
Methods
Corneal scrapings from patients were used for Gram stain, culture and PCR analysis. PCR was performed with primer pairs targeted to the 18S rRNA gene. The result of the PCR was compared with conventional culture and Gram staining method. The PCR positive samples were identified by DNA sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the rRNA gene. Main outcome measures were sensitivity and specificity of PCR in the detection of fungus in corneal keratitis.
Results
Combination of microscopy and culture gave a positive result in 11 of 30 samples of microbial keratitis. PCR detected 10 of 11 samples that were positive by conventional method. One of the 19 samples that was negative by conventional method was positive by PCR. Statistical analysis revealed that the PCR to have a sensitivity of 90.9% and specificity of 94.7% in the detection of a fungal aetiology in microbial keratitis.
Conclusion
PCR is a rapid, sensitive and useful method to detect fungal aetiology in microbial keratitis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-7
PMCID: PMC2413208  PMID: 18445283
20.  A five-year retrospective study of the epidemiological characteristics and visual outcomes of patients hospitalized for ocular trauma in a Mediterranean area 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:6.
Background
To determine the epidemiological characteristics and visual outcome of ocular trauma in southern Italy.
Methods
All cases of ocular trauma admitted to Department of Ophthalmology of Palermo University, Italy, from January 2001–December 2005 were retrospectively reviewed for open- or closed-globe injury (OGI or CGI). Data extracted included age, sex, residence, initial and final visual acuity (VA), cause and treatment of injury, hospitalization. The injuries were classified by Ocular Trauma Classification System (OTCS) and Birmingham Eye Trauma Terminology (BETT). We also referred to the Ocular Trauma Score (OTS) in evaluating the final visual outcome.
Results
Of the 298 eyes, there were 146 OGI and 152 CGI. Fifty eyes (16.8%) had an intraocular foreign body (IOFB). The annual incidence of eye injuries was 4.9 per 100,000. Most injuries occurred in men (84.6%, p < 0.0005), with an average age of 33.0 vs. 49.9 for women (p = 0.005). Cause of injury differed significantly by gender (p = 0.001) and urban vs. rural location (p = 0.009). The most frequent causes in men were outdoor activities related injuries (30.9%), work-related (25.4%), and sport-related (17.5%), and in women were home-related (52.2%) and outdoor activities related injuries (30.4%). In urban areas, road accidents were more frequent; in rural areas, work-related injuries were more frequent with a greater rate of IOFBs than in urban areas (p = 0.002).
The incidence of OGI and CGI differed in work-related injuries (p < 0.0005), sport-related injuries (p < 0.0005), and assaults (p = 0.033). The final visual acuity was 20/40 (6/12) or better in 144 eyes (48.3%), 20/40–20/200 (6/12–6/60) in 90 eyes (30.2%), and <20/200 (6/60) or less in 46 eyes (15.5%). Eighteen eyes (6%) had a final acuity of no light perception. Of those eyes that presented with hand motion vision or better, 220 (86.6%) had a final vision of better than 20/200 (6/60). Initial visual acuity was found to be correlated with final visual acuity (Spearman's correlation coefficient = 0.658; p < 0.001). The likelihood of the final visual acuities in the OTS categories was correlated to that of the OTS study group in 12 of 14 cases (85.7%).
Conclusion
This analysis provides insight into the epidemiology of patients hospitalized for ocular trauma. The findings indicate that ocular trauma is a significant cause of visual loss in this population.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-6
PMCID: PMC2387139  PMID: 18430231
21.  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
22.  Psychometric properties of the Greek version of the NEI-VFQ 25 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:4.
Background
To evaluate the reliability and construct validity of a Greek version of the NEI-VFQ-25 in patients with chronic ophthalmic diseases.
Methods
We developed the Greek version of the instrument using forward and backward translation. One hundred-eighty-six patients responded to the questionnaire. To examine reliability, Cronbach's alpha for each subscale was used as an index of internal consistency. Test-retest reliability was evaluated with intraclass correlation coefficients. Regarding construct validity, both convergent and discriminant validities were calculated by means of multi-trait analysis. Rasch analysis was used to estimate the visual ability required by each item for a particular response, and each patient's visual ability. Correspondingly, instrument validity was evaluated by estimating the distribution of residuals for item and subject measures.
Results
Four patient groups were studied, each including participants with a single cause of visual impairment. Group 1 consisted of 84 glaucoma subjects. Group 2 included 30 subjects with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD); group 3 included 25 subjects with dry-eye syndrome, whereas group 4 included 18 cataract patients. Twenty-nine healthy individuals comprised the control group. NEI-VFQ scores (mean ± SD) for the glaucoma, ARMD, dry-eye, cataract and control groups were: 76.9 ± 20.2, 70.9 ± 20.2, 81.6 ± 16.5, 73.5 ± 24.0 and 93.7 ± 8.9 respectively. Item analysis revealed no significant data skewing. Cronbach's alpha ranged from 0.678 to 0.926, with most subscales having high internal consistency. Intraclass correlation coefficient ranged from 0.717 to 0.910 for all subscales. All items passed the convergent and discriminant validity tests. Strong correlations were detected between visual acuity and "general vision", "distant activities" and "near activities" subscales. Significant correlations were also detected between visual field deficits and the "peripheral vision" and "general vision" subscales. Rasch analysis revealed potential weaknesses of the instrument that are associated with the assumptions of the model itself. Specifically, low precision of the "agreement" items was detected in the estimation of visual ability. Twenty-three percent of the subjects had fit statistics that fell outside the tolerance box.
Conclusion
Although traditional validation methods indicated that the Greek version of the NEI-VFQ-25 is a valid and reliable instrument for VS-QoL assessment, Rasch analysis detected significant misfits to the model, especially of the "agreement" items. This means that results of the corresponding subscales should be interpreted with extreme caution.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-4
PMCID: PMC2287166  PMID: 18325083
23.  Career choices for ophthalmology made by newly qualified doctors in the United Kingdom, 1974–2005 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:3.
Background
The paper aims to report trends in career choices for ophthalmology among UK medical graduates.
Methods
Postal questionnaire surveys were undertaken of qualifiers from all UK medical schools in nine qualification years since 1974. Data were analysed by univariate cross-tabulation. The significance of comparisons between groups of doctors were calculated by the use of chi-squared tests and adjusted residuals.
Results
Ophthalmology was the first choice of long term career for 2.3% of men and 1.5% of women one year after qualification; 2.0% of men and 1.4% of women three years after; and 1.8% of men and 1.2% of women at five years. Comparing early choices with eventual destinations, 64% who chose ophthalmology in year one, 84% in year three, and 92% in year five eventually practised in the specialty. The concordance between year one choice and eventual destination was higher for ophthalmology than for most other specialties. 'Enthusiasm for and commitment to the specialty' was the most important single factor in influencing career choice. The prospect of good working hours and conditions was also an important influence: it influenced career choice a great deal for a higher percentage of those who chose ophthalmology (66% in the third year) than those who made other surgical choices (23%).
Conclusion
Those choosing ophthalmology show a high level of commitment to it. Their commitment is strengthened by the prospect of attractive hours and working conditions. Many doctors who become ophthalmologists have already made their choice by the end of their first post-qualification year.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-3
PMCID: PMC2311274  PMID: 18318905
24.  Which quality of life score is best for glaucoma patients and why? 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:2.
Background
The glaucomas are generally asymptomatic diseases until they are very advanced. They affect 2% of the population over 40 years of age and therefore represent a significant public health issue. There have been a number of attempts to develop quality of life scales for the disease. This review discusses the pros and cons of these scales and suggests the best of the current ones for use in a clinical setting.
Methods
Medline, Embase and Google Scholar were searched for relevant articles. No time period was defined and all types of article were included.
Results
11 Quality of Life scores were identified that have been used with glaucoma patients.
Conclusion
There is no generally accepted 'best' Quality of Life instrument for use in glaucoma. Many of the scales are biased towards physical symptoms and do little to address the personal or social factors of the disease. Further work is needed to produce scales that address all these areas as well as being simple to administer in a clinical setting.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-2
PMCID: PMC2238730  PMID: 18215284
25.  The importance of central corneal thickness measurements and decision making in general ophthalmology clinics: a masked observational study 
BMC Ophthalmology  2008;8:1.
Background
To assess the impact of knowing central corneal thickness (CCT) on glaucoma management in a United Kingdom district general hospital.
Methods
A masked observational non-interventional study included 304 eyes of 152 consecutive glaucoma cases attending general clinic. CCT was measured using a hand-held pachymeter. IOP, as measured by the Goldmann applanation tonometer (GAT), was adjusted for CCT using a normogram. Two identical study sheets were retrospectively constructed from each subject's case notes: one included the CCT and adjusted IOP information, the other excluded. Study sheets were randomly presented to a single masked observer to decide glaucoma management. The difference in management decision was noted.
Results
The mean ± standard deviation CCT was 561.5 ± 35.7 μm, 538.9 ± 41.4 μm, 538.3 ± 40.3 μm for ocular hypertension (OHT), primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) and normal pressure glaucoma (NPG) subjects respectively. IOP adjustment was greater than ±2 mmHg in 33.9%(103/304) of eyes. CCT and adjusted IOP information led to different treatment option in 37%(55/152). Of the most important changes 20.4%(31/152) cases would have been commenced on additional IOP-lowering medication, 2.0%(3/152) would have been counselled for trabeculectomy surgery and 3.3%(5/152) of the cohort would have been observed rather than treated.
Conclusion
CCT and adjusted IOP measurement can influence glaucoma management in a clinical context. It helps attribute risk and hence aids patient management decisions.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-8-1
PMCID: PMC2258278  PMID: 18205955

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