Retinal Toxicity in Patients Treated With Hydroxychloroquine: A Cross-Sectional Study

Goldis ESPANDAR, Jamileh MOGHIMI, Raheb GHORBANI, Mohsen POURAZIZI, Mohammad-Ali SEIRI, Shervin KHOSRAVI

Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 5 No. 2 (2016), 1 June 2016 , Page 41-46

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is an antimalarial medication that can also be used to treat autoimmune diseases. However, it can produce irreversible changes to the retina that lead to visual impairment. The aim of this study was to determine the proportion of patients treated with HCQ who develop retinal toxicity and the risk factors for the development of HCQ-induced retinal toxicity among Iranian patients. The is a cross-sectional clinical study of 59 patients who were treated with HCQ during 2014–2015. A questionnaire was used to collect data on the following demographic and clinical factors: age, gender, type of rheumatic disease, history of cataract surgery, daily and cumulative HCQ dose, and duration of HCQ use. Retinal toxicity was diagnosed on the basis of the automated perimetry results of the central 10° of vision and spectral domain optical coherence tomography. The associations between the demographic and clinical factors and retinal toxicity were assessed, and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Retinal toxicity was detected in 18 (30.5%) of the patients, and 5 (8.5 %) developed color vision impairments. There was no association between retinal toxicity and sex (P = 0.514), history of cataract surgery (P = 0.479), type of rheumatic disease (P = 0.539), or daily HCQ dose (P = 0.062). However, there was a significant positive association between retinal toxicity and age (P = 0.006), cumulative HCQ dose (P = 0.002), and duration of HCQ use (P < 0.001). In conclusion, the risk factors for retinal toxicity after HCQ treatment were advanced age, use of a higher cumulative HCQ dose, and a longer duration of treatment. 

Schwann Cell-Mediated Preservation of Vision in Retinal Degenerative Diseases via the Reduction of Oxidative Stress: A Possible Mechanism


Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 5 No. 2 (2016), 1 June 2016 , Page 47-52

After central nervous system (CNS) injuries, the regeneration process does not work out well except for remyelination process. This remyelination capacity in CNS can be mentioned as a worthy example of stem/precursor cell-mediated renewal process. Remyelination in CNS is mediated by Schwann cells which act mainly as remyelinating agents in peripheral nervous system (PNS) but several studies have shown their potential role in CNS too. Schwann cells have the capacity of supporting and saving retinal cells by secreting growth factors like:  Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), Glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), and Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in subretinal space. Retinal degenerative diseases are one of the most important debilitating concerns in modern countries which has encountered the problem of ageing population. One of the best examples of retinal degenerative disease which is a leading cause of permanent visual loss in Western world is age related macular degeneration (AMD). In United States it is believed that nearly 1.75 million, older than 40 years have end stages of this debilitating disease, and it is estimated that this number will progress to approximately 3 million people by year 2020. One of the most common pathways which is involved in initiation and development of retinal disease is called Oxidative stress. Schwann cells are capable of secreting high amounts of antioxidant enzymes which protect PNS in front of oxidative stress which is result of glucose fluctuation in diabetic patients. The antioxidant role of Schwann cells in PNS may be the possible mechanism which can make Schwann cells potent reconstructing agents in CNS and especially in retinal injuries and retinal degenerative disease.

Successful Surgical Correction of Astigmatism using Customized Ablation Photorefractive Keratectomy

Hakimeh TAHERI, Shahrokh RAMIN

Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 5 No. 2 (2016), 1 June 2016 , Page 53-57

The aim of this study was to determine the change in the degree of astigmatism in patients treated with customized ablation photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). This is a cross-sectional study that involved 92 otherwise healthy subjects with regular and irregular astigmatism ≥ 1.25 D (mean age: 39.09 ± 7.72 years; range: 20–59 years). All study subjects were treated with customized ablation PRK using a Technolas 217p Excimer Laser System. Before and 6 months after the surgery, a refraction assessment was conducted for each subject, and the effectiveness of the surgery for correcting astigmatism was evaluated. There was a significant change in astigmatism based on the results of an automated refraction exam of -1.67 ± 1.03 D (P < 0.001), from -2.51 ± 1.45 D preoperatively to -0.87 ± 0.94 D postoperatively. There was also a significant change in subjective refraction of -2.00 ± 1.25 D (P < 0.001), from -2.46 ± 1.52 D preoperatively to -0.46 ± 0.97 D postoperatively. Therefore, our results show that customized ablation PRK is effective for correcting astigmatism ≥ 1.25 D (P < 0.001). 

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is Safe and Effective for Patients with Myopia and Thin Corneas


Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 5 No. 2 (2016), 1 June 2016 , Page 58-62

The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) for patients with myopia and thin corneas. In this retrospective case series, we included 74 eyes of 38 patients with myopia and central corneal thickness (CCT) < 550 µm who underwent PRK and had a mean postoperative follow-up period of four years. The following factors were evaluated: CCT, refraction, uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA), best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), ablation depth, safety and efficacy indices (i.e., the ratio of the mean postoperative BCVA to the mean preoperative BCVA, and the ratio of the mean postoperative UCVA to mean preoperative the BCVA, respectively), and evidence of corneal ectasia (based on Orbscan topography images).The patients were aged 20 – 46 years (mean ±SD age, 28.18± 6.82 years). The mean ± SD pre- and postoperative CCTwas485.92 ± 9.27 µm and 434.84 ± 20.48 µm, respectively. The mean ± SD pre- and postoperative myopia was -2.77 D ± 1.51 and -0.24 ± 0.39 D, respectively, and the mean ± SD pre- and postoperative astigmatism was -0.82 D ± 0.99 and -0.37 ± 0.37 D, respectively. The mean pre- and postoperative BCVA and postoperative UCVA was 0.011 ± 0.03 Logarithm of the Minimum Angle of Resolution (log MAR), 0.003 ± 0.01 log MAR, and 0.054 ± 0.09 log MAR, respectively. The mean ± SD ablation depth, safety index and efficacy index was 54.34 ± 16.28 µm, 0.02 ± 0.12, and 0.11 ± 0.50, respectively. Regarding the postoperative corneal clarity, 72 eyes (97.3%) had a clear cornea (grade 0) and the remaining two eyes of one patient (2.70%) had a trace haze (grade 1). There was no evidence of corneal ectasia on any of the Orbscan topography images. Thus, among patients with myopia and thin corneas (<500 µm), PRK seems to be acceptable in terms of both safety and efficacy 4 years after surgery, based on the stability of postoperative refraction, visual acuity, and topographic outcomes, and outcomes based on the safety and efficacy indexes. 

Visual Field Abnormalities among Adolescent Boys with Hearing Impairments


Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 5 No. 2 (2016), 1 June 2016 , Page 63-70

The aim of this study was to compare the visual field (VF) categorizations (based on the severity of VF defects) between adolescent boys with hearing impairments and those with normal hearing. This cross-sectional study involved the evaluation of the VF of 64 adolescent boys with hearing impairments and 68 age-matched boys with normal hearing at high schools in Tehran, Iran, in 2013. All subjects had an intelligence quotient (IQ) > 70. The hearing impairments were classified based on severity and time of onset. Participants underwent a complete eye examination, and the VFs were investigated using automated perimetry with a Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer. This device was used to determine their foveal threshold (FT), mean deviation (MD), and Glaucoma Hemifield Test (GHT) results. Most (50%) of the boys with hearing impairments had profound hearing impairments. There was no significant between-group difference in age (P = 0.49) or IQ (P = 0.13). There was no between-group difference in the corrected distance visual acuity (P = 0.183). According to the FT, MD, and GHT results, the percentage of boys with abnormal VFs in the hearing impairment group was significantly greater than that in the normal hearing group: 40.6% vs. 22.1%, 59.4% vs. 19.1%, and 31.2% vs. 8.8%, respectively (P < 0.0001). The mean MD in the hearing impairment group was significantly worse than that in the normal hearing group (-0.79 ± 2.04 and -4.61 ± 6.52 dB, respectively, P < 0.0001), and the mean FT was also significantly worse (38.97 ± 1.66 vs. 35.30 ± 1.43 dB, respectively, P <0.0001). Moreover, there was a significant between-group difference in the GHT results (P < 0.0001). Thus, there were higher percentages of boys with VF abnormalities and higher mean MD, FT, and GHT results among those with hearing impairments compared to those with normal hearing. These findings emphasize the need for detailed VF assessments for patients with hearing impairments.