Outcomes of external and endonasal dacryocystorhinostomy according to a modified Lacrimal Symptom Questionnaire (Lac-Q)

Pegah Torabi , Bjorn Stenstrom, Anne-Marie Larsson, Pernilla Bjornberg, Christer Svensson, Karl Engelsberg

Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 12 No. 2 (2023), 31 December 2023 , Page 55-61

Background: Nasolacrimal duct obstruction is usually treated using endoscopic or external dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR). The anatomic outcomes of both the endoscopic and external approaches are considered excellent. However, anatomic success does not translate into patient satisfaction. The current study assessed pre- and postoperative lacrimal problems using the symptom-based Lacrimal Symptom Questionnaire (Lac-Q) and investigated patient satisfaction depending on the choice of surgical technique.
Methods: A total of 112 eligible patients with lacrimal problems treated using external or endonasal DCR at the ophthalmology and ear, nose, and throat clinics at Skane University Hospital, Sweden, over a four-year period, were enrolled in this retrospective study. Patients were considered eligible if they experienced preoperative epiphora and had lacrimal duct stenosis. They were offered treatment using either external or endonasal DCR and were allowed to freely choose the technique. Exclusion criteria consisted of previous ipsilateral DCR, congenital NLDO, age < 18 years, presence of cancer, previous orbital trauma, or noncompliance with postoperative follow-up. After surgery, the patients were sent the Lac-Q to evaluate their lacrimal symptoms pre- and postoperatively. Complementary questions were added pertaining to the operative scar and the patients’ overall satisfaction with the operation.
Results: In total, 67 (60%) patients with ages ranging from 18 to 88 years completed the questionnaire, 33 (49%) of whom underwent external DCR and 34 (51%) endonasal DCR. Of the 67 respondents, 51 (76%) were women and 16 (24%) were men. Patients scored preoperative lacrimal problems highly on the Lac-Q, reporting both symptomatic and social problems due to epiphora. Following surgery, the group that underwent external DCR  remained home from work for 2 – 14 days (median, 3.5 days). However, 17 (52%) were retired. After the endonasal DCR, the patients remained home for 0 – 7 days (median, 2 days). Most patients were satisfied after DCR surgery, with both techniques significantly improving total, lacrimal symptom, and social impact scores (all P < 0.001). No differences in postoperative satisfaction were observed between the external DCR and endonasal DCR groups (P > 0.05). A small number of patients expressed scar-related concerns after external DCR.
Conclusions: The patients perceived lacrimal problems as a significant symptomatic and social burden. Postoperative satisfaction and symptom relief were good regardless of the surgical approach. Further prospective studies assessing patient satisfaction and its correlation with anatomical and functional success rates after external and endonasal DCR could provide robust, practical, real-world implications.

Longitudinal changes in peri-papillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in patients with unilateral branch retinal vein occlusion

Islam Goda, Emad A. Saliem, Shaimaa M. Mostafa , Ahmed Mahmoud Amin, Mohamed Yahia Omran, Basheer Eltantawy, Haitham Beshr Soliman, Esam Ghanem Abu El-Wafa, Ahmed Abdelaleem Abdelgbar, Hamdy Osman Abdel-Rahman Osman, Ahmad Mohammed Madianah Alkady, Mostafa Farid Mohammed Alneklawi , Nour Eldin Abdel Hamid , Akram Fekry Elgazzar , Walid Shaban Abdella , Mohamed G.A. Saleh

Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 12 No. 2 (2023), 31 December 2023 , Page 62-69

Background: Associations between retinal venous occlusion (RVO), elevated intraocular pressure, and glaucoma have been reported. Further investigations into structural alterations in the fellow eyes of individuals with unilateral RVO have revealed that the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer is thinner than in healthy eyes, suggesting that there may be systemic risk factors common to both RVO and glaucoma. We aimed to evaluate changes in peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (pRNFLT) among individuals with unilateral branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO).
Methods: This prospective observational study recruited 30 individuals (60 eyes) with newly diagnosed unilateral BRVO and macular edema, and a control group of 30 healthy individuals (30 eyes) with no abnormalities on fundus examination or concurrent systemic comorbidities. After baseline measurements, the participants were reassessed at 6, 12, and 24 months by measuring global and sectoral pRNFLT using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography.
Results: The mean age and sex distributions were comparable between the patient and control groups (both P > 0.05). When compared to fellow eyes, global and sectoral pRNFLT in eyes with BRVO were significantly higher at baseline (all P < 0.05). Over time, pRNFLT decreased dramatically, and by the conclusion of the two-year follow-up, there was a significant reduction from baseline in the affected eyes (all P < 0.05). Likewise, affected eyes experienced a significant improvement in best-corrected distance visual acuity and central macular thickness over the two-year follow-up (both P Less than or equal to 0.001). Comparing the global and all-sector pRNFLT of fellow eyes in the patient group with those of normal eyes in the control group, there were no significant differences at any visit, except in the temporal sector, which revealed a significant reduction in pRNFLT at 24 months in the fellow eyes of patients with unilateral BRVO (P = 0.02).  
Conclusions: Patients with unilateral BRVO experienced a significant reduction in pRNFLT in the affected eyes and, to a lesser extent, in the fellow eyes, compared with that of the control arm, suggesting that they are prone to retinal nerve fiber layer damage. The reduction in pRNFLT in the normal fellow eyes of patients with BRVO may be attributed to age or concurrent systemic comorbidities. Further studies with long follow-up periods are required to shed light on the etiology of functional and structural changes in both the retinal nerve fiber layer and ganglion cell complex in the normal and affected eyes of patients with unilateral BRVO.

Symptomatic dry eye disease among university students

Khalid M. Al-Zubi, Waqar A. Al-Kubaisy, Yazan E. Al-Azzeh, Batool K. Batayneh, Hazim A. Alqaraleh, Loay A. Abid, Ghazi O. Al-Jadid Al-Majali, Noor T Alhajaj

Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 12 No. 2 (2023), 31 December 2023 , Page 70-77

Background: Dry eye disease (DED) is a multifactorial condition often characterized by a reduction in tear film quantity or quality. This study aimed to determine the frequency of DED and its associated subjective symptoms among students of Mu’tah University.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study conducted at Mu’tah University, Mu’tah, Jordan, from January to April 2022, 489 students completed an online patient-reported DED symptom questionnaire and the ocular surface disease index (OSDI) questionnaire. Moreover, 106 participants underwent clinical examinations using the Schirmer test I and fluorescein tear breakup time (TBUT).
Results: Approximately 74.6% of the students self-reported experiencing DED symptoms, and 72.6% had an OSDI score > 12, which is considered the threshold for an abnormal ocular surface. Clinical examinations revealed low Schirmer test scores (< 10 mm) in 26.4% (n = 28) and 25.5% (n = 27) of the right and left eyes, respectively. We observed low TBUT scores (< 5 s) in 19.8% (n = 21) and 18.9% (n = 20) of the right and left eyes, respectively. We noted significant differences between the self-reported DED symptoms and the Schirmer test scores (P = 0.003 for both right and left eyes), TBUT (P < 0.001 for both right and left eyes), and OSDI score (P < 0.001 for each self-reported DED symptom). We observed a weak significant positive correlation between Schirmer test scores and TBUT in the right (r = + 0.30; P = 0.002) and left (r = + 0.34; P < 0.001) eyes; a negligible significant inverse correlation between OSDI scores and Schirmer test scores in the right (r = - 0.24; P = 0.013) and left (r = - 0.23; P = 0.019) eyes; and a negligible significant inverse correlation between the OSDI score and TBUT of the left eye (r = - 0.25; P = 0.011) but not of the right eye (r = - 0.17; P = 0.077).
Conclusions: The frequency of DED symptoms in this study was higher than that previously reported based on foreign statistics. The presence of self-reported DED symptoms was significantly associated with higher OSDI scores. Self-reported DED symptoms were more frequent than the abnormalities detected using objective methods. Therefore, a combination of subjective and objective measures may provide a higher diagnostic yield for DED. Further studies are required to confirm this hypothesis.

Outcomes of the Q value-based nomogram in managing pediatric versus adult keratoconus: a prospective interventional study

Mohammed Iqbal , Abdallah Hammour , Ahmed Elsayed , Ahmed Gad

Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 12 No. 2 (2023), 31 December 2023 , Page 78-89

Background: Keratoconus (KCN) is an ectatic disorder of the cornea characterized by stromal weakness and apical protrusion of the cornea, and is associated with a gradual and painless reduction in visual acuity. KCN in pediatric patients has certain important characteristics, such as a progressive and aggressive nature. We aimed to analyze the visual, refractive, and topographic outcomes of implanting a single 210° arc-length Keraring segment according to a novel, objective, Q value-based nomogram (Q-N) for the treatment of pediatric versus adult KCN.
Methods: This prospective, multicenter, non-randomized, open-label trial included 47 eyes of 47 patients who were allocated to one of two groups. The adult group included 33 eyes of patients greater than or equal to 18 years of age, whereas the pediatric group included 14 eyes of patients aged 14 – 17 years. All patients underwent femtosecond laser-assisted implantation of a single 210° arc-length Keraring segment according to the Q-N and were followed up for 6 months. All eyes underwent visual acuity measurement, cycloplegic refraction, and corneal topography at baseline and 6 months after surgery.
Results: The study groups were comparable in terms of sex proportions and KCN grades (both P > 0.05). The adult group exhibited significant postoperative improvements in mean uncorrected distance visual acuity (UDVA), corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA), sphere, cylinder, spherical equivalent (SE), and Kmax (all P < 0.001) with a mean change of -0.56 logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution (logMAR), - 0.40 logMAR, 3.07 diopters (D), 0.70 D, 3.42 D, and - 5.26 D, respectively. The pediatric group exhibited significant postoperative improvements in mean UDVA, CDVA, sphere, SE, and Kmax (all P < 0.05) with a mean change of - 0.62 logMAR, - 0.34 logMAR, 3.18 D, 3.67 D, and - 5.37 D, respectively. There were no significant differences between the groups in terms of the mean change in visual, refractive, and topographic variables (all P > 0.05). No postoperative complications were observed in either group.
Conclusions: Use of the objective Q-N was efficient in the treatment of pediatric KCN, with postoperative improvements in the mean visual, refractive, and topographic parameters, comparable to outcomes in adult keratoconus. Q-N achieved good corneal remodeling with subsequent improvements in visual, refractive, and topographic outcomes in both adult and pediatric patients with keratoconus. To verify our preliminary findings, we recommend further multicenter randomized clinical trials using the Q-N nomogram in a larger sample of pediatric patients with KCN as an adjunct treatment before or after CXL.

Myopia progression in school children with prolonged screen time during the coronavirus disease confinement

Fatemah T AlShamlan, Luluah K Bubshait, Ebtesamah A AlAhmad, Batool S AlOtaibi, Abdullah A AlShakhs, Fatimah A AlHammad

Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 12 No. 2 (2023), 31 December 2023 , Page 90-97

Background: Myopia, the most common refractive error, is a global public health problem with substantial visual impairment if left untreated. Several studies have investigated the association between increased near-work and restricted outdoor activities in children with myopia; however, such studies in children without myopia are scarce. We aimed to monitor the effect of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) home confinement and mandatory virtual learning on myopic progression among myopic and non-myopic school-aged children.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of children aged 6 – 12 years attending regular visits to the pediatric ophthalmology clinic in a tertiary eye hospital in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. Cycloplegic refraction was determined from three visits at least six months apart: two visits before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and one during the COVID-19 home confinement. Parents were asked about the time spent in near-work and outdoor activities, the devices used during virtual learning, and the demographic characteristics of the children. Statistical analyses were conducted to compare myopia progression before and during the COVID-19 home confinement.
Results: A total of 160 eyes of 80 children were analyzed. The boy (n = 46) to girl (n = 34) ratio was 1.4:1. The hyperopia (n = 131 eyes) to myopia (n = 29 eyes) ratio was 4.5:1. Most eyes exhibited a hyperopic shift before the confinement; however, all eyes displayed a myopic shift during the confinement. When comparing both eyes of the same individual, the more myopic or less hyperopic eye in the same child had a significantly greater myopic shift than the fellow eye (both P < 0.05). Children who used tablets showed a significant myopic shift (P < 0.05). Likewise, children in both age categories (less than or equal to 8 and > 8 years), boys, those living in an apartment, and those having parents with bachelor’s degrees experienced a significant myopic shift during COVID-19 home confinement compared to before (all P < 0.05). The mean myopic shift was greater in children aged > 8 years than in those aged less than or equal to 8 years. Children with and without a family history of myopia had a myopic shift in the mean spherical equivalent during COVID-19 home confinement; however, that of children with no family history was statistically significant (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Progression of myopia accelerated in children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Excessive time spent on digital screen devices at near distances is considered a substantial environmental contributor to myopic shift in children. Further multicenter studies with extended follow-up periods are needed to assess the factors contributing to myopic progression in our population.

Frequency and visual outcomes of herpes simplex keratitis in a Kuwaiti tertiary referral center

Nancy M. Lotfy, Nora Aldhefeery, Mariam N. Alenezi, Yousuf Alherz, Yousef Taleb Ali

Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 12 No. 2 (2023), 31 December 2023 , Page 98-105

Background: Herpes simplex virus (HSV), a cause of many ocular pathologies, may affect the corneal epithelium, stroma, or endothelium, with the epithelium as the most frequently affected location. We aimed to determine the frequency and visual outcomes of HSV keratitis over a 1-year period at Farwaniya Hospital, Kuwait.
Methods: This prospective observational case series included patients diagnosed with HSV keratitis who presented to the outpatient or eye casualty department between September 2022 and September 2023. Full history, demographic profile, detailed ocular and slit-lamp examinations, and visual acuity assessments were recorded prior to and after treatment. Baseline corneal sensation was assessed in the four corneal quadrants using the cotton wisp test.
Results: Of the 227 patients who presented with infectious keratitis, 72 (31.7%) were diagnosed with HSV keratitis. The mean (SD) age was 45.86 (16.06) years, and 48 (66.7%) patients were male. The subtypes of HSV keratitis were endotheliitis in 27 (37.5%) patients, dendritic ulcer in 22 (30.6%), stromal keratitis with ulceration in 9 (12.5%) and without ulceration in 8 (11.1%), and geographic ulcer in 6 (8.3%). The mean baseline best-corrected distance visual acuity (BCDVA) differed significantly between the HSV keratitis subtypes (P < 0.001). Most patients (n = 70, 97.2%) had unilateral eye involvement, were treated within 1 – 2 weeks, and demonstrated improved BCDVA. Despite the improvement in BCDVA in all HSV keratitis subtypes, a significant difference in the median BCDVA remained after treatment (P < 0.001). Pairwise comparisons revealed a significantly better BCDVA after treatment in eyes with dendritic epithelial ulcers than in eyes with HSV stromal keratitis with ulceration (P = 0.003) or geographic epithelial ulcers (P = 0.005). After treatment, corneal haze and neovascularization were detected in 54 (75.0%) and 24 (33.3%) patients, respectively.
Conclusions: We detected a substantial frequency of HSV keratitis in one of the governorates of Kuwait, with endotheliitis as the most common manifestation. Timely standard treatment interventions based on valid guidelines resulted in BCDVA improvement in all subtypes of HSV keratitis in our series, indicating the importance of early treatment. However, the BCDVA in eyes with dendritic epithelial ulcers remained substantially better than that in eyes with geographic epithelial ulcers or HSV stromal keratitis with ulceration, signifying the effect of the initial HSV keratitis subtype on visual outcomes. To our knowledge, this is the first study to highlight the frequency of HSV keratitis in a Kuwaiti hospital, and larger-scale research in this region is needed to further understand and manage the condition.