Intravitreal methotrexate infusion for prophylaxis of proliferative vitreoretinopathy after pars plana vitrectomy for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment

Joseph Hany Fouad Aziz, Mohamed Abd Al-Hakim Zaki, Amany Abd El-Fattah El-Shazly, Tarek Mamoun, Reem Osama Abdel Ghaffar Helmy, Mohamed Hanafy Hashem

Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 11 No. 3 (2022), 2 December 2022 , Page 95-103

Background: Proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) is the leading cause of recurrent retinal detachment after surgical repair of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD). Our study aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of intravitreal methotrexate infusion (IMI) for the prevention of PVR after pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) in eyes with RRD.
Methods: This prospective comparative interventional study was conducted from September 2020 to November 2021 at Ain Shams University Hospitals, Egypt. We recruited a consecutive, non-randomized sample of 47 eyes of 47 patients with RRD undergoing PPV. Participants were allocated to a control group or an intervention group that received IMI during surgery. Each group was subdivided into subgroups of eyes at high-risk of developing PVR and eyes with established preoperative PVR grade C. Outcome measures at the 3-month postoperative follow-up were the rate of retinal attachment, incidence of PVR, reoperation rate to flatten the retina, and changes in the retina and/or optic nerve function as assessed by full-field electroretinogram and flash visual evoked potential.
Results: Data from 47 eyes (23 and 24 eyes in the intervention and control groups, respectively) were evaluated. Subgroups IA, IB, and IIB each included 12 eyes, subgroup IIA included 11 eyes, and all subgroups had comparable sex ratios and age distributions. Postoperative PVR at 1 month and between 1 and 3 months was present in 13% and 4% of eyes in the intervention group, respectively. Reoperation to flatten the retina was required in 2 (9%) eyes in the intervention group, while 22 eyes (96%) had complete flattening of the retina at 3 months. No significant differences were found between the study groups and the corresponding subgroups regarding the outcome measures (all P > 0.05). No adverse events attributable to IMI were detected up to 3 months postoperatively.
Conclusions: Although IMI was safe for intraocular use in eyes with RRD and PVR grade C or a high risk of developing PVR, it did not affect the anatomical success rate or development of PVR up to 3 months after PPV. Further multicenter randomized clinical trials with longer follow-up periods and larger sample sizes are needed to verify these preliminary outcomes.

Absorbable suture for band tightening of scleral buckling in pseudophakic rhegmatogenous retinal detachment: a modified surgical technique and a 6-month follow-up

Fereydoun Farrahi, Ali Kasiri, Mostafa Feghhi, Mahsa Asadi-Moghaddam

Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 11 No. 3 (2022), 2 December 2022 , Page 104-109

Background: Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) is a separation of the neurosensory retina from the retinal pigment epithelium as a result of liquid vitreous passing through a retinal break. Scleral buckling surgery (SB) is a conventional treatment for RRD. In SB, a silicon explant is used to indent the sclera, reduce vitreous traction, and close the retinal break, and an encircling band is used circumferentially, leading to myopia. This study aimed to evaluate the functional and biometric outcomes after SB with absorbable band-tightening sutures in patients with pseudophakic RRD.
Methods: In this prospective interventional study, we included pseudophakic eyes with RRD treated surgically with SB and a temporary encircling band using a 6-0 absorbable Vicryl suture to tighten the band, instead of conventional permanent suture tightening. Anterior chamber depth (ACD), axial length (AL), intraocular pressure (IOP), spherical equivalent refractive error (SER), and best-corrected distance visual acuity (BCDVA) were measured preoperatively and at 1 day, 2 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months postoperatively.
Results: We included 30 eyes of 30 patients with a mean (standard deviation [SD]) age of 66.1 (10.5) years who underwent SB with an absorbable band-tightening suture for pseudophakic RRD. Significant increases in AL and ACD were observed at 2 weeks after surgery, with a significant decline in values thereafter; however, at the 6-month follow-up, the values were significantly higher than those at baseline (all P < 0.05). Based on the Vicryl tension and its hydrolysis, mean (SD) SER at 2 weeks postoperatively was significantly more myopic than at baseline (-5.8 [1.6] D versus +1.3 [1.8] D). However, the mean (SD) SER decreased significantly throughout the 6-month follow-up (all P < 0.05), and it reached -1.8 (0.9) D, which was comparable with the mean baseline SER (P = 0.140). The participants experienced significant improvement in BCDVA throughout the follow-up period (all P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Using an absorbable suture to tighten the encircling band in patients with pseudophakic RRD can reduce postoperative myopia without adversely affecting the anatomical or functional outcomes. Future comparative studies with larger sample sizes and longer postoperative follow-up are needed to verify these findings.

Pars plana vitrectomy for tractional diabetic macular edema with or without internal limiting membrane peeling

Abdelrahman Ahmed Ali Khattab, Mahmoud Mohammed Ahmed, Abdullah Hussein Hammed

Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 11 No. 3 (2022), 2 December 2022 , Page 110-118

Background: The effectiveness of internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling in the surgical treatment of tractional diabetic macular edema (DME), although widely examined, remains controversial. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) in the management of tractional DME and to highlight any benefits of additional ILM peeling.
Methods: This was an open-label, prospective, comparative, and interventional study that enrolled 50 eyes with tractional DME that underwent PPV and allocated each to one of two groups: group A consisted of 25 eyes that had no ILM peeling and group B consisted of 25 eyes that underwent ILM peeling. Postoperative assessments of best-corrected distance visual acuity (BCDVA) in the logarithm of minimal angle of resolution (logMAR) notation and central macular thickness (CMT) were performed at 1, 3, and 6 months postoperatively.
Results: At baseline, the two groups were comparable in terms of sex ratios, phakic status, insulin use, coexistence of hypertension, and mean (standard deviation [SD]) age, BCDVA, CMT, duration of diabetes mellitus, and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels. In group A, the mean (SD) BCDVA improved significantly from 0.89 (0.12) logMAR preoperatively to 0.64 (0.24) logMAR (P < 0.001), and the mean (SD) CMT declined significantly from 471.28 (80.83) micrometer to 228.20 (26.45) micrometer (P < 0.001), at the 6-month postoperative assessment. Likewise, in group B, the mean (SD) BCDVA improved significantly from 0.83 (0.10) logMAR preoperatively to 0.58 (0.24) logMAR (P < 0.001), and the mean (SD) CMT decreased significantly from 496.84 (89.82) micrometer to 226.20 (18.04) micrometer (P < 0.001), after 6 months. There were no significant differences between groups A and B in the changes in BCDVA (Delta BCDVA) or CMT (Delta CMT) at 1, 3, and 6 months postoperatively with respect to the baseline values (all P > 0.05). Postoperative complications were comparable between the two groups. A significant negative correlation was detected between the preoperative HbA1c level and BCDVA improvement in all participants (r = - 0.82; P < 0.001).
Conclusions: PPV is an effective treatment for tractional DME. Additional ILM peeling was not significantly associated with functional and anatomical benefits over a short period. Long-term glycemic control plays a role in vision gain after vitrectomy in patients with diabetes. Further long-term studies are required to verify our findings.

Risk factor assessment of digital eye strain during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional survey

Nancy M Lotfy, Heba M Shafik, Mona Nassief

Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 11 No. 3 (2022), 2 December 2022 , Page 119-128

Background: Shifting to online learning during the coronavirus pandemic has increased the number of individuals symptomatic of digital eye strain (DES). This study aimed to determine the frequency and potential risk factors of DES among university staff members and students in this pandemic era.
Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted during the pandemic, in May and June 2020. The online questionnaire was designed to collect data on DES-related ocular and extraocular manifestations. The survey was sent via social media to the previous year’s students and staff within the Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt. The responses were downloaded and analyzed.
Results: Of the 412 participants completing the questionnaire, 34 (8.3%) were university staff members with a mean (standard deviation [SD]) age of 36.7 (6.6) years, and 378 (91.7%) were university students with a mean (SD) age of 20.8 (1.8) years. Participants with DES symptoms numbered 294 (71.4%) before the lockdown, increasing to 366 (88.8%) during the last month, with 84 developing new-onset DES. Most participants reported ocular symptoms associated with DES. After the lockdown, both students and staff had a significant prolongation of nighttime digital screen use and TV watching, an increase in the 4-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-4) severity scale scores, and anxiety and depression, with a reduced duration of daytime reading (all P < 0.05). Students had a significant prolongation of daytime digital screen use and TV watching and an increase in the frequency of eye lubricant use and mean Perceived Stress Scale (PSS)-4 scores (all P < 0.05). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that studenthood and increased nighttime screen use were independent risk factors for DES by odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) of 10.60 (2.12 – 53.00) and 3.99 (1.71 – 9.34), respectively (both P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Lockdown and closure of the university, with a shift to online learning, increased the exposure of staff and students to digital screens and the number of individuals with DES. Studenthood and prolonged nighttime digital screen use were independent risk factors for DES. Further studies investigating the prevalence and risk factors of DES, comparing similar data during and after the pandemic, may reveal other aspects of DES caused by virtual reality-based training.

Combined umbilical cord patching with amniotic membrane graft for corneal surface reconstruction

Rania Kamel Farag, Karim Elmowafi, Hossam T El-Sharkawy, Sahar El-Tarshoby

Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 11 No. 3 (2022), 2 December 2022 , Page 129-136

Background: Umbilical cord patch (UCP) grafts have been successfully used for glaucoma shunt tube coverage and conjunctival surface reconstruction. In recent years, the technique has emerged as a novel alternative for the reconstruction of corneal perforation and descemetocele. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of combined UCP grafting and human amniotic membrane (HAM) transplantation for the management of corneal perforation or descemetocele.
Methods: This prospective, non-comparative, interventional case series included nine eyes of nine patients with corneal descemetoceles and 28 eyes of 28 patients with corneal perforations, all in a clinically quiescent state. UCP grafting and HAM transplantation were combined to treat all patients. We re-examined the patients daily throughout the first week, weekly for 1 month, and then monthly for the first 6 months using slit-lamp examination and anterior segment optical coherence tomography.
Results: We included 37 eyes with descemetocele or corneal perforation in a clinically quiescent state. The mean (standard deviation) ages of patients with corneal descemetocele and corneal perforation were 56.3 (18.8) years and 54.3 (18.1) years, respectively. The male-to-female ratios in patients with corneal descemetocele and corneal perforation were 56% to 44% and 61% to 39%, respectively. Postoperative corneal thickness increased significantly in eyes with descemetocele compared to preoperative values (P < 0.001). Postoperative best-corrected distance visual acuity improved significantly compared to preoperative values in eyes with descemetocele or corneal perforation (both P < 0.001), with relief of accompanying ocular symptoms. We did not observe any recurrence or complications such as rejection, infection, suture-related problems, or severe inflammation and all had a formed anterior chamber up to the final follow-up visit.
Conclusions: Combined UCP grafting and HAM transplantation could be a promising alternative treatment for corneal perforation or descemetocele in clinically quiescent eyes, providing satisfactory reconstruction and functional outcomes. Further studies with robust designs, larger sample sizes, and longer follow-up are needed to verify the efficacy and safety of this modified surgical technique in enhancing vision and restoring anterior segment anatomical integrity in compromised corneas.

A hypothetical therapeutic effect of light peripheral panretinal photocoagulation in neovascular age-related macular degeneration

Ahmad M Mansour, Koushik Tripathy, Maurizio Battaglia Parodi

Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology, Vol. 11 No. 3 (2022), 2 December 2022 , Page 137-143

Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a significant modulator of ocular angiogenesis, including that of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD). Intravitreal injection of anti-VEGF is the benchmark treatment for most retinal vascular diseases, including nAMD, diabetic maculopathy, and macular edema secondary to retinal venous occlusion. Anti-VEGF treatment is a high-frequency, time-consuming, non-cost-effective therapy, especially in countries and regions with limited resources. This treatment is easily restricted, and in practice, maintaining long-term periodic care is challenging for patients.
Hypothesis: Light peripheral panretinal photocoagulation (PPRP) is applied in a mild form (barely visible mild light gray mark) anterior to the equator so as not to jeopardize the visual field. PPRP lessens the ischemia that causes neovascularization and decreases the metabolic demand in the peripheral retina. PPRP reduces serum angiopoietin-2 and VEGF levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with proliferative diabetic retinopathy. We propose using light PPRP to suppress VEGF secretion, aiming to attenuate the VEGF drive and halt choroidal neovascular growth in eyes with nAMD. Our regimen is based on two concepts: first, nAMD is a diffuse or generalized disease that affects the posterior segment; and second, PPRP is very effective in regressing diabetic retinopathy. PPRP has reportedly been successful in cases of macular edema (diabetic or following venous occlusion) resistant to VEGF antagonists. Light PPRP may be used as prophylaxis, adjunctive treatment, or monotherapy in nAMD when intravitreal injections of VEGF antagonists are not feasible.
Conclusions: The established light PPRP therapy could be promising as a one-time, cost-effective therapy or prophylaxis in patients with nAMD or at high risk. This proposed modality could be suitable for patients who have injection phobia or prefer a one-time affordable therapy to the long-term monthly visits to retinologists. Future trials are necessary to verify the safety and efficacy of this proposed treatment modality in selected patients with nAMD.