Publications by authors named "Muhammad Sohail Halim"

27 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Posterior Uveitis Associated with Large Vessel Giant Cell Arteritis.

Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2021 Jul 16:1-4. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA.

: To report a case of acute unilateral posterior uveitis as a rare manifestation of giant cell arteritis (GCA).: A 62-year-old male presented to the clinic for evaluation of decreased vision in the right eye (OD). BCVA in OD was 20/60, and fundus examination revealed 3+ vitreous cells along with several inflammatory precipitates located in posterior vitreous and on surface of retina. Although TAB was inconclusive for GCA, the clinical diagnosis of GCA was made according to the GCA diagnostic criteria. This diagnosis was further supported by FDG-PET scan. The patient was started on corticosteroids, and the symptoms improved significantly after first week of treatment. At follow-up visit one month and half later, BCVA improved to 20/40 in the right eye.: Although GCA is rarely present with uveitis, in case of unilateral posterior uveitis in elderly patient, it should be considered in the differential diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09273948.2021.1952274DOI Listing
July 2021

Distinct Patterns of Choroidal Lesions in Punctate Inner Choroidopathy and Multifocal Choroiditis Determined by Heatmap Analysis.

Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2021 Jul 6:1-6. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California, USA.

: A heatmap analysis of choroidal lesions in patients with punctate inner choroidopathy (PIC) or multifocal choroiditis (MFC) with or without uveitis was performed to determine if there were any distinguishing features among these uveitic entities.: Retrospective review of medical records was conducted at the Byers Eye Institute, Stanford. Fundus photographs were masked and placed on a standardized template. Lesions were identified and heatmaps were generated in a standardized fashion.: 30 eyes were identified with PIC or MFC. Heatmap analysis revealed three distinct patterns of fundus lesions: posterior, peripheral, and combined. All patients with PIC had the posterior pattern. Patients with MFC had the peripheral or combined pattern, and all patients with MFC with uveitis had the combined pattern.: Three patterns of fundus lesions were identified in patients with PIC and MFC. PIC and MFC may represent two separate disease entities with distinct phenotypes of choroidal lesions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09273948.2021.1939391DOI Listing
July 2021

Oral antibiotics for chronic blepharitis.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2021 06 9;6:CD013697. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA.

Background: Posterior blepharitis is common and causes ocular surface and lid damage as well as discomfort. It affects 37% to 47% of all ophthalmology patients; its incidence increasing with age. It is a multifactorial disease associated with multiple other pathologies, such as rosacea, meibomianitis, and infections. Treatment usually focuses on reliefing the symptoms by using artificial tears, lid scrubs, and warm compresses. The condition may be notoriously difficult to manage adequately once it becomes chronic. One such management approach for chronic blepharitis is the use of oral antibiotics for both their antibacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties. There are currently no guidelines regarding the use of oral antibiotics, including antibiotic type, dosage, and treatment duration, for the treatment of chronic blepharitis.

Objectives: To assess the benefits and harms of oral antibiotic use for people with chronic blepharitis.

Search Methods: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Trials Register) (2020, Issue 8); Ovid MEDLINE; Embase.com; PubMed; Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature Database (LILACS); ClinicalTrials.gov, and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP). We did not use any date or language restrictions in the electronic search for trials. We last searched the electronic databases on 29 August 2020.

Selection Criteria: We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing oral antibiotics with placebo in adult participants with chronic blepharitis (including staphylococcal, seborrhoeic, or Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)).

Data Collection And Analysis: We used standard Cochrane methodology and graded the certainty of the body of evidence for six outcomes using the GRADE classification.

Main Results: We included two studies with 220 participants (numbers of eyes unclear). One parallel-group RCT comparing oral doxycycline (40 mg once a day) with placebo enrolled 70 participants with blepharitis and facial rosacea in the USA. Follow-up duration was three months. One three-arm RCT conducted in South Korea investigated the effect of high-dose (200 mg twice a day) and low-dose (20 mg twice a day) doxycycline versus placebo after one month of study medication. It enrolled 50 participants with chronic MGD in each study arm (i.e. 150 participants enrolled in total). The two studies did not evaluate the same outcome measurements, which precluded any meta-analysis. The evidence for the effect of oral antibiotics on subjective improvement in symptoms was very uncertain. One study suggested that there was little to no effect of oral doxycycline on subjective symptoms based on the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) scores ranging from 0 to 100 (higher score indicates worse condition) (mean difference (MD) 3.55, 95% confidence interval (CI) -4.61 to 11.71; n = 70) and bulbar conjunctival hyperemia ranging from 0 (clear) to 4 (severe) (MD -0.01, 95% CI -0.38 to 0.36; n = 70) at 12 weeks. The three-arm RCT showed that oral doxycycline may slightly improve number of symptoms (MD -0.56, 95% CI -0.95 to -0.17; n = 93 (high-dose doxycycline versus placebo); MD -0.48, 95% CI -0.86 to -0.10; n = 93 (low-dose doxycycline versus placebo)) and proportion of participants with symptom improvement (risk ratio (RR) 6.13, 95% CI 2.61 to 14.42; n = 93 (high-dose doxycycline versus placebo); RR 6.54, 95% CI 2.79 to 15.30; n = 93 (low-dose doxycycline versus placebo)) at one month, but the evidence is very uncertain. We judged the certainty of evidence for subjective symptoms as very low. One study evaluated aqueous tear production by Schirmer's test (mm/5 min) (higher score indicates better condition) and tear film stability by measuring tear film break-up time (TBUT) in seconds (higher score indicates better condition) at one month. We found very low certainty evidence that oral doxycycline may improve these clinical signs. The estimated MD in Schirmer's test score after one month of treatment was 4.09 mm (95% CI 2.38 to 5.80; n = 93) in the high-dose doxycycline group versus the placebo group and 3.76 mm (95% CI 1.85 to 5.67; n = 93) in the low-dose doxycycline group versus the placebo group. The estimated MD in TBUT after one month was 1.58 seconds (95% CI 0.57 to 2.59; n = 93) when comparing the high-dose doxycycline group with the placebo group, and 1.70 seconds (95% CI 0.96 to 2.44; n = 93) when comparing the low-dose doxycycline group with the placebo group. Although there was a noted improvement in these scores, their clinical importance remains uncertain. One study suggested that oral doxycycline may increase the incidence of serious side effects: 18 (39%) participants in the high-dose doxycycline group, 8 (17%) in the low-dose doxycycline group, and 3 (6%) out of 47 participants in the placebo group experienced serious side effects (RR 6.13, 95% CI 1.94 to 19.41; n = 93 (high-dose doxycycline versus placebo); RR 2.72, 95% CI 0.77 to 9.64; n = 93 (low-dose doxycycline versus placebo)). Additionally, one study reported that one case of migraine headache and five cases of headache were observed in the oral doxycycline group, and one case of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was observed in the placebo group. We judged the certainty of evidence for adverse events as very low.

Authors' Conclusions: There was insufficient evidence to draw any meaningful conclusions on the use of oral antibiotics for chronic blepharitis. Very low certainty evidence suggests that oral antibiotics may improve clinical signs, but may cause more adverse events. The evidence for the effect of oral antibiotics on subjective symptoms is very uncertain. Further trials are needed to provide high quality evidence on the use of oral antibiotics in the treatment of chronic blepharitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013697.pub2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8189606PMC
June 2021

Current concepts in the diagnosis and management of antiphospholipid syndrome and ocular manifestations.

J Ophthalmic Inflamm Infect 2021 Apr 9;11(1):11. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Spencer Center for Vision Research, Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, 2370 Watson Court, Suite 200, Palo Alto, CA, 94303, USA.

Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an autoimmune disorder associated with obstetrical complications, thrombotic complications involving both arteries and veins, and non-thrombotic manifestations affecting multiple other systems presenting in various clinical forms. Diagnosis requires the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies. The exact pathogenesis of APS is not fully known. However, it has recently been shown that activation of different types of cells by antiphospholipid antibodies plays an important role in thrombosis formation. Ocular involvement is one of the important clinical manifestations of APS and can vary in presentations. Therefore, as an ophthalmologist, it is crucial to be familiar with the ocular findings of APS to prevent further complications that can develop. Furthermore, the ongoing identification of new and specific factors contributing to the pathogenesis of APS may provide new therapeutic options in the management of the disease in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12348-021-00240-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8032459PMC
April 2021

Differences in the characteristics of subjects achieving complete, partial, or no resolution of macular edema in the READ-3 study.

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2021 Apr 1. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, 2370 Watson Court - Suite 200, Palo Alto, CA, 94303, USA.

Purpose: To identify baseline characteristics of subjects enrolled in the READ-3 study that would predict the response of macular edema to ranibizumab (RBZ) therapy at year 1.

Methods: In this post hoc analysis of the READ-3 randomized, multicenter phase 2 clinical trial, subjects with diabetic macular edema (DME) were randomized to receive monthly intravitreal injections of RBZ (0.5 or 2.0 mg) for 6 consecutive injections followed by as-needed treatments based on pre-defined retreatment criteria. In this sub-study, subjects were divided into three groups (persistent, rebound, and resolved) based on edema status at month 12 (M12). Multi-logistic regression was utilized to assess the probability of edema outcomes M12, based on the baseline characteristics.

Results: One hundred twenty-three out of 152 subjects were analyzed for this sub-study. A significant difference was observed in the baseline (BL) central subfield thickness (CST) among the study groups (p < 0.05). BL CST was a significant predictor for edema outcome at M12 with > 80% probability of the subject having persistent edema if BL CST was > 570 μm (p < 0.05). This association persisted when controlled for the dose of RBZ (relative risk (RR), 1.007; p < 0.05). BL CST was also a significant predictor for having persistent edema at M12 in subjects without vitreomacular adhesion (VMA) (> 80% probability of edema persistence at CST > 570 μm [RR, 1.006; p < 0.05]). However, in the presence of VMA, BL CST was no longer a significant predictor of having persistent edema at month 12 (RR, 1.005; p > 0.05).

Conclusions: Subjects with high CST (> 570 μm) at baseline may not benefit from repeated intravitreal injections of anti-VEGF for resolution of edema.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00417-021-05148-6DOI Listing
April 2021

Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease: Outcome of Patients After Treatment in Otolaryngology Clinics.

Cureus 2020 Dec 21;12(12):e12195. Epub 2020 Dec 21.

Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, USA.

Introduction Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is a different entity from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Patients with LPR usually present with a variety of symptoms such as hoarseness, voice fatigue, burning sensation in the throat, persistent cough, sore throat, dysphagia, a sensation of a lump in the throat, and chronic throat clearing. The management of LPR is based on medications (proton pump inhibitors) along with lifestyle and dietary modifications. It has been suggested that the Reflux Symptom Index (RSI) and Reflux Finding Score (RFS) are useful parameters to assess patients with LPR. The aim of this study is to assess the subjective and objective benefits of RFS and RSI for diagnosing and management of LPR in the tertiary care center and to find the difference in RSI and RSI scoring with respect to gender. Methods A prospective study was performed and 102 patients were included according to inclusion criteria. RFS and RSI questionnaires were filled on the first visit of patients and then treatment with proton pump inhibitors was started along with lifestyle modification instructions. Questionnaires were filled after four weeks and then 12weeks post-treatment. Repeated measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed to compare the mean RFS and RSI from baseline to the end of treatment. The post hoc analysis was done using the Bonferroni test of multiple comparisons. An independent sample t-test was also used to compare the mean RFS and RSI between genders. P-values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant Results RFS and RSI were found to be significantly decreased post-treatment after four weeks and 12 weeks post-treatment (p-value- <0.01). Eight point eight percent (8.8%) side effects were observed in the study, the change in quality of life after a three-month treatment was significantly improved among 62.7% patients, and 75.5% did lifestyle modifications. In the mean comparison of RFS and RSI with respect to gender, it was observed that the mean RFS of females samples after one month and three months of treatment were significantly less as compared to male samples, p<0.01. There was no significant mean difference observed for RSI after one month and three months of treatment with respect to gender (p>0.05). Conclusion RFS and RSI are convenient and helpful for diagnosing LPR, and they can be easily implemented in ear, nose, throat (ENT) clinics for the subjective and objective assessment of LPR. Females showed greater improvement on laryngoscopy findings (RFS scores) post-treatment as compared to males.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.12195DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7816050PMC
December 2020

Posterior segment inflammatory outcomes assessed using fluorescein angiography in the STOP-UVEITIS study.

Int J Retina Vitreous 2020 6;6:47. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Spencer Center for Vision Research, Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, 2370 Watson Court, Suite 200, Palo Alto, CA 94303 USA.

Background: Although fluorescein angiography (FA) is a frequently used imaging modality in patients with non-infectious uveitis (NIU), it has not been reliably used for objective assessment of posterior segment inflammatory outcomes in these patients. In this index study we report the posterior segment inflammatory outcomes of two different doses of intravenous (IV) infusions of tocilizumab (TCZ), an IL-6 inhibitor, in eyes with NIU using a semi-quantitative FA scoring system.

Methods: STOP-Uveitis is a randomized, multi-center clinical trial conducted at 5 clinical centers across the United States. The study evaluated the role of TCZ in patients with NIU. Thirty-seven (37) patients with NIU were randomized into one of two treatment groups in a ratio of 1:1. Group 1 received IV infusions of 4 mg/kg TCZ and group 2 received IV infusions of 8 mg/kg TCZ. Infusions were given every 4 weeks in both groups until month 6 (primary endpoint). Posterior segment inflammatory outcomes were assessed by evaluating FA at baseline and month 6 by graders at a central reading center. A previously reported, semi-quantitative, scoring system for FA was used to assess signs that represent ongoing inflammatory processes in the posterior segment. These signs included optic disc hyperfluorescence, macular edema, retinal vascular staining and/or leakage, capillary leakage, retinal capillary nonperfusion, neovascularization of the optic disc, neovascularization elsewhere, pinpoint leaks, and retinal staining and/or subretinal pooling. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05. Main outcome measures included change in posterior segment inflammation as assessed using FA at month 6.

Results: 37 eyes (37 patients) were randomized in the STOP-Uveitis study. 30 eyes were found to be eligible for this sub-study based on study criteria. Seven eyes had ungradable images at either baseline or month 6 and were therefore excluded from the analysis. The reduction in FA inflammatory scores at month 6 were statistically significant in both groups (p < 0.05). The difference between the two groups was not significant (p = 0.351).

Conclusions: IV infusions of tocilizumab (both 4 and 8 mg/kg) are effective in improving posterior segment inflammation in eyes with NIU. A semi-quantitative FA scoring system may be used as a reliable outcome measure for assessment of posterior segment inflammation.ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01717170.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40942-020-00245-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7539516PMC
October 2020

Effect of Fundus Fluorescein Angiography on Semiautomated Aqueous Flare Measurements.

Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020 Sep 23:1-4. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Spencer Center for Vision Research, Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA.

Purpose: To evaluate the effects of fluorescein fundus angiography (FFA) on semiautomated aqueous flare measurements.

Methods: Laser flare photometer (LFP) measurements was performed at baseline, 30 min, and 4 h after the intravenous administration of sodium fluorescein dye. FFA was performed immediately after the baseline LFP measurement. LFP values at 30 min and 4 h after FFA were compared to baseline values. Mean change in LFP measurements at 30 min and 4 hafter baseline was compared between FFA arm and controls.

Results: The mean flare measurement in the FFA and control arm dropped 6% ( value = 0.002) and 9% ( value = 0.04), respectively. Mean change in LFP measurement at 30 min and 4 h after baseline was not significant between FFA arm and controls.

Conclusions: Administration of fluorescein dye does not increase LFP values. The decrease in the LFP measurement following FFA may be attributed to dilation drops.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09273948.2020.1799036DOI Listing
September 2020

Anti-interleukin-6 receptor therapy with tocilizumab for refractory pseudophakic cystoid macular edema.

Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep 2020 Dec 20;20:100881. Epub 2020 Aug 20.

Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA.

Purpose: To describe the clinical course of a patient with refractory pseudophakic cystoid macular edema treated with interleukin-6 receptor antagonist tocilizumab.

Observations: An 80-year-old Caucasian man with past ocular history significant for glaucoma (right eye) and iritis presented with cystoid macular edema (CME) in the right eye (OD). His ocular surgery history was significant for cataract extraction with posterior chamber intraocular lenses in 1999 and YAG laser capsulotomy in 2014 in both eyes (OU). His medications at time of presentation included latanoprost and dorzolamide-timolol in OD for glaucoma, as well as prednisolone in OD for iritis. Upon examination, his visual acuity was 20/250 in OD and 20/20 in the left eye (OS). Intraocular pressure was 20 mmHg in OD and 10 mmHg in OS. Slit-lamp examination revealed no cells or flare in OU. Dilated fundus exam showed CME and a cup-to-disk ratio of 0.9 in OD and normal findings in OS. Initial spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) demonstrated intraretinal fluid in both outer and inner layers as well as mild subretinal fluid with an intact ellipsoid zone in OD. Fluorescein angiography revealed perifoveal leakage in OD. Laboratory evaluations, including infectious work-up, were unremarkable. While the patient's CME initially improved after initiation of therapy with topical prednisolone and oral acetazolamide, the CME later recurred after systemic acetazolamide was stopped due to intolerable side effects. Despite multiple therapeutic approaches, including topical and systemic corticosteroids (both oral and intravenous) and topical interferon α2b over the course of more than one year, the patient's visual acuity continued to worsen with increasing intra- and subretinal fluid in the macula. Due to the refractory CME, the patient was started on monthly infusions of anti-interleukin (IL)-6 receptor tocilizumab (8 mg/kg) with three days of methylprednisolone infusions (500 mg/day). After nine cycles of treatment, SD-OCT demonstrated restoration of normal foveal contour with complete resolution of CME.

Conclusions And Importance: IL-6 inhibition with tocilizumab may be a safe and effective treatment for refractory CME. Further studies are needed to elucidate the nature and extent of therapeutic IL-6 inhibition in CME.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajoc.2020.100881DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7452126PMC
December 2020

Yet another case of ocular sarcoidosis.

Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep 2020 Sep 11;19:100825. Epub 2020 Jul 11.

Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA.

Purpose: To report a case of bilateral pan-uveitis resembling fungal and viral endophthalmitis in a patient who was ultimately diagnosed with sarcoidosis.

Observation: A 64-year-old female presented with a four-day history of painless vision loss in the right eye. She presented with multiple concurrent systemic complaints, including a history of oral and genital sores, patches of hypopigmented skin on her forearms, and occasional shortness of breath. Upon further examination, she was noted to have bilateral pan-uveitis, which was more severe in the right than left eye. Posterior pole examination of the right eye revealed dense vitritis with multiple large whitish round balls that seemed suggestive of fungal or viral endophthalmitis. Initial therapies included intravitreal (IVT) foscarnet and intravenous (IV) acyclovir, followed by IV amphotericin B and oral voriconazole, which did not improve ocular signs and symptoms. Further evaluations ruled out infectious etiologies and lymphoma. Chest computerized tomography (CT) scan revealed findings suggestive of sarcoidosis, which was confirmed with lung biopsy. Anti-viral and -fungal treatments were discontinued, and the patient was started on IV methylprednisolone followed by oral prednisone and mycophenolate mofetil. Ocular symptoms improved, and the patient remained stable after treatment.

Conclusion And Importance: The index report illustrates a case of ocular sarcoidosis that imitated the presentation of infectious endophthalmitis. Though ocular sarcoidosis is known to masquerade as a range of disorders and constitutes part of the differential diagnosis for infectious endophthalmitis, sarcoidosis has not been reported in recent literature to imitate the presentation of fungal endophthalmitis. The index case suggests that ocular sarcoidosis should be considered in the differential diagnoses of fungal endophthalmitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajoc.2020.100825DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7372148PMC
September 2020

Pharmacological agents in development for diabetic macular edema.

Int J Retina Vitreous 2020 8;6:29. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA 94303 USA.

Background: Diabetic macular edema (DME) is the leading cause of visual loss in patients with diabetic retinopathy. There has been a paradigm shift in the treatment of DME since the advent of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapy. The safety and efficacy of anti-VEGF therapy has been well established. Although efficacious, currently approved anti-VEGF agents are associated with certain limitations, which include, among others: frequent need for injections, high treatment cost and variable response to treatment. These challenges have led to an active search for more novel agents that may be able to overcome these limitations.

Areas Covered: The index review focuses on novel treatment agents that target various pathways in patients with DME. These agents are used either as monotherapy or in combination with other agents in the management of DME. Drugs discussed include novel anti-VEGF inhibitors, TIE-2 receptor modulators, integrin peptide inhibitors, rho kinase inhibitors, and future therapies such as neuroprotection and gene therapy.

Conclusions: The future of investigational pharmacological therapy appears promising for patients with DME. Results from early clinical trials indicate that newer agents highlighted in the study may be safe and efficacious treatment options for patients with DME. However, data from large multicenter clinical trials need to be analyzed before these agents can be incorporated into clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40942-020-00234-zDOI Listing
July 2020

Correction of perceived visual distortions using a software application and correlation to age-related macular degeneration.

Ther Adv Ophthalmol 2020 Jan-Dec;12:2515841420917783. Epub 2020 May 18.

Mary M. and Sash A. Spencer Center for Vision Research, Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, 2370 Watson Court, Suite 200, Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA.

Purpose: To investigate the use of software-generated corrections in neutralizing perceived distortions in age-related macular degeneration.

Methods: A tablet-based application was utilized to elicit distortions. Five subjects (seven eyes: neovascular age-related macular degeneration and three eyes: non-neovascular age-related macular degeneration) traced the reference lines, and their distortion traces were recorded. To counter distortion, a software-generated trace was re-traced by subjects to produce a corrected trace. Final traces were superimposed on optical coherence tomography images and following distances calculated: (a) dDT: distance between distortion trace and reference line; (b) dGT: distance between software-generated trace and corrected trace; (c) dCT: distance between corrected trace and reference line. Mean percent improvement in distortion was reported. Mean effectiveness of correction was also reported by utilizing test to compare dDT and dCT. The number of distortion traces with underlying lesions on optical coherence tomography was also analyzed.

Results: Mean age of the subjects was 76.6 (±9.5) years. Each patient traced six reference lines and each was considered a separate case. Out of 30 cases, 17 (56.6%) elicited distortion. Mean percent improvement in distortion was 71.3 ± 23% ( < 0.05). Twelve cases (70.6%) had an underlying lesion (eight cases: disrupted photoreceptor layer and four cases: normal photoreceptor layer). Mean percent improvement in cases with normal photoreceptor layer (90.8 ± 5.45%) was higher than with abnormal photoreceptor layer (58.5 ± 7.17%) ( < 0.05). Five cases with distortion had no associated underlying lesion. Mean percent improvement in these subjects was significantly higher than those with photoreceptor layer disruption.

Conclusion: Software-generated corrections can potentially correct for perceived distortions in patients with age-related macular degeneration, especially in cases with preserved photoreceptor layer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2515841420917783DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7235661PMC
May 2020

Intraoperative Use of Analgesics in Tonsillar Fossa and Postoperative Evaluation with Visual analogue Scale Scores-A Prospective, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Clinical Trial.

Int Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2020 Jan 4;24(1):e62-e67. Epub 2019 Nov 4.

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The Aga Khan Hospital, Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania.

 Posttonsillectomy pain results in significant morbidity to the patients. There is a disagreement in the literature regarding the use of local anesthetics during tonsillectomy. The aim of this placebo-controlled, double-blind study is to evaluate the effect of peritonsillar administration of local anesthetics.  To evaluate the role of intraoperative use of analgesics in tonsillar fossa and postoperative evaluation with visual analogue scale (VAS) scores in achieving pain relief after tonsillectomy procedure  In this study, 180 patients were randomized to 1 of the 6 groups: bupivacaine infiltration, lidocaine infiltration, normal saline infiltration, bupivacaine packing, lidocaine packing, and normal saline packing. Pain caused by speaking, swallowing, and on rest was assessed using VAS at 4, 8, 12, 16 hours, and at discharge.  Significant analgesia was obtained in patients who received bupivacaine infiltration and packing compared with placebo (  < 0.05). The majority of the study subjects had no postoperative complications, and patients receiving bupivacaine infiltration required less additional analgesics in the first 24 hours after surgery.  We advocate the use of bupivacaine infiltration or packing immediately following the procedure to achieve adequate postoperative analgesia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0039-1684037DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6828561PMC
January 2020

Safety of systemic therapy for noninfectious uveitis.

Expert Opin Drug Saf 2019 Dec;18(12):1219-1235

Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA.

: The treatment strategies for noninfectious uveitis (NIU) aim to achieve disease remission, prevention of recurrences, and preserving vision, while minimizing the side effects associated with the therapies used.: The index review aims to provide a detailed overview of the adverse events and safety parameters associated with the systemic therapies for the management of the NIU.: Despite being the cornerstone of management of acute cases of NIU, long-term corticosteroid use is associated with multi-system side effects, requiring the use of steroid-sparing agents. Adalimumab was recently approved by the FDA for the management of NIU based on the results of VISUAL studies. Similarly, newer drugs targeting various aspects of the inflammatory cascade are being developed. However, until we completely understand the molecular pathways of the inflammatory diseases, the therapeutic profile of these newer agents needs to be broad enough to suppress inflammatory cascade and narrow enough to spare normal cellular processes. Another strategy that has shown some potential in decreasing the systemic side effects is to provide local drug delivery. Therefore, the future of management of NIU is very bright with many novel therapeutic agents and strategies of drug delivery on the horizon.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14740338.2019.1692810DOI Listing
December 2019

Interleukin-6 inhibition in the management of non-infectious uveitis and beyond.

J Ophthalmic Inflamm Infect 2019 Sep 16;9(1):17. Epub 2019 Sep 16.

Byers Eye Institute, Spencer Center for Vision Research, Stanford University, 2370 Watson Court, Suite 200, Palo Alto, CA, 94303, USA.

Background: Uveitis consists of a spectrum of inflammatory disorders characterized by ocular inflammation. The underlying pathophysiology consists of a complex interplay of various inflammatory pathways. Interleukin 6 is an important mediator of inflammation in uveitis and constitutes focus of research toward development of newer biological therapies in the management of non-infectious uveitis.

Main Body: Pan-blockade of the inflammatory pathways with steroids is generally the first step in the management of acute non-infectious uveitis. However, long-term therapy with steroids is associated with systemic and ocular side effects, thereby necessitating the need for development of steroid sparing agents. IL-6 is a cytokine produced by various immune cells, in response to molecular patterns and affects multiple inflammatory cells. In particular, IL-6 is involved in differentiation of CD-4 cells into Th-17 cells that have been shown to play a significant role in various immune-mediated diseases such as uveitis. This broad-spectrum immunomodulatory activity makes IL-6 an excellent target for immunomodulatory therapy. Tocilizumab was the first IL-6 inhibitor to demonstrate efficacy in humans. It inhibits IL-6 from binding to both membrane-bound and soluble receptor and can be administered via intravenous (IV) and subcutaneous (SC) routes. It has been FDA approved for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Following the approval in systemic diseases, its efficacy was demonstrated in various uveitis studies including a phase 2 clinical trial (STOP-Uveitis). Overall, tocilizumab has shown a good safety profile with the risk of malignancy consistent with that expected in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. However, tocilizumab therapy has been shown to increase the risk for gastrointestinal perforation and dose-dependent neutropenia. Following the success of tocilizumab, several other agents targeting the IL-6 pathway are in the pipeline. These include sirukumab, siltuximab, olokizumab, clazakizumab, and EBI-031 which target IL-6; Sarilumab and ALX-0061 act on the IL-6 receptor.

Conclusion: Studies have shown that IL-6 inhibitors can be effective in the management of NIU. In addition, the levels of IL-6 are elevated in other ocular vascular diseases such as retinal vein occlusion and diabetic macular edema. The roles of IL-6 inhibition may be broadened in the future to include the management of retinal vascular diseases and non-uveitic macular edema.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12348-019-0182-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6745304PMC
September 2019

Effect of vitreomacular adhesion on the treatment outcomes in the STOP-Uveitis clinical trial for non-infectious uveitis.

J Ophthalmic Inflamm Infect 2019 Jul 19;9(1):12. Epub 2019 Jul 19.

Byers Eye Institute, Spencer Center for Vision Research, Stanford University, 2370 Watson Court, Suite 200, Palo Alto, CA, 94303, USA.

Purpose: To evaluate the role of vitreomacular adhesion (VMA) in visual and anatomic outcomes in patients with non-infectious uveitis.

Design: Phase 2 clinical trial PARTICIPANTS: Data from the Safety, Tolerability, and Efficacy of Tocilizumab in Patients with Non-infectious Uveitis (STOP-Uveitis) study was analyzed.

Methods: In the STOP-Uveitis study, patients with non-infectious uveitis (NIU) received monthly intravenous infusions of either 4 or 8 mg/kg tocilizumab until month 6 (M6). Spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) images of patients that completed M6 of the study were analyzed at baseline to stratify the patients by the presence (VMA+) or absence (VMA-) of VMA. Patients with vitreomacular traction (VMT) or epiretinal membrane causing structural abnormalities within center 1 mm were excluded. All images were graded by two independent graders.

Main Outcome Measures: Mean change in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), central retinal thickness (CRT), and vitreous haze (VH) at M6.

Results: Out of 37 patients randomized in the STOP-Uveitis study, 48 eyes (27 patients) were eligible based on the study criteria. At baseline, 19 eyes were classified as VMA+, and 32 eyes were classified as VMA-. The distribution of two doses of TCZ (4 mg/kg and 8 mg/kg) were similar between the two groups. At M6, the mean improvement in BCVA was 2.00 ± 5.3 and 6.50 ± 7.98 letters in the VMA+ and VMA- groups, respectively (p = 0.02). The mean improvement in CRT was 34.85 ± 72.36 and 80.37 ± 157.21 μm in the VMA+ and VMA- groups, respectively (p = 0.18). Similarly, the mean change in VH was - 0.65 ± 0.47 and - 0.76 ± 0.71 in the VMA+ and VMA- groups, respectively (p = 0.32). Out of 16 eyes with VMA at baseline, 3 eyes developed posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) at M6. The mean change in BCVA was significantly higher (p = 0.02), while CRT and VH score were similar (p > 0.05) in eyes with PVD compared to eyes with persistent VMA.

Conclusions: The absence of VMA or development of PVD in eyes with VMA seems to have a beneficial effect on the vision of subjects receiving treatment for uveitis. Therefore, patients with uveitis should be assessed using SD-OCT for the presence of vitreomacular interface abnormalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12348-019-0179-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6642237PMC
July 2019

Short-Term Effects of Ranibizumab on Diabetic Retinopathy Severity and Progression.

Ophthalmol Retina 2018 07 20;2(7):749-751. Epub 2018 Mar 20.

Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California; Ocular Imaging Research and Reading Center, Menlo Park, California. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.oret.2018.02.008DOI Listing
July 2018

Alendronate induced chorioretinitis: The importance of meticulous assessments.

Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep 2019 Jun 9;14:21-25. Epub 2019 Jan 9.

Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA.

Purpose: To report a case of presumed bilateral chorioretinitis secondary to alendronate therapy.

Observations: A 71-year-old female presented to the clinic in July 2017 with six months history of difficulty in reading along with floaters in both eyes which were more severe in the right eye. Past medical and surgical history revealed a history of hypertension, gout, hyperthyroidism, osteoporosis, and humerus fracture. She was started on alendronate three months before developing ocular symptoms. On ocular examination, best corrected visual acuity was 20/30 in the right and 20/25 in the left eye. Slit-lamp examination demonstrated normal anterior chamber examination in both eyes. Dilated fundus examination revealed geographic chorioretinal lesions around the optic nerve head in both eyes, more extensively in the right eye; and superior and temporal to the macula in the right eye. Past ocular records in February 2015 did not reveal any such findings. Fundus autofluorescence demonstrated hyper-autofluorescence in the peripapillary lesions in both eyes. The lesion adjacent to the macula in right eye displayed mixed hyper and hypo-autofluorescence. Fluorescein angiography showed combined hyper- and hypo-fluorescence compatible with window defect, staining and blockage. However, no leakage was appreciated in the macula, peripapillary, and peripheral lesions in both eyes. Optical coherence tomography scan showed septate hyporeflective intraretinal spaces in the right eye.

Conclusion And Importance: The index report underscore the importance of considering alendronate as an etiologic cause of chorioretinitis, especially in subjects with atypical lesions developing after alendronate therapy. We, therefore, recommend discontinuation of this medication in subjects who develop chorioretinitis after employing this medication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajoc.2019.01.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6374782PMC
June 2019

Blue light versus green light fundus autofluorescence in normal subjects and in patients with retinochoroidopathy secondary to retinal and uveitic diseases.

J Ophthalmic Inflamm Infect 2019 Jan 8;9(1). Epub 2019 Jan 8.

Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, 2370 Watson Court, Suite 200, Palo Alto, CA, 94303, USA.

Purpose: The aim of this study is to evaluate the differences in the fundus autofluorescence (FAF) signal between the blue light autofluorescence (BAF) from Spectralis® (Heidelberg, CA) and green light autofluorescence (GAF) 200TxTM (OPTOS, UK, in normal subjects and in patients with retinochoroidopathies (RC).

Methods: In this prospective study, FAF was performed using BL (λ = 488 nm) and GL (λ = 532 nm) on normal subjects and patients with RC. The corresponding pairs of BAF and GAF images from both groups were analyzed using Photoshop. The strength of the FAF signal was measured on a gray scale, where optic disc was a standard to indicate absence of AF. In addition, gray values obtained from three identical points (foveal center, and points of hypo and hyper autofluorescence) in the corresponding BAF and GAF images of normal and RC subjects were divided by the optic disc value to calculate autofluorescence signal ratio (R). The R values at fovea (R1), hypoautofluorescent point (R2), and hyperautofluorescent point (R3) were compared between BAF and GAF modalities, in normal and in RC subjects separately.

Results: One hundred six pairs (106 eyes) of FAF images analyzed (37 pairs: normal and 69 pairs: RC subjects). In normal subjects, the mean R1, R2, and R3 values for BAF were (1.5 ± 0.88, 1.23 ± 0.58, and 4.73 ± 2.85, respectively) and for GAF were (0.78 ± 0.20, 0.78 ± 0.20, and 1.62 ± 0.39, respectively). Similarly, in subjects with RC, the mean R1, R2, and R3 values for BAF were (1.68 ± 1.02, 1.66 ± 1.15, and 7.75 ± 6.82, respectively) and for GAF were (0.95 ± 0.59, 0.79 ± 0.45, and 2.50 ± 1.65, respectively). The mean difference in the R1, R2, and R3 ratios between BAF and GAF in normal and in RC subjects was statistically significant (p < 0.001). The strength of the correlation (r) between ratios for BAF and GAF was weak or not statistically significant in both normal and RC subjects (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: The distribution and intensity of the AF signal differ in BAF and GAF and cannot be used interchangeably. In BAF, optic disc signal is always weaker than in other areas, which was not true for GAF where optic disc signal was stronger than fovea and hypoautofluorescent point in both groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12348-018-0167-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6325057PMC
January 2019

Diurnal variation of choriocapillaris vessel flow density in normal subjects measured using optical coherence tomography angiography.

Int J Retina Vitreous 2018 10;4:37. Epub 2018 Oct 10.

2Department of Ophthalmology, Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, 2370 Watson Court, Palo Alto, CA 94303 USA.

Background: Vessel flow density (VFD) may provide important information regarding perfusion status. Diurnal variation in VFD of choriocapillaris has not been reported in literature. In the index study, optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) was used to assess the diurnal variation of the VFD in the choriocapillaris of subjects with no known ocular disease.

Methods: Fifty eyes with no known ocular disease (25 subjects) were included. OCTA images were acquired using AngioVue (Optovue, Fremont, CA, USA) at two different time points on a single day: 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Macular cube scan protocol (3 × 3 mm) centered on the fovea was used. Automatic segmentation of the retinal layers and choriocapillaris was performed using ReVue software, which was also used to measure the choriocapillaris VFD. Horizontal line scan passing through fovea was obtained by the device at both time points to measure the subfoveal choroidal thickness (CT). Linear measurement tool of software was used to measure subfoveal CT according to a standardized reproducible method. Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to assess the differences in choriocapillaris VFD and subfoveal CT at the two time points. Correlation between change in choriocapillaris VFD and subfoveal CT at the two time points was assessed using the Pearson correlation coefficient (r).

Results: The mean age of the subjects was 31.96 ± 11.23 years. Choriocapillaris VFD was significantly higher at 9:00 AM compared to 6:00 PM (P < 0.0001) with mean choriocapillaris VFD of 68.74 ± 4.80% at 9:00 AM and 67.57 ± 5.41% at 6:00 PM, with a mean diurnal amplitude of 1.17%. Mean subfoveal CT was 287.74 ± 61.51 µm at 9:00 AM and 270.06 ± 60.73 µm at 6:00 PM. Subfoveal CT was also significantly higher at 9:00 AM compared to 6:00 PM (P < 0.0001) with a mean diurnal amplitude of 17.68 µm. Change in choriocapillaris VFD correlated with change in subfoveal CT (r = 0.87, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: OCTA demonstrated significant diurnal change in choriocapillaris VFD in subjects without any ocular disease with VFD being higher in the morning and lower in the evening. Decrease in choriocapillaris VFD in the evening correlated with a reduction in subfoveal CT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40942-018-0140-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6178256PMC
October 2018

Primary (Month-6) Outcomes of the STOP-Uveitis Study: Evaluating the Safety, Tolerability, and Efficacy of Tocilizumab in Patients With Noninfectious Uveitis.

Am J Ophthalmol 2017 Nov 5;183:71-80. Epub 2017 Sep 5.

Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California; Ocular Imaging Research and Reading Center, Menlo Park, California. Electronic address:

Purpose: To report the primary endpoint analyses of the safety and efficacy of 2 different doses of intravenous (IV) infusions of tocilizumab (TCZ), an IL-6 inhibitor, in eyes with noninfectious intermediate uveitis, posterior uveitis, or panuveitis.

Design: Randomized, controlled, multicenter clinical trial.

Methods: STOP-Uveitis is a randomized, open-label safety, efficacy, and bioactivity clinical trial conducted at 5 clinical centers across the United States. The study evaluated the role of TCZ in patients with noninfectious uveitis (NIU). Thirty-seven patients with NIU were randomized into one of 2 treatment groups in a ratio of 1:1. Group 1 received IV infusions of 4 mg/kg TCZ and group 2 received IV infusions of 8 mg/kg TCZ. Infusions were given every 4 weeks in both groups until month 6 (primary endpoint). Primary outcome measure was incidence and severity of systemic and ocular adverse events through month 6. Secondary outcome measures included mean change in visual acuity (VA), vitreous haze (VH), and central macular thickness (CMT) at month 6.

Results: A total of 37 patients were randomized in the study. At month 6, 43.5% of patients who had the potential for a 2-step decrease in VH demonstrated a 2-step decrease (40% in Group 1 and 46.1% in Group 2). Mean change in CMT was -83.88 ± 136.1 μm at month 6 (-131.5 ± 41.56 μm in Group 1 and -38.92 ± 13.7 μm in Group 2). Mean change in VA was +8.22 ± 11.83 ETDRS letters at month 6 (10.9 ± 14.6 in Group 1 and 5.5 ± 7.8 in Group 2). Repeated infusions of TCZ were well tolerated.

Conclusions: Repeated IV administrations of TCZ are well tolerated. TCZ (both 4 and 8 mg/kg) is effective in improving VA and reducing VH and CMT in eyes with noninfectious intermediate uveitis, posterior uveitis, and panuveitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2017.08.019DOI Listing
November 2017

Evaluation of macular and peripapillary vessel flow density in eyes with no known pathology using optical coherence tomography angiography.

Int J Retina Vitreous 2017 31;3:27. Epub 2017 Jul 31.

Department of Ophthalmology, Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA 94303 USA.

Purpose: To assess normal vessel flow density (VFD) in macular and peripapillary regions of eyes with no known ocular pathology using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA).

Methods: AngioVue (Optovue, Fremont, CA, USA) was used to capture OCTA images. A 3 × 3 mm grid and a 4.5 × 4.5 mm grid was used to scan parafoveal and peripapillary regions, respectively. ReVue software was utilized to measure VFD in five sectors within the inner two circles of ETDRS grid in macular region and correlated to retinal thickness of same sectors. At optic disc, VFD was calculated in six sectors based on Garway-Heath map. Area and morphology of foveal avascular zone (FAZ) was correlated with VFD in central 1 mm. The influence of myopia on mean VFD was also assessed.

Results: Twenty-four eyes (mean age: 30 years) were analyzed. Mean VFD in macular sectors was 43.5 (±4.5) and 45.8 (±5.0) % in superficial and deep retinal plexuses, respectively. Mean VFD was significantly higher in deep retinal plexus compared to superficial retinal plexus in all sectors except central 1 mm (p < 0.05). Mean VFD in central 1 mm increases with an increase in central retinal thickness in both superficial and deep retinal plexuses (p < 0.001). Mean parafoveal VFD at level of both superficial and deep retinal plexuses decrease with an increase in spherical equivalent in myopics (p < 0.05). Mean VFD in myopics was found to be significantly lower in parafoveal region of deep retinal plexus (p < 0.05). Mean area of FAZ was 0.33 (±0.15) and 0.47 mm (±0.15) in superficial and deep retinal plexuses, respectively. Area of FAZ decreases with an increase in central 1 mm thickness and foveal VFD (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: OCTA may be used to measure VFD in macular and peripapillary regions. Vessels in the parafoveal region are more densely packed in the deep retinal plexus leading to higher VFD compared to superficial plexus. Thicker retina in fovea translates into higher foveal VFD due to more compact arrangement of retinal layers and continuity of inner nuclear layer (INL). Myopia is associated with lower VFD in parafoveal region at level of deep retinal plexuses which may explain thinning of INL in myopics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40942-017-0080-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5535290PMC
July 2017

Emergency general surgery in a low-middle income health care setting: Determinants of outcomes.

Surgery 2016 Feb 8;159(2):641-9. Epub 2015 Sep 8.

Department of Surgery, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.

Introduction: Emergency general surgery (EGS) has emerged as an important component of frontline operative care. Efforts in high-income settings have described its burden but have yet to consider low- and middle-income health care settings in which emergent conditions represent a high proportion of operative need. The objective of this study was to describe the disease spectrum of EGS conditions and associated factors among patients presenting in a low-middle income context.

Methods: March 2009-April 2014 discharge data from a university teaching hospital in South Asia were obtained for patients (≥16 years) with primary International Classification of Diseases, 9(th) revision, Clinical Modification diagnosis codes consistent with an EGS condition as defined by the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. Outcomes included in-hospital mortality and occurrence of ≥1 major complication(s). Multivariable analyses were performed, adjusting for differences in demographic and case-mix factors.

Results: A total of 13,893 discharge records corresponded to EGS conditions. Average age was 47.2 years (±16.8, standard deviation), with a male preponderance (59.9%). The majority presented with admitting diagnoses of biliary disease (20.2%), followed by soft-tissue disorders (15.7%), hernias (14.9%), and colorectal disease (14.3%). Rates of death and complications were 2.7% and 6.6%, respectively; increasing age was an independent predictor of both. Patients in need of resuscitation (n = 225) had the greatest rates of mortality (72.9%) and complications (94.2%).

Conclusion: This study takes an important step toward quantifying outcomes and complications of EGS, providing one of the first assessments of EGS conditions using American Association for the Surgery of Trauma definitions in a low-middle income health care setting. Further efforts in varied settings are needed to promote representative benchmarking worldwide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2015.08.004DOI Listing
February 2016

Eliminating Infections in the ICU: CLABSI.

Curr Infect Dis Rep 2015 Jul;17(7):491

Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine, 600 North Wolfe Street, Meyer 297-A, Baltimore, MD, 21287, USA,

Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) are one of the leading causes of death in the USA and around the world. As a preventable healthcare-associated infection, they are associated with significant morbidity and excess costs to the healthcare system. Effective and long-term CLABSI prevention requires a multifaceted approach, involving evidence-based best practices coupled with effective implementation strategies. Currently recommended practices are supported by evidence and are simple, such as appropriate hand hygiene, use of full barrier precautions, avoidance of femoral lines, skin antisepsis, and removal of unnecessary lines. The most successful and sustained improvements in CLABSI rates further utilize an adaptive component to align provider behaviors with consistent and reliable use of evidence-based practices. Great success has been achieved in reducing CLABSI rates in the USA and elsewhere over the past decade, but more is needed. This article aims to review the initiatives undertaken to reduce CLABSI and summarizes the sentinel and recent literature regarding CLABSI and its prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11908-015-0491-8DOI Listing
July 2015

Aspiration in injections: should we continue or abandon the practice?

F1000Res 2014 10;3:157. Epub 2014 Jul 10.

Centre for Injection Safety Pakistan, Interactive Research & Development, Karachi, Pakistan; The Indus Hospital, Karachi, 75190, Pakistan.

Aspiration during any kind of injection is meant to ensure that the needle tip is at the desired location during this blind procedure. While aspiration appears to be a simple procedure, it has generated a lot of controversy concerning the perceived benefits and indications. Advocates and opponents of aspiration both make logically sound claims. However, due to scarcity of available data, there is no evidence that this procedure is truly beneficial or unwarranted. Keeping in view the huge number of injections given worldwide, it is important that we draw attention to key questions regarding aspiration that, up till now, remain unanswered. In this review, we have attempted to gather and present literature on aspiration both from published and non-published sources in order to provide not only an exhaustive review of the subject, but also a starting point for further studies on more specific areas requiring clarification. A literature review was conducted using the US National Institute of Health's PubMed service (including Medline), Google Scholar and Scopus. Guidelines provided by the World Health Organization, Safe Injection Global Network, International Council of Nursing, Center for Disease Control, US Federal Drug Agency, UK National Health Services, British Medical Association, Europe Nursing and Midwifery Council, Public Health Agency Canada, Pakistan Medical Association and International Organization of Standardization recommendations 7886 parts 1-4 for sterile hypodermics were reviewed for relevant information. In addition, curricula of several medical/nursing schools from India, Nigeria and Pakistan, the US pharmacopeia Data from the WHO Program for International Drug Monitoring network in regard to adverse events as a result of not aspirating prior to injection delivery were reviewed. Curricula of selected major medical/nursing schools in India, Nigeria and Pakistan, national therapeutic formularies, product inserts of most commonly used drugs and other possible sources of information regarding aspiration and injections were consulted as well.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.1113.3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5333604PMC
July 2014

Tuberculosis verrucosa cutis in a patient with keloid over ear lobule.

BMJ Case Rep 2013 Jul 10;2013. Epub 2013 Jul 10.

Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Sind, Pakistan.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a global health problem with predominance in resource-poor countries. Extrapulmonary TB constitutes approximately 10% of the cases and can present as different forms depending on the route of entry. Cutaneous TB is a small subset of the extrapulmonary TB. Cutaneous TB can either be of primary origin or secondary origin or it can be a part of a systemic infection. TB verrucosa cutis (TBVC) is the exogenous reinfection of TB in a previously sensitised patient. Routine cultures do not have a high yield in TBVC due to the paucibacillary nature of the organism. Here we are presenting a rare case of a patient who developed in a keloid over the right ear lobule following ear piercing. This has only been presented once in the previous literature and for the first time in the head and neck region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bcr-2013-010294DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736208PMC
July 2013