Reviewing insights from EURETINA 2022

A synopsis of the findings presented at EURETINA 2022 for ophthalmologists and retina specialists.

LIGHT study: First analysis of gene therapy for RPE65 inherited retinal dystrophies

French researchers, led by Isabelle Audo, MD, reported that voretigene neparvovec (Luxturna, Spark Therapeutics), used to treat patients with a RPE65-related inherited retinal dystrophy, showed good safety and efficacy at the 1-year time point of the LIGHT Study.

Mutations in the RPE65 gene and loss of gene function causes photoreceptor dysfunction and degeneration, leading to blindness. Voretigene neparvove is the first gene therapy for this patient population.

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Dealing with complications of silicone oil

Vision loss associated with a silicone oil endotamponade in vitreoretinal surgery is a rare yet underreported complication, but it is becoming increasingly important as technical refinements of the surgical procedure progress along with the increasing visual expectations of individual patients. Historically, silicone oil tamponade has been used in complicated cases of vitreoretinal surgery with a significantly reduced visual prognosis. Recurrent retinal detachments and proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) retinal detachments and giant retinal holes have always been the main indications when considering silicone oil tamponades. European investigators describe how they address complications.

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Hair cortisol level as a molecular biomarker in retinitis pigmentosa patients

Milagros Mateos, MD, and colleagues from the Department of Ophthalmology of Clinical University Hospital of Valladolid and the Institute of Applied Ophthalmobiology, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain, reported that the concentration of cortisol in hair may be an effective biomarker associated with chronic stress in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

The authors explained that patients with RP experience greater levels of stress and anxiety than individuals in the general population and that the level of stress can be measured easily and non-invasively in hair. The stress is associated with the progressive and unpredictable and variable vision loss associated with the disease.

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Leveraging noninvasive ophthalmic imaging for patients with Alzheimer disease and analyzing UK Biobank data

Tunde Peto, MD, PhD, discussed two of her presentations at EURETINA 2022: "UK Biobank retinal imaging grading: methodology, baseline characteristics and findings for common ocular diseases" and "Retinal phenotyping of different variants of Alzheimer’s disease using ultra-widefield imaging."

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Visual symptoms after COVID-19: Potential for retinal manifestations

Retinal involvement following a COVID-19 infection is rare but can happen after severe infections in immunocompetent individuals, according to Yusar Asad, MD, and colleagues from the Vitreoretinal Services, Centre for Sight, Delhi, India.

The study included 20 eyes of 17 patients. All COVID-19 infections were confirmed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. All other causes of retinal involvement were eliminated by systemic work-ups.

“A whole spectrum of manifestations following COVID-19 infections in an otherwise immunocompetent patient presenting at a tertiary care center have been documented,” the investigators reported.

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EURETINA 2022: Leadership discusses what to expect, outlines Women in Retina program

Dara Conlon, Executive Vice President of EURETINA, and Prof. Anat Loewenstein, General Secretary of EURETINA, discuss some key features of this year's Congress.

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Phase 2 Altitude study interim data analysis: RGX-314 provided 2-step or more improvement in diabetic severity

A gene therapy evaluated for diabetic retinopathy (DR), RGX-314 (REGENXBIO), may provide sustained clinical outcomes for treating DR.

A major advantage is that this treatment is administered once into the suprachoroidal space in an office setting, which markedly reduces the treatment burden, according to Mark Barakat, MD, Director of Retinal Research Institute, Retinal Consultants of Arizona, Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix.

The Phase 2 Altitude study, an open-label, randomized, controlled, dose-escalation evaluation of RGX-314. It was conducted at 18 retina practices nationally and evaluated the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of suprachoroidal delivery of RGX-314 using the SCS Microinjector (Clearside Biomedical) in patients with moderately severe/severe non-proliferative DR (NPDR) or mild PDR.

Using this treatment, an adeno-associated virus 8 vector delivers a transgene for a soluble anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) fab which is designed to provide continuous anti-VEGF therapy.

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Increased risk of primary angle-closure glaucoma linked with retinitis pigmentosa

Taiwanese researchers reported that patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) have a significantly greater risk of developing primary angle-closure glaucoma (PACG) than those without RP.

Man Chen Hung, MD, and Yu Yen Chen, MD, conducted a population-based, retrospective cohort study using the National Health Insurance Research Database to identify patients between January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2011.

Retinitis pigmentosa and primary angle-closure glaucomaare genetic diseases with similar genetic variants and pathophysiology between them. The investigators explained that elevated angle-closure-related intraocular pressure (IOP) may aggregate the visual impairment in patients with RP, so they wanted to determine if patients with RP have a significantly higher risk of PACG development. This knowledge may facilitate for early intervention in these patients.

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What are you most excited about in the field of retina? Tunde Peto, MD, PhD weighs in

Tunde Peto, MD, PhD, shares some ophthalmic initiatives she's excited about in light of EURETINA 2022.

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The soothing effect of music, white noise for babies during ROP examinations

Researchers from Turkey reported that the introduction of white noise and music had a beneficial effect during examinations of preterm infants with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The lead author, Mediha Tok Cevik, MD, is from Department of Ophthalmology, Sişli Hamidiye Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey; she was joined in this study by coauthors Ustabas Yildiz, MD, and Sadik Görkem Cevik, MD, from the Department of Ophthalmology, Yuksek Ihtisas Education and Training Hospital, Bursa, Turkey.

The investigators conducted a 1-year study from August 2020 to August 2021 to determine how white noise and classical music affected pain and physiologic parameters while examining infants with ROP in a neonatal intensive care unit.

Ninety preterm infants were included and evenly and randomly divided into three groups: the control group, the white noise group, and the classical music group.

The infants’ responses to pain were evaluated using the Premature Infant Pain Profile.

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