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Katrina Norfleet
Posted: 5/1/2016



Emerging trends and hot topics: Presented Sunday, May 1 at the ARVO Annual Meeting

Seattle,Wash. ― In their own words, First Authors at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology explain their findings.Their abstracts were designated as some of the newest and most innovative research presented on Sunday, May 1.


#162 -1215 - D0163. Pre-loaded tissue for DMEK with endothelium flapped-in.Alessandro Ruzza. May 1,3:15pm.

Eye banks have always been involvedin collecting, evaluating and storing suitable donor corneas and ocular tissuesfor surgical uses. Nowadays an additional role is to prepare tissues for moreadvanced techniques such as the transplantation of thin membranes (where amonolayer of cells, called Endothelium, is placed) retrieved from donor corneasand capable to restore the patient vision with better follow-up perspectives.

The aim of our study is to develop aprocedure capable of preparing and transporting such a thin membrane, withhealthy Endothelium, in a new way that would reduce dramatically the surgeons’efforts and the time spent in the surgical theatre. This would allow totransplant validated tissues that have been previously evaluated for themorphology and functionality of the cells, thus increasing both the quality andsafety of the whole procedure.

#163 -1248 - D0196. A Surgical Cryoprobe for Targeted Transcorneal Freezing to TreatCorneal Endothelial Dysfunction. Alina Akhbanbetova. May 1, 3:15pm.

The cornea is the clear window atthe front of the eye, through which light enters. Corneal transparency isessential for vision, and is facilitated in the healthy eye by endothelialcells on the inner surface of the cornea. In Fuchs dystrophy, however,excessive endothelial cell loss causes corneal cloudiness and leads toblindness. Surgery, via a corneal graft, is the only real treatment option forcorneal endothelial disease, and whilst the outcomes are generally good, thesurgical approach is, of course, not without a risk. Thus, the pressing needfor new less-invasive medical treatments for corneal endothelial disease iscreating significant interest worldwide, particularly treatments involving ROCKinhibitors, chemicals which have been shown to have ability to help diseasedendothelial cells to recover. One approach to deliver ROCK inhibitor into thecorneal endothelial cells involves freezing the front of the cornea byapplication of a cold probe to the central portion of the cornea beforeapplying ROCK inhibitor chemical in eye drops. In our study, we report thedesign, development and validation of a new cryoprobe and its effect on corneallayers. We show that the cryoprobe has potential for inducing endothelial celldamage in a targeted and reproducible manner.


#138 -707 - B0206. Total Human Eye Allotransplantation (THEA): Preclincal CadavericStudies. Maxine Miller. May 1, 1:30pm.

Global prevalenceof blindness is nearly 40 million. Traumatic, ischemic or degenerative diseasesare the main causes of irreversible blindness. The poor prognosis as a resultof these conditions results from irreparable damage to the optic nerve. The goalof our research is to reverse blindness through whole eye transplantation.Similar to face and hand transplantation, whole eye transplantation restoresform and function with organ donor tissue as it offers the potential to provideviable retinal ganglion cells, which are the cells that carry visualinformation from the eye through the optic nerve to the brain, to recipientswith vision loss.  We have created aviable whole eye transplant model in the rat. Our rodent model provides theability to obtain high-quality information in carefully designed experiments.In parallel, we have developed a human surgical protocol, which serves as abenchmark for optimization of technique, large animal development andultimately potentiates the possibility of vision restoration transplantationsurgery.


#143 -862 - D0080. Paravascular defects and epiretinal membranes are seen on en-faceslab OCT images in eyes with early glaucoma. Nicole DeCuir. May 1, 1:30pm.

Glaucoma is a complex disease of theeye that can result in injury to the retina, or the tissue that lines the backof the eye. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive imagingtechnique that has dramatically improved our ability to visualize the retinaand has become instrumental in diagnosing and monitoring disease progression.Although glaucoma is associated with a unique pattern of retinal damage, thereare at least two other conditions that can mimic glaucomatous retinal injury.

One condition, epiretinal membrane(ERMs), is a scar-like tissue that can form on top of the retina. The othercondition, is paravascular defects (PDs). PDs are defects in the retina thatoccurs adjacent to retinal blood vessels and are often seen in eyes withextreme near-sightedness or ERMs. Because our ability to detect glaucomatouschanges of the retina on OCT can be affected by the presence of PDs and ERMs,it is important to understand their prevalence in patients with glaucoma.

A new technique for viewing OCTimages called en-face slab analysis has improved our ability to visualize theseconditions. Using en-face slab analysis, PDs can be easily identified andtracked along retinal blood vessels and ERMs can easily be identified aswrinkling on the surface of the retina.

Eyes with early glaucoma have ahigher prevalence of PDs and/or ERMs than eyes suspected of having glaucoma orof healthy controls and can exhibit PDs even in the absence of ERMs or extremenearsightedness.


#147 -135 - A0330. Treatment of retinitis pigmentosa by Lycium barbarum. Henry Chan.May 1, 8:30am.

This clinicalstudy evaluated the treatment effect of Lycium barbarum (i.e. Wolberry) (acommon Traditional Chinese Herb) on the daytime vision of patients withretinitis pigmentosa which is an inherited, degenerative eye disease. Aftertreatment for the first 6 months, patients who received daily supplement ofLycium barbarum had some obvious improvements in daytime vision. Thus, thetreatment of Lycium barbarum is likely to be a breakthrough which may helpdelay the deterioration of daytime vision in patients with retinitispigmentosa.

#146 -951. Significant Difference Between Fractal Dimension of OCT Angiography ofEyes With and Without Nonproliferative Diabetic Retinopathy. Emma Young. May 1,3:15pm.

Optical Coherence TomographyAngiography (OCTA) is a new technology that allows doctors to see the bloodvessels in the eye in three dimensions without the need to inject any dye inthe veins of patients We introduce a rigorous mathematical analysis that seemsable to distinguish abnormal patterns in the eyes of patients with diabetesfrom patients who do not have diabetes. This system is mathematical and does not rely upon the subjectivejudgment of the doctor. Our analysis method takes advantage of a property ofnatural branching patterns called fractal self-similarity, seen in arrangementsas diverse as the ridges of mountain ranges, the tributaries of rivers, and thebranching of twigs on a tree.

VisualPsychophysics/Physiological Optics

#109 -201 - B0100. Reaction times in elite athletes and the influence of saccades.Brendan Barrett. May 1, 8:30am.

Elitesports people are often thought to have faster reaction times. It is not knownif the origin of faster reactions lies in a better ability to hold the eyessteady in anticipation of the target whose appearance is to be reacted to.  Here we show that elites do have fasterreaction times and that this cannot be explained by steadier eye positioning inthe lead up to the target appearance. We conclude that any form of trainingdesigned to allow one to hold their eyes steady will not enhance sportingperformance and that the origin of faster reactions in elites must have adifferent explanation.

Phoenix research labs