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  • Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Retina/Vitreous

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    Ophthalmic microsurgical simulators help medical students gain confidence. Medical students at Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany used the Eyesi intraocular microsurgical simulator on the first and last days of their ophthalmology clerkships and filled out questionnaires after each session regarding surgical skills. Of the 79 surveyed students, 73% said their surgical skills had improved after using the simulator; 92% found the device to be a useful component of an ophthalmology clerkship. These findings reinforce the potential of ophthalmic surgical simulators to become a useful part of a medical school curriculum. BMC Medical Education

    The FDA approves the first interchangeable ranibizumab biosimilar. The FDA has approved Cimerli injection (ranibizumab-eqrn), the first biosimilar formulation of ranibizumab (Lucentis). It has the same indications as ranibizumab: neovascular AMD, diabetic macular edema, diabetic retinopathy, macular edema following retinal vein occlusion, and myopic choroidal neovascularization. Cimerli is expected to be available for prescription in October 2022. The Pharma Letter

    Ocular symptoms may not be widespread in COVID-19 infection, but they shouldn’t be overlooked. In a retrospective cohort study conducted in Poland, 180 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 infection and 160 controls (no COVID-19 infection) filled out a questionnaire about ocular symptoms at the time of enrollment and in the 7 days prior to hospital admission (if hospitalized). Twenty-four percent of those with COVID-19 reported ocular symptoms, compared with 1% of the controls; eye pain and tearing were the most reported symptoms. COVID-19 was also positively associated with increased interleukin-10 and vascular endothelial growth factor levels. The authors conclude that “despite the low prevalence of ocular symptoms detected among all the patients infected by SARS-CoV-2, it is imperative for all ophthalmologists to understand the full spectrum of COVID-19–related signs and comorbidities." Journal of Clinical Medicine

    Multimodal imaging finds genotypic variations in VMD lesions. Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) have used a new multimodal technique involving adaptive optics to determine that retinal lesions caused by vitelliform macular dystrophy (VMD) can vary depending on the gene mutation involved. Variations in retinal pigment epithelial cell density were more likely to occur in those with BEST1 or PRPH2 mutations, while variations in cone/photoreceptor density were more likely in those with IMPG1 or IMPG2 mutations. As VMD is an inherited disorder, knowing how mutations affect VMD presentation is valuable information. Dr. Michael Chiang, NEI Director, commented “This study is just one example of how improved imaging can reveal subtle details about pathology in a rare eye disease that can inform the development of therapeutics.” National Eye Institute, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science

    Poor outcomes following retinal detachment more likely in women with lower income. A retrospective chart review of 18 patients with viral retinitis–associated retinal detachments seen at the Wilmer Eye Institute between 2008 and 2018 found that patients with a lower socioeconomic status (as measured by the geographic Area Deprivation Index; “high-ADI”) were more likely to have active viral retinitis than patients with a higher socioeconomic status (“low-ADI”). Among other findings, the high-ADI patients, who were all female, had poorer postoperative recovery and had missed at least 1 eye appointment (median 11 missed appointments). Retina specialists should consider the socioeconomic and demographic factors that can influence retinitis presentation, treatment outcomes, and patient compliance. Journal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infection