• Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Pediatric Ophth/Strabismus, Retina/Vitreous, Uveitis

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    How prevalent is cytomegalovirus ocular disease in children? Very low, according to results from a retrospective study of 793 children with cytomegalovirus (CMV) viremia seen between 2005 and 2018 in 4 pediatric referral centers in the United States and Canada. Thirteen cases of CMV ocular disease (1.6%) were identified from chart data, primarily in patients who had a stem cell transplantation or congenital CMV infection. Eleven of the 13 cases manifested as retinitis. Despite the low prevalence of CMV pediatric ocular disease, the authors recommend screening children who are CMV viremic, particularly those who have undergone a stem cell transplantation. Clinical Ophthalmology

    Increased poverty is correlated with higher rates of visual loss and blindness. The Vision Health Initiative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released estimates for the prevalence of blindness or visual acuity loss across counties in the United States. The lowest standardized prevalence rate was found in Cumberland County, Maine (1.0%), while the highest standardized prevalence rate was found in Clay County, Kentucky (10.9%). Higher rates of blindness and visual acuity loss were correlated with higher numbers of people living below the poverty level and fewer ophthalmology professionals. JAMA Ophthalmology

    Retinal drusen are common in patients with irritable bowel disease. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 63 patients treated for irritable bowel disease (IBD) at a single center in Australia over a 6-month period to determine whether retinal drusen were present, and if so, what association they may have had with IBD symptoms. The mean drusen count in the patients with IBD was 12, compared with 3 for an in-hospital control population; abnormal drusen counts ≥10 were also higher in the IBD group. Higher drusen counts in those with IBD were associated with older age and presence of immunoglobulin A glomerulonephritis, but not other clinical factors. Further studies are needed to confirm the association of drusen with IBD. Scientific Reports

    Uveitis due to juvenile arthritis leads to long-term ocular complications. An ongoing Swedish study is assessing long-term ocular complications in patients diagnosed as children with uveitis associated with juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA). Thirty patients out of the original 55 were seen at a follow-up visit 40 years after the original diagnosis; uveitis was still active in 43% of this group. Sixty-seven percent had cataracts or had undergone cataract surgery, while 40% had glaucoma or ocular hypertension. The authors encourage patients with uveitis due to JCA or juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) to undergo regular ophthalmic exams during adulthood. Pediatric Rheumatology

    NEI researcher receives Knights Templar grant to study Stargardt disease. The Knights Templar Eye Foundation (KTEF) has awarded a $65,000 grant to Dr. Mitra Farnoodian Tedrick of the National Eye Institute (NEI) to further her research into treatments for Stargardt disease. In Stargardt disease, lipid deposits (lipofuscin) accumulate in the retinal pigment epithelium and cause photoreceptor death, leading to blindness. Potential pharmacologic therapies may modify lipid metabolism. In receiving the grant, Dr. Tedrick said “With the KTEF grant I hope my research encourages others to find therapies for rare diseases like Stargardt, which may, one day, eliminate blindness in children and young adults.” National Eye Institute