717 e-Letters

  • Response to Dr Velez-Montoya and colleagues' comment

    To the Editor:

    We thank Dr Velez-Montoya and colleagues for their interest in our study.1 We reported that there was an increase in the prevalence of endophthalmitis after vitrectomy in Japan and found that it was probably related to the face masks during the COVID period.2 Although the cause for the increase definitively determined, we need to report these findings to the ophthalmologic community to alert them of this possibility.

    First, we address the indicated point, “the definition of postoperative endophthalmitis was not rigorous”. We used the definition of the Endophthalmitis Vitrectomy Study group.3 Although this definition is relatively old, many subsequent studies have used it, and it has the advantage that our findings could be compared to these other studies with the same definition.

    They also stated that the latest studies have shown that the sclerotomies after a pars plana vitrectomy seal within 15 days after the surgery even after a suture-less closure. Thus, the site of the incision was unlikely the entry port for the infectious micro-organisms after that time. This is generally true but the cause of infectious endophthalmitis after vitrectomy is complex. Because the cause of infectious endophthalmitis is varied, it is not surprising that anything can happen with postoperative endophthalmitis. For example, it is possible for a patient to inadvertently touch the eye in the early postoperative period and cause the incision to open. Once...

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  • Calculation errors overemphasise the value of increasing visual field test frequency.

    Chauhan and co-workers [1] have provided Table 1, showing times taken to detect significant field progression with 80% power, based on a number of modelling parameters: frequency of examinations, rate of field progression, intrasession variability of field assessment. They have also provided Table 2 showing the number of annual eye examinations required to detect different total visual field changes, for different time periods, and for moderate variability. I have checked the calculations of Chauhan and co-workers, using Monte Carlo modelling, assuming a one-tailed significance value of 0.025. Of the 36 outcome values in Table 1, 33 are incorrect. Of the 12 outcome values in Table 2, 11 are incorrect.

    Chauhan and co-workers have made 2 main errors in their calculations for Table 1. The first is in applying their estimates of power. The curves shown in Figure 2 (statistical power plotted against number of field examinations) are appropriate for the case of 2 field examinations per year, but Chauhan and co-workers appear to have incorrectly also used them for the cases of 1 examination per year and 3 examinations per year. Separate sets of curves should have been calculated for those conditions. The effect on Table 1 is that the time taken to detect a field change is incorrectly reported as being inversely proportional to the number of examinations per year. This anomalous relationship was commented on by Albert Alm in his 2008 Rapid Response, “Is a field every 4...

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  • Letter to the Editor: Non-invasive intracranial pressure estimation using ultrasonographic measurement of area of optic nerve subarachnoid space

    Dear Editor:

    We read the paper on non-invasive intracranial pressure determination by Zhang et al(1) with great interest and hope. We fully agree that the search for non-invasive intracranial pressure (ICP) evaluations is of high importance and should be continued. The Bland-Altman plot showing the difference between predicted and intracranially measured pressure looks very impressive. There are, however, still a few points and limits we would like to address concerning the anatomy of the optic nerve, the optic canal, and the basic concept the authors used.

    Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the intracranial subarachnoid spaces and the subarachnoid space of the optic nerve (SAS -ON) communicate via the optic canal. Using three-dimensional reconstruction of the optic canal in normal tension glaucoma (NTG) patients, this was found to be narrower than in an age-related cohort of normals,(2) thus questioning the patency of the CSF pathway between the pituitary cistern and the SAS-ON. Further, optic canal dimensions in a normal population are quite variable amongst individuals, and even between orbits within the same individual.(3) These facts largely influence the results the authors present. Further, studies in patients with NTG and patients with elevated ICP (such as patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension) were shown to have developed an optic nerve sheath compartment syndrome. In such cases, the CSF dynamics between the intracranial CSF and the CSF in...

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  • Quality of the coding and data on AMD

    We read with great interest the article of Gokhale et al [1] on their retrospective study of metformin use and risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In this study Gokhale and colleagues used data derived from IQVIA Medical Research Data (IMRD-UK), formerly known as The Health Improvement Network (THIN), and found no change in AMD risk in those taking metformin.

    An issue with this study is the quality of the GP coding and data on AMD. The authors cite a validation study of THIN data [2] but this study only validated cases identified as having AMD. There was no validation of the quality of data on the absence of AMD. So, the confirmation of positives was high (confirmed AMD cases quoted as 97%) but the false negative rate, is unknown. Also, the validation was by an ophthalmologist reviewing all the GP data, not using recognised diagnostic criteria or a grading scheme for AMD. Furthermore, the authors included a code for “drusen” into their AMD group which was not a code included in the validation study by Vassilev et al [2]. It is likely that this code includes patients with common physiological drusen and not an AMD diagnosis.

    We have previously performed a systematic review and meta-analysis [3] of five studies [4–8] on the relationship between metformin use and AMD, which we have now updated to include Gokhale et al [1] and Jiang et al [9]. Including their data, we found a beneficial odds ratio of...

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  • RE: Association of lipid-lowering drugs and antidiabetic drugs with age-related macular degeneration: a meta-analysis in Europeans

    Mauschitz et al. (1) conducted a meta-analysis to investigate the association of systemic medications with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the general population. A pooled odds ratios (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) of lipid-lowering drugs (LLD) and antidiabetic drugs for any AMD were 0.85 (0.79 to 0.91) and 0.78 (0.66 to 0.91), respectively. In contrast, late AMD was not significantly associated with systemic medications. There is an information that antidiabetics, lipid-lowering agents, and antioxidants could theoretically be repurposed for AMD treatment (2). I present information regarding the effect of antidiabetic medications on the risk of AMD.

    Blitzer et al. (3) conducted a case-control study and metformin use was significantly associated with reduced odds of AMD, presenting dose dependent manner. But metformin did not have an effect of protecting diabetic retinopathy. In contrast, Gokhale et al. (4) conducted a retrospective cohort study to evaluate the effect of metformin on the risk reduction of AMD. The adjusted hazard ratio (95% CI) of patients prescribed metformin (with or without other antidiabetic medications) against those prescribed any other antidiabetic medication only for AMD was 1.02 (0.92 to 1.12). Vergroesen et al. (5) conducted a cohort study and a lower risk of AMD was not observed in patients with metformin, but other diabetes medication was significantly associated with a lower risk of AMD.

    Anyway, clinical trials are nee...

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  • Mr

    The paper advises that the population inspected was predominately of white background and is looking to find ways of expanding its knowledge of non-white ethnicity within the sphere of retina testing. Within the following paper : Ethnicity and Type 2 diabetes in the UK by
    L. M. Goff; it states that the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes within the non-white community is particularly high. a quote from this paper:
    "Among minority ethnic communities, the prevalence is alarmingly high, approximately three to five times higher than in the white British population. "
    Which brings me to my response: All UK Type 2 diabetics are offered eye screening during which the retina is photographed every year. These digital photographs are examined by medical staff looking for vein bleeding and are held by the NHS. Given the hign incidence of Type 2 diabetes in non-white citizens a very large number of these records will be available and so allow a useful extension to the work done by Professor Rudnicka.

  • The role of keratometry in myopia control practice.

    It is generally believed that retinal neurons stop growing in number after birth in humans.1, 2 But recent research has shown retinal neurogenesis in neonatal 1-3 month old monkeys.3 This poses the question of how the sclera and the retina grow during emmetropization. The ora serrata is reported to be 2 mm wide growing to 6-7mm (approximately 5mm difference) in adult life as the scleral tunic grows more than the retina.4 The vitreous chamber depth in newborns is 10.6mm long and also grows roughly by 6 mm to an adult axial value of 17mm on average.5 It is then possible that during the first 3 months of human life, at that rapid growth phase from 17mm to 19mm in mean axial length,6 the retina could grow at least 1mm to compensate in part for that rapid elongation. The eyes of males and females have only a 0.1mm difference at birth with very small differences in body length and head circumference, but bigger born babies have longer eyes with less powerful corneas,7 so a bigger born girl may have a bigger eye with flatter cornea than a smaller born male. When adulthood is reached, women have eyes shorter than those of men by 0.7mm, with steeper corneas and more powerful crystalline lenses.8 As the cornea stabilizes by ages 2-3 in infants, these differential growth patterns are probably established early in life.4 And as usually happens not only among males and females, emmetropic or low hyperopic eyes that develop low corneal powers are longer than eyes that stay with steep co...

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  • Real-world data may answer questions which randomized clinical trial cannot in retinal surgery

    Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are considered to be the best method for evaluating the effectiveness of medical interventions.1 Despite their strengths, RCTs have substantial limitations.1 Although RCTs have strong internal validity, they occasionally lack external validity and generalizations of findings outside the study population may be invalid. More specifically in retinal surgery, there are many obstacles to conducting RCTs to address the specific questions asked, so the analysis using real-world data is useful.2 Drs Anguita and Charteris wrote an editorial in the British Journal of Ophthalmology (BJO) on the merits and limitations of studies using real-world data.3 They cited our papers that were recently published in BJO which used the data collected in the Japan Retinal Detachment Registry (J-RD registry), and I would like to comment on with a focus on the retinal surgery.4,5

    As correctly stated by Drs Anguita and Charteris, studies using the propensity score matching method cannot be performed well if one is not familiar with the limitations of this technique. 3 However, this is also true for those who do not have a deep understanding of the disease and may make incorrect interpretations. This would be the case for our paper4 cited in the editorial. This study compared pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) and scleral buckling for superior RD without macula detachment using the data from the J-RD registry. The results which were analyzed using propensity score...

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  • Increased incidence of endophthalmitis after vitrectomy relative to face mask wearing during COVID-19 pandemic

    Dear Editor.

    We read with interest the manuscript published by Sakamoto et al, on behalf of the Japanese Retina and Vitreous Society, titled: Increased incidence of endophthalmitis after vitrectomy relative to face mask-wearing during COVID-19 pandemic”.[1] In this manuscript, the authors discuss their results after comparing the total prevalence of infectious endophthalmitis among patients that underwent ocular surgery, before and after the peak of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Japan.[1] The authors should be commended due to the level of complexity and significant effort needed to coordinate several centers simultaneously, as well as the detailed description provided in the manuscript regarding the clinical presentation, microbiological results, and outcomes of all cases. Interestingly and despite the low rate of positive vitreous cultures, the authors were able to isolate oral bacteria among several of the cases that developed endophthalmitis during the pandemic, including one caused by Staphylococcus lugdunensis; a pathogen typically hard to eliminate with mechanical washing bacteria, because it accumulates behind the auricle.[1] With all this evidence, the authors provided a compelling argument regarding the inappropriate wearing of face masks could increase the risk of postoperative endophthalmitis. Nevertheless, we believe that there are a few important considerations that the authors may need to address before making such an assumption.
    As a start, we ca...

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  • Clinical features of chalazion following COVID-19 vaccination

    Clinical features of chalazion following COVID-19 vaccination

    Yusuke Kameda, Megumi Sugai, Karin Ishinabe, Nichika Fukuoka
    Yotsuya-sanchome Ekimae Eye Clinic, Tokyo, Japan

    *Corresponding author: Yusuke Kameda, MD, Yotsuya-sanchome Ekimae Eye Clinic, Tokyo, Japan, 3-7-24 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku Tokyo 160-0004, Japan.
    Phone: 81-3-6380-4101; Fax: 81-3-6380-4133; E-mail: y09025618059@leaf.ocn.ne.jp

    To the editor
    We read the article published by Patel et al. with considerable interest [1]. The authors have provided interestingly novel insights into the prevalence and risk factors for chalazion. In their large case-control study comprising 3,453,944 older veteran participants with/without chalazion, the risk factors for chalazion included smoking, conditions of the tear film, conjunctivitis, dry eye, conditions affecting periocular skin, rosacea, allergic conditions, and systemic disorders, such as anxiety. Considering the relationship between chalazion and anxiety, a similar trend as reported in the previous study by Nemet et al. was observed [2]. Moreover, anxiety is generally considered as a psychological reaction to stress [3, 4]. Alsammahi et al. reported that stress is associated with the development of chalazion [5]. In real-world settings, we realize that patients with the onset of chalazion are likely to have anxiety or stress (such as work and examination).
    Incidentally, in the c...

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