636 e-Letters

published between 2016 and 2019

  • Response to letter

    We thank the authors for their careful perusal of our study report and thoughtful observations. We agree that as demonstrated by the large population study1,2 referenced by us and by them, the rate of complications with cataract surgery is non-homogenous and increases dramatically with advanced stage cataracts – as much as 200%+ increase in rate of PCT in cases with high grade cataract, pseudoexfoliation and other comorbidities. In fact, with the co-existence of multiple factors, the compound rate can be even higher.

    Our pilot study was in patients with advanced cataracts and multiple co-existing ocular pathologies and given the small sample size we are not surprised that the study point estimate for the PCT rate may be on the higher end of the overall range demonstrated by the larger population study. In addition, the randomized control design of the clinical trial further validates a PCT rate which was similar for both treatment and control groups. Certainly, an informed reader would appreciate that such a small trial is underpowered to be conclusive regarding the small difference between the two groups so no claims should be made about the slightly better rate of PCT and lower trend demonstrated in the miLOOP group.

    What is important to appreciate from both the population study and our pilot data is that the rate of PCT is not the same for all cataract surgeries and there is a multiplier effect in certain subgroups and subpopulations. Our authorship team...

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  • Concerns regarding complication rates of recent prospective investigation

    We are interested in the work of Ianchulev et al in their recent interventional randomized controlled trial.[1] What piqued our interest was the rate of posterior capsular tears (PCT). 4/53 (7.5%) patients in the miLOOP+phaco group experienced PCT, and 5/48 (10.4%) phaco-alone controls with PCT. These rates are much higher than standard phacoemulsification reports. The authors refer to a large study that identified advanced cataracts increased risk of PCT at comparable levels.[2] That same group published investigations expounding upon this.[3-4] Advanced cataracts were specifically identified as brunescent/white cataracts, contrasting Grade 3-4 in the miLOOP study (curiously described as LOCSIII classification in the manuscript).

    Using the risk calculation,[3] the range of composite adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for the miLOOP study was 49.93 (25-28% risk) to an aOR of 0.87 (<1% surgical risk). The average patient from the miLOOP investigation had an aOR of 4.43, thus <5% PCT risk.

    Our concerns: First, the authors state that “There was a trend towards a lower rate of capsular tear during the phaco portion with miLOOP-assisted phaco (7.5%) compared to standard phaco (10.4%).” Given the numbers representing these percentages this is an inappropriate description of this relationship.

    Let us assume that a control group presented with a PCT rate similar to that reported in literature: <5%. Here, miLOOP-phaco PCT rate would be higher than the control...

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  • Reply to: Benign positional "vertical opsoclonus", or "upbeat nystagmus"?

    We thank Drs. Robert and Vidal for their comments. After carefully reading their original series of 5 patients and observing their videos [1], our impression was that both series could definitely refer to the same unique phenomenon.
    As stated before [2], a drawback of our series was the inability to acquire eye movement recordings for any of our patients due to technical obstacles and parental refusal. We found Robert and Vidal’s ability to do so in one of their patients very important to the understanding and definition of the phenomenon [1]. Clearly their recordings demonstrate an upbeating nystagmus that would be expected in patients with tonic downgaze, assuming the eyes drift down while saccadic correcting movements are upward towards primary gaze. Hopefully, additional supporting recordings will be added to the literature in the future, allowing us to conclude that this is a representing finding for all of these patients.
    This condition was apparently described under different titles over the years owing to scarce descriptions in the literature and difficulty providing convincing support for one definition over the other. This is an important step in that direction. We agree that with their addition of data, the term should include “upbeat nystagmus” and therefore suggest the term “benign infantile positional tonic downgaze with upbeat nystagmus”.

    1. Robert MP, Michel S, Adjadj E, Boddaert N, Desguerre I, Vidal PP. Benign intermittent upbeat nystag...

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  • Collaborative Efforts for Improving Statistical Practice of Ophthalmic Data

    We thank Dr. Bunce et al for their interest in our paper.1 We would like to apologize for not mentioning the Statistics Notes Series2-12 from the UK Ophthalmology Research Section of the NIHR Statistics group. Given that our paper’s purpose is to evaluate whether the correlated eye data were analyzed properly in published ophthalmic clinical science papers, we did not cite these papers because we think most of them serve as introductions of general statistical methods instead of specific statistical methods for correlated eye data.

    We agree these Statistics Notes Series are very helpful to the vision research community to improve the statistical analysis and interpretation of ophthalmic data. We applaud the UK Ophthalmology Research Section of the NIHR Statistics group for their collaborative efforts in improving the quality of statistics for ophthalmic research through these series of publications and workshops. Similarly in the USA, we have been promoting the proper analysis of correlated eye data through tutorial papers13-14 and the ARVO short course. We believe all these efforts will lead to improvement in the statistical practice for ophthalmic data.

    We also agree that there are varying degrees of misuse of statistical methods in analyzing correlated eye data. Ignoring the inter-eye correlation when data from both eyes are analyzed is very bad practice as it can lead to the invalid conclusion, while analyzing correlated ocular data at person-level does...

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  • Optic nerve head analysis to rule out glaucoma

    Dear authors,

    We congratulate the authors for bringing out an ingenious theory regarding pathogenesis of cupping in glaucomatous (GC) and non-glaucomatous (NGC) eyes using this optical coherence tomography (OCT) model. (1) Differentiating a NGC from GC has been a point of discussion for decades and to finally have an objective parameter “anterior laminar depth (ALD)” which appears specific for glaucomatous cupping from this study is indeed beneficial. The authors have used a linear regression model to compare the GC and NGC eyes with healthy controls with adjustment of age, axial length and peripapillary choroidal thickness (PCT). However, it remains to be further studied, how the ALD is to be used for an individual patient, for eg., what cut-off of ALD above which a patient can be labelled as falling in the glaucomatous range. In this regard, we had a doubt regarding inclusion of PCT in ALD calculation. Since the authors have finally adjusted for PCT in the end, we wonder how the results will turn out if they would remove PCT from ALD measurement and compare the remainder measurement (ALD - PCT) between NGC and GC groups.
    Finally, we observed that in this sentence “No significant difference was found in visual field mean deviation (MD) <0.001).”, there is a typographical error and an inadequacy of explanation. No significant difference in visual field MD was indeed seen between NGC and GC groups (p should be >0.99 and not <0.001, as seen in Table...

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  • Better collaboration to optimise research

    We read with great interest the recent paper by Zhang and Ying exploring statistical approaches in published ophthalmic clinical science papers.1 We very much agree with the main conclusion drawn by the authors that collaborative efforts should be made in the vision research community to improve statistical practise for ocular data. In this vein, however, we were disappointed not to see reference to the Statistics Notes Series that has been published in this very journal. These have been written with a view to tackling some of the more prevalent statistical issues within ophthalmology and we would encourage readers to make use of these.2- 12. Within the UK this view that there needs to be greater collaboration in the vision research community has led to the formation of the Ophthalmology Research Section of the NIHR Statistics group which is championing cross- professional collaboration and active discussion in relation to statistical issues. It is always important when reviewing misuse of statistics in biomedical research to distinguish between misuse that leads to distorted or incorrect results and those methods which do not fully use data to maximum potential given that this loss of information might be viewed as unethical. In this regard we find the results from Zhang et al pleasing in that the proportion of papers which analysed at the level of the individual because of the nature of the observation rose from 15.2 % in 1995 to 50 % in 2017. A finding which is...

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  • Benign positional "vertical opsoclonus", or "upbeat nystagmus"?

    Dear Editor,

    We read with great interest the nice series from Sternfeld et al. about so-called “benign positional vertical opsoclonus in infants”. [1] As stated by the authors, the very specific condition they describe is not uncommon in the population, yet still poorly described in the scientific literature. Additionally, it is called differently by different authors, one reason for it being the difficulty to assess through the naked eye the very nature of the high frequency eye movements, as shown in video n°1.
    The condition combines a positional tonic downgaze and abnormal vertical eye movements. Oculomotor recordings of infants presenting with this clinical picture do actually confirm that these movements comprise downbeating slow phases and upbeating saccades 2, as clinically seen in video n°2, and are therefore a vertical kind of nystagmus. We therefore proposed to refer to them as benign intermittent upbeat nystagmus in infancy. [2] As stated by the authors, the association of a tonic downgaze and an upbeat nystagmus is logical and has been related to posterior semicircular canal predominance. [3]
    In addition to the evidence of slow phases in this condition and to the fact that, to the best of our knowledge, no pulse of purely vertical saccades has ever been recorded, the very possibility for the oculomotor system to produce such movements is questionable. Opsoclonus, by definition, designates a succession of multidirectional saccades. We therefo...

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  • Confounders to be addressed

    I read with great interest the article by Bae and collegues.1 In their retrospective study, the authors concluded that the presence of atypical epiretinal tissue (AET) in a full-thickness macular hole (FTMH) was related to poorer anatomical success and less visual recovery after surgery.
    I agree with the authors on the association of their OCT findings with the visual prognosis. I also agree with them that it is important to identify a good indicator of visual prognosis based on OCT findings. However, there are many confounders to be addressed in this study. For example, preoperative MH size with OCT has been known as a prognostic factor for postoperative visual outcome and anatomical success rate of MH surgery.2,3 A previous study also demonstrated that ERM prevalence increased with severity and size of the FTMH.4 In addition, preoperative visual acuity or preoperative photoreceptor integrity also seems to correlate with visual prognosis.
    Thus, their results should be supported by appropriate statistical analysis, that is, multivariate regression analyses. I hope that the authors will comment on the results of multivariate regression analyses to identify the most significant factor to predict visual prognosis after MH surgery.

    1. Bae K, Lee SM, Kang SW, et al. Atypical epiretinal tissue in full-thickness macular holes: pathogenic and prognostic significance. Br J Ophthalmol. 2018 (in press)
    2. Ullrich S, Haritoglou C, Gass...

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  • Reply

    We thank Dr. Sarnicola and family for their interest in our work and at the same time we apologize for not mentioning their preliminary results published in 2010; in this regard, some issues need be clarified.
    We used an acronym to shorten the text and facilitate the readers of our article by eliminating this way long descriptive wording of the procedure. This did not imply by any means an attempt at modifying the terminology of surgical techniques, which is usually a task of the ophthalmological community. In fact, a particular acronym becomes a standard only when it is cited as such by numerous papers in the literature. This is not seeming the case, for the acronym “AVB”, that has never been used after its initial introduction by Sarnicola et al., thus failing to achieve the purpose aimed at.
    In addition, we had a reason to introduce a new acronym because of a substantial difference in the surgical technique: in fact, instead of creating a new corneal tunnel into the emphysematous tissue, we inject ophthalmic viscoelastic device (OVD) in the same track created for pneumatic dissection, thus increasing surgical reproducibility and safety.
    The lack of previous data we indicated (“…little data are available on the success rate…type of cleavage obtained, visual results and complications of this approach”) was simply related to the new concept of performing the injection of the OVD in the same corneal path where the air had failed.
    In our series visual...

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  • Tuning Of The Literature Related To The Airviscobubble (AVB) DALK Technique

    Tuning Of The Literature Related To The Airviscobubble (AVB) DALK Technique
    Corresponding author:
    Vincenzo Sarnicola
    Address: Clinica degli Occhi Sarnicola,
    Via Mazzini no. 62, Grosseto 58100, Italy.
    Fax: +39-0564-413023
    Tel: +39-3201158500
    e-mail address: v.sarnicola@hotmail.it or sarnicolavincenzo@gmail.com

    Vincenzo Sarnicola, MD1

    Enrica Sarnicola, MD1-3

    Caterina Sarnicola, MD 4

    1 Clinica degli Occhi Sarnicola, Grosseto, Italy
    2 Ospedale Oftalmico di Torino, Struttura Complessa Oculistica 2, Turin, Italy
    3 Ospedale San Giovanni Bosco, Struttura Complessa Oculistica 2, Turin, Italy
    4 Department of Biomedical and Specialty Surgical Sciences, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy;

    Competing interests: None.

    Keywords: DALK; airviscobubble; AVB; dDALK; descemetic DALK.

    Word Count: 303

    To the Editor:

    We read with interest the article published by Scorcia et al.[1] It is encouraging to see others, such as Scorcia et al, embracing the use of ophthalmic viscoelastic device (OVD) injection as a second bubble a...

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