Optometry and Vision Sciences - Research Publications

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    Implantation and Recording of Wireless Electroretinogram and Visual Evoked Potential in Conscious Rats
    Charng, J ; He, Z ; Bui, B ; Vingrys, A ; Ivarsson, M ; Fish, R ; Gurrell, R ; Nguyen, C (JOURNAL OF VISUALIZED EXPERIMENTS, 2016-06-01)
    The full-field electroretinogram (ERG) and visual evoked potential (VEP) are useful tools to assess retinal and visual pathway integrity in both laboratory and clinical settings. Currently, preclinical ERG and VEP measurements are performed with anesthesia to ensure stable electrode placements. However, the very presence of anesthesia has been shown to contaminate normal physiological responses. To overcome these anesthesia confounds, we develop a novel platform to assay ERG and VEP in conscious rats. Electrodes are surgically implanted sub-conjunctivally on the eye to assay the ERG and epidurally over the visual cortex to measure the VEP. A range of amplitude and sensitivity/timing parameters are assayed for both the ERG and VEP at increasing luminous energies. The ERG and VEP signals are shown to be stable and repeatable for at least 4 weeks post surgical implantation. This ability to record ERG and VEP signals without anesthesia confounds in the preclinical setting should provide superior translation to clinical data.
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    A Model of Glaucoma Induced by Circumlimbal Suture in Rats and Mice
    He, Z ; Zhao, D ; van Koeverden, AK ; Nguyen, CT ; Lim, JKH ; Wong, VHY ; Vingrys, AJ ; Bui, BV (Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2018)
    The circumlimbal suture is a technique for inducing experimental glaucoma in rodents by chronically elevating intraocular pressure (IOP), a well-known risk factor for glaucoma. This protocol demonstrates a step-by-step guide on this technique in Long Evans rats and C57BL/6 mice. Under general anesthesia, a "purse-string" suture is applied on the conjunctiva, around the equator and behind the limbus of the eye. The fellow eye serves as an untreated control. Over the duration of our study, which was a period of 8 weeks for rats and 12 weeks for mice, IOP remained elevated, as measured regularly by rebound tonometry in conscious animals without topical anesthesia. In both species, the sutured eyes showed electroretinogram features consistent with preferential inner retinal dysfunction. Optical coherence tomography showed selective thinning of the retinal nerve fiber layer. Histology of the rat retina in cross-section found reduced cell density in the ganglion cell layer, but no change in other cellular layers. Staining of flat-mounted mouse retinae with a ganglion cell specific marker (RBPMS) confirmed ganglion cell loss. The circumlimbal suture is a simple, minimally invasive and cost-effective way to induce ocular hypertension that leads to ganglion cell injury in both rats and mice.
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    Screening for Glaucomatous Visual Field Defects in Rural Australia with an iPad.
    Chia, MA ; Trang, E ; Agar, A ; Vingrys, AJ ; Hepschke, J ; Kong, GY ; Turner, AW (Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishing, 2021-09)
    AIM AND OBJECTIVE: Developing improved methods for early detection of visual field defects is pivotal to reducing glaucoma-related vision loss. The Melbourne Rapid Fields screening module (MRF-S) is an iPad-based test, which allows suprathreshold screening with zone-based analysis to rapidly assess the risk of manifest glaucoma. The versatility of MRF-S has potential utility in rural areas and during infectious pandemics. This study evaluates the utility of MRF-S for detecting field defects in non-metropolitan settings. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a prospective, multicenter, cross-sectional validation study. Two hundred and fifty-two eyes of 142 participants were recruited from rural sites through two outreach eye services in Australia. Participants were tested using MRF-S and compared with a reference standard; either Zeiss Humphrey Field Analyzer or Haag-Streit Octopus performed at the same visit. Standardized questionnaires were used to assess user acceptability. Major outcome measures were the area under the curve (AUC) for detecting mild and moderate field defects defined by the reference tests, along with corresponding performance characteristics (sensitivity, specificity). RESULTS: The mean test duration for MRF-S was 1.88 minutes compared with 5.92 minutes for reference tests. The AUCs for mild and moderate field defects were 0.81 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.75-0.87] and 0.87 (95% CI: 0.83-0.92), respectively, indicating very good diagnostic accuracy. Using a risk criterion of 55%, MRF-S identified moderate field defects with a sensitivity and specificity of 88.4 and 81.0%, respectively. CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The MRF-S iPad module can identify patients with mild and moderate field defects while delivering favorable user acceptability and short test duration. This has potential application within rural locations and amidst infectious pandemics. HOW TO CITE THIS ARTICLE: Chia MA, Trang E, Agar A, et al. Screening for Glaucomatous Visual Field Defects in Rural Australia with an iPad. J Curr Glaucoma Pract 2021;15(3):125-131.
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    Vision and Visuomotor Performance Following Acute Ischemic Stroke.
    Wijesundera, C ; Crewther, SG ; Wijeratne, T ; Vingrys, AJ (Frontiers Media SA, 2022)
    BACKGROUND: As measurable sensory and motor deficits are key to the diagnosis of stroke, we investigated the value of objective tablet based vision and visuomotor capacity assessment in acute mild-moderate ischemic stroke (AIS) patients. METHODS: Sixty AIS patients (65 ± 14 years, 33 males) without pre-existing visual/neurological disorders and acuity better than 6/12 were tested at their bedside during the first week post-stroke and were compared to 40 controls (64 ± 11 years, 15 males). Visual field sensitivity, quantified as mean deviation (dB) and visual acuity (with and without luminance noise), were tested on MRFn (Melbourne Rapid Field-Neural) iPad application. Visuomotor capacity was assessed with the Lee-Ryan Eye-Hand Coordination (EHC) iPad application using a capacitive stylus for iPad held in the preferred hand.Time to trace 3 shapes and displacement errors (deviations of >3.5 mm from the shape) were recorded. Diagnostic capacity was considered with Receiver Operating Characteristics. Vision test outcomes were correlated with National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score at the admission. RESULTS: Of the 60 AIS patients, 58 grasped the iPad stylus in their preferred right hand even though 31 had left hemisphere lesions. Forty-one patients (68%) with better than 6/12 visual acuity (19 right, 19 left hemisphere and 3 multi-territorial lesions) returned significantly abnormal visual fields. The stroke group took significantly longer (AIS: 93.4 ± 60.1 s; Controls: 33.1 ± 11.5 s, p < 0.01) to complete EHC tracing and made larger displacements (AIS: 16,388 ± 36,367 mm; Controls: 2,620 ± 1,359 mm, p < 0.01) although both control and stroke groups made similar numbers of errors. EHC time was not significantly different between participants with R (n = 26, 84.3 ± 55.3 s) and L (n = 31, 101.3 ± 64.7 s) hemisphere lesions. NIHSS scores and EHC measures showed low correlations (Spearman R: -0.15, L: 0.17). ROC analysis of EHC and vision tests found high diagnostic specificity and sensitivity for a fail at EHC time, or visual field, or Acuity-in-noise (sensivity: 93%, specificity: 83%) that shows little relationship to NIHSS scores. CONCLUSIONS: EHC time and vision test outcomes provide an easy and rapid bedside measure that complements existing clinical assessments in AIS. The low correlation between visual function, NIHSS scores and lesion site offers an expanded clinical view of changes following stroke.
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    Reversal of functional loss in a rat model of chronic intraocular pressure elevation
    Liu, H-H ; He, Z ; Nguyen, CTO ; Vingrys, AJ ; Bui, BV (WILEY, 2017-01-01)
    PURPOSE: This pilot study considered whether intraocular pressure (IOP) lowering could reverse ganglion cell dysfunction in a rat model of chronic ocular hypertension. METHODS: A circumlimbal suture was applied in one eye to induce ocular hypertension (n = 7) in Long-Evans rats. The contralateral eye served as an untreated control. After 8 weeks of IOP elevation the suture was removed to lower IOP for the remaining 7 weeks. Electroretinogram (ERG) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) were measured at baseline, 2, 4, 8, 12 and 15 weeks. Retinae were collected for histology at week 15. RESULTS: In sutured eyes, IOP was elevated by 7-11 mmHg above control eyes (12 ± 0.2 mmHg [standard error of the mean]). Eight weeks of chronic IOP elevation resulted in a reduction of the ganglion cell mediated positive Scotopic Threshold Response (pSTR, -25 ± 7% of baseline), as well as smaller photoreceptor (-7 ± 4%) and bipolar cell mediated responses (-6 ± 5%). After suture removal, IOP recovered to normal. By 15 weeks the a-wave (0 ± 6%), b-wave (-2 ± 6%) and pSTR had recovered back to baseline (from -25 ± 7% to -4 ± 6%). The retinal nerve fiber layer was thinned by -9 ± 3% at week 8 and showed no further decline at week 15 (-10 ± 2%). Cell numbers in the ganglion cell layer were similar between suture removal and control eyes at week 15 (3543 ± 478 vs 4057 ± 476 cells mm-2 ). CONCLUSIONS: The circumlimbal suture model might be a useful platform to study the reversibility of neuronal dysfunction from chronic IOP challenge.
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    Comparing self-reported optometric dry eye clinical practices in Australia and the United Kingdom: is there scope for practice improvement?
    Downie, LE ; Rumney, N ; Gad, A ; Keller, PR ; Purslow, C ; Vingrys, AJ (WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2016-03-01)
    PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to compare the self-reported clinical practice behaviours of optometrists in Australia and the United Kingdom (UK) with respect to the diagnosis and management of dry eye disease (DED). We also sought to examine whether the reported practices of clinicians in each region were consistent with current evidence-based recommendations for DED. METHODS: An online survey was distributed to optometrists (Australia, n = 654; UK, n = 1006). Respondents provided information about practice modality, years of optometric experience, preferred diagnostic and management strategies (stratified by DED severity) and the information/evidence base used to guide patient care. RESULTS: A total of 317 completed surveys were received (response rates, Australia: 21%, UK: 17%). Optometrists in both regions demonstrated similarly strong knowledge of tear film assessment and adopted both subjective and objective techniques to diagnose DED. Patient symptoms were considered the most important, valuable and commonly performed assessment by both Australian and UK respondents. UK practitioners valued and utilised conjunctival signs and tear meniscus height assessments more than Australian optometrists (p < 0.05), who placed relatively greater emphasis on sodium fluorescein tear break-up time to diagnose DED (p < 0.05). Clinicians in both locations tailored DED therapy to severity. While practitioners in both regions predominantly managed mild DED with eyelid hygiene and tear supplementation, Australian optometrists indicated prescribing topical corticosteroid therapy significantly more often than UK practitioners for moderate (14% vs 6%) and severe (52% vs 8%) disease (p < 0.05). The major source of information used to guide practitioners' dry eye management practices was continuing education conferences. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights a range of parallels and divergences in dry eye clinical practice between Australian and UK optometrists. Our data identify both areas of strength in the adoption of evidence-based practice, as well as some potential to improve international translation of dry eye research evidence into practice.
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    Scaling the size of perimetric stimuli reduces variability and returns constant thresholds across the visual field
    Bedggood, P ; Prea, SM ; Kong, YXG ; Vingrys, AJ (ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC, 2020-10-01)
    The conventional stimulus for standard automated perimetry is fixed in size, giving elevated contrast thresholds and reduced test reliability in the periphery. Here, we test the hypothesis that appropriate scaling of the size of perimetric stimuli will return fixed thresholds and reduced variability across the visual field. We derived frequency-of-seeing (FOS) curves in five healthy subjects at central (3 degrees) and peripheral (27 degrees) locations with a method of constant stimuli (MOCS) using a desktop LCD display. FOS curves for a Goldmann III (GIII) stimulus were compared with those for size scaled spots. To consider clinical translation, we tested a further five healthy subjects (22-24 years) with the Melbourne Rapid Fields (MRF) tablet perimeter at several locations spanning 1 degree to 25 degrees from fixation, deriving FOS curves (MOCS) and also conducting repeated adaptive clinical thresholding to assess intra- and interobserver variability. We found that GIII contrast thresholds were significantly elevated in the periphery compared with the parafovea, with concomitant reduction of FOS slope. Using appropriately size scaled spots, threshold and slope differences between these locations were significantly reduced. FOS data collected with the tablet perimeter confirmed that size scaling confers broad equivalence of the shape of the FOS curve across the visual field. Repeated adaptive thresholding with size scaled stimuli gave relatively constant intra-observer variability across the visual field, which compares favorably with published normative data obtained with the GIII stimulus. The reduced variability will improve signal-to-noise ratio for correct classification of normal visual field test results, whereas the lower contrast thresholds yield greater dynamic range, which should improve the ability to reliably monitor moderate defects.
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    Reversibility of Retinal Ganglion Cell Dysfunction From Chronic IOP Elevation
    Zhao, D ; Wong, VHY ; Nguyen, CTO ; Jobling, AI ; Fletcher, EL ; Vingrys, AJ ; Bui, BV (ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC, 2019-09-01)
    Purpose: To test the hypothesis that the capacity for retinal ganglion cells to functionally recover from chronic IOP elevation is dependent on the duration of IOP elevation. Methods: IOP elevation was induced in one eye in anesthetized (isoflurane) adult C57BL6/J mice using a circumlimbal suture. Sutures were left in place for 8 and 16 weeks (n = 30 and 28). In two other groups the suture was cut after 8 and 12 weeks (n = 30 and 28), and ganglion cell function (electroretinography) and retinal structure (optical coherence tomography) were assessed 4 weeks later. Ganglion cell density was quantified by counting RBPMS (RNA-binding protein with multiple splicing)-stained cells. Results: With IOP elevation (∼10 mm Hg above baseline), ganglion cell function declined to 75% ± 8% at 8 weeks and 59% ± 4% at 16 weeks relative to contralateral control eyes. The retinal nerve fiber layer was thinner at 8 (84% ± 4%) and 16 weeks (83% ± 3%), without a significant difference in total retinal thickness. Ganglion cell function recovered with IOP normalization (suture removal) at week 8 (97% ± 7%), but not at week 12 (73% ± 6%). Ganglion cell loss was found in all groups (-8% to -13%). Conclusions: In the mouse circumlimbal suture model, 12 weeks of IOP elevation resulted in irreversible ganglion cell dysfunction, whereas retinal dysfunction was fully reversible after 8 weeks of IOP elevation.
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    The Short-Term Compliance and Concordance to in Clinic Testing for Tablet-Based Home Monitoring in Age-Related Macular Degeneration
    Prea, SM ; Kong, GYX ; Guymer, RH ; Sharangan, P ; Baglin, EK ; Vingrys, AJ (ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2022-03-01)
    PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to determine the short-term compliance with regular home monitoring of macular retinal sensitivity (RS) in intermediate age-related macular degeneration (iAMD). Home-based outcomes were compared with in-clinic outcomes determined using (1) the same tablet device under supervision, and (2) the Macular Integrity Assessment (MaIA) microperimeter. DESIGN: Single-center longitudinal compliance and reliability study. METHODS: A total of 73 participants with iAMD were trained to perform macular field testing with the Melbourne Rapid Fields-macular (MRF-m) iPad application. Volunteers were asked to return 6 weekly tests from home, guided by audio instructions. We determined compliance with weekly testing and surveyed for factors that limited compliance. Test reliability (false positive, false negative) and RS were compared to in-clinic assays (MaIA). Data are given as mean ± SD or as median [quartile 1-3 range]. Group comparisons were achieved with bootstrap to define the 95% confidence limits. RESULTS: A total of 59 participants submitted 6 home examinations with a median intertest interval of 8.0 [7.0-17] days. Compliance with weekly testing (7 days ±24 hours) was 55%. The main barrier to compliance was information technology (IT) logistic reasons. Of 694 home examinations submitted, 96% were reliable (false-positive results <25%). The mean RS returned by the tablet was significantly higher (+3.2 dB, P < .05) compared to the MaIA. CONCLUSIONS: Home monitoring produces reliable results that differ from in-clinic tests because of test design. This should not affect self-monitoring once an at-home baseline is established, but these differences will affect comparisons with in-clinic outcomes. Reasonable compliance with weekly testing was achieved. Improved IT support might lead to better compliance.
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    Uptake, Persistence, and Performance of Weekly Home Monitoring of Visual Field in a Large Cohort of Patients With Glaucoma
    Prea, SM ; Kong, GYX ; Guymer, RH ; Vingrys, AJ (ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2021-03-01)
    PURPOSE: This study examines the short-term uptake, compliance, and performance of a tablet device used for home monitoring of visual field (VF-Home) by glaucoma patients. DESIGN: Single-center, observational, longitudinal, compliance study. METHODS: Participants who were glaucoma suspects or had stable glaucoma in at least one eye were recruited during a regular clinic review. Baseline in-clinic visual field (VF) was recorded with the Humphrey Field Analyser (HFA, SITA standard) and repeated at 6 months. Participants were tasked with performing 6 VF examinations from home, at weekly intervals, using a loaned iPad tablet. Uptake was defined as returning at least 1 test from home. Reliability and global indices from VF-Home were compared to in-clinic outcomes. Data are shown as either mean ± [standard deviation] or median [quartile 1-3 range], and group comparisons were achieved with bootstrap. RESULTS: We recruited 186 eyes of 101 participants. VF-Home uptake was excellent, with 88% of participants successfully completing ≥1 home examination and 69% completing all 6 examinations. The median duration between tests was 7.0 [7.0-8.0] days. Barriers to uptake and compliance involved information technology (IT) logistical reasons, lack of motivation, or competing life demands. VF-Home gave greater fixation loss but a similar level of False Positives (FP) as the HFA. A high correlation was found for the mean defect between in-clinic and at-home outcomes (R = 0.85). CONCLUSIONS: VF-Home can return a high level of short-term compliance and results comparable to those found by in-clinic testing. IT logistical reasons and lack of motivation are barriers to uptake and compliance.