Ophthalmology (Eye & Ear Hospital) - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 823
Olfactory dysfunction at six months after coronavirus disease 2019 infection
(CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS, 2021-09-01)
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess olfactory dysfunction in patients at six months after confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 infection. METHODS: Coronavirus disease 2019 positive patients were assessed six months following diagnosis. Patient data were recoded as part of the adapted International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium Protocol. Olfactory dysfunction was assessed using the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test. RESULTS: Fifty-six patients were included. At six months after coronavirus disease 2019 diagnosis, 64.3 per cent of patients (n = 36) were normosmic, 28.6 per cent (n = 16) had mild to moderate microsmia and 7 per cent (n = 4) had severe microsmia or anosmia. There was a statistically significant association between older age and olfactory dysfunction. Hospital or intensive care unit admission did not lead to worse olfactory outcomes compared to those managed in the out-patient setting. CONCLUSION: At six months after coronavirus disease 2019 diagnosis, approximately two-thirds of patients will be normosmic. This study is the first to describe six-month outcomes for post-coronavirus disease 2019 patients in terms of olfactory dysfunction.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions on psychosocial and behavioural outcomes among Australian adults with type 2 diabetes: Findings from the PREDICT cohort study
AIM: To examine psychosocial and behavioural impacts of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and lockdown restrictions among adults with type 2 diabetes. METHODS: Participants enrolled in the PRogrEssion of DIabetic ComplicaTions (PREDICT) cohort study in Melbourne, Australia (n = 489 with a baseline assessment pre-2020) were invited to complete a phone/online follow-up assessment in mid-2020 (i.e., amidst COVID-19 lockdown restrictions). Repeated assessments that were compared with pre-COVID-19 baseline levels included anxiety symptoms (7-item Generalised Anxiety Disorder scale [GAD-7]), depressive symptoms (8-item Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-8]), diabetes distress (Problem Areas in Diabetes scale [PAID]), physical activity/sedentary behaviour, alcohol consumption and diabetes self-management behaviours. Additional once-off measures at follow-up included COVID-19-specific worry, quality of life (QoL), and healthcare appointment changes (telehealth engagement and appointment cancellations/avoidance). RESULTS: Among 470 respondents (96%; aged 66 ± 9 years, 69% men), at least 'moderate' worry about COVID-19 infection was reported by 31%, and 29%-73% reported negative impacts on QoL dimensions (greatest for: leisure activities, feelings about the future, emotional well-being). Younger participants reported more negative impacts (p < 0.05). Overall, anxiety/depressive symptoms were similar at follow-up compared with pre-COVID-19, but diabetes distress reduced (p < 0.001). Worse trajectories of anxiety/depressive symptoms were observed among those who reported COVID-19-specific worry or negative QoL impacts (p < 0.05). Physical activity trended lower (~10%), but sitting time, alcohol consumption and glucose-monitoring frequency remained unchanged. 73% of participants used telehealth, but 43% cancelled a healthcare appointment and 39% avoided new appointments despite perceived need. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 lockdown restrictions negatively impacted QoL, some behavioural risk factors and healthcare utilisation in adults with type 2 diabetes. However, generalised anxiety and depressive symptoms remained relatively stable.
An Experimental Model of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia Features Long-Term Retinal and Pulmonary Defects but Not Sustained Lung Inflammation
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2021-08-30)
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a severe lung disease that affects preterm infants receiving oxygen therapy. No standardized, clinically-relevant BPD model exists, hampering efforts to understand and treat this disease. This study aimed to evaluate and confirm a candidate model of acute and chronic BPD, based on exposure of neonatal mice to a high oxygen environment during key lung developmental stages affected in preterm infants with BPD. Neonatal C57BL/6 mouse pups were exposed to 75% oxygen from postnatal day (PN)-1 for 5, 8, or 14 days, and their lungs were examined at PN14 and PN40. While all mice showed some degree of lung damage, mice exposed to hyperoxia for 8 or 14 days exhibited the greatest septal wall thickening and airspace enlargement. Furthermore, when assessed at PN40, mice exposed for 8 or 14 days to supplemental oxygen exhibited augmented septal wall thickness and emphysema, with the severity increased with the longer exposure, which translated into a decline in respiratory function at PN80 in the 14-day model. In addition to this, mice exposed to hyperoxia for 8 days showed significant expansion of alveolar epithelial type II cells as well as the greatest fibrosis when assessed at PN40 suggesting a healing response, which was not seen in mice exposed to high oxygen for a longer period. While evidence of lung inflammation was apparent at PN14, chronic inflammation was absent from all three models. Finally, exposure to high oxygen for 14 days also induced concurrent outer retinal degeneration. This study shows that early postnatal exposure to high oxygen generates hallmark acute and chronic pathologies in mice that highlights its use as a translational model of BPD.
Food insecurity among households with children during the COVID-19 pandemic: results from a study among social media users across the United States
BACKGROUND: In the United States, approximately 11% of households were food insecure prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The present study aims to describe the prevalence of food insecurity among adults and households with children living in the United States during the pandemic. METHODS: This study utilized social media as a recruitment platform to administer an original online survey on demographics and COVID-related food insecurity. The survey was disseminated through an advertisement campaign on Facebook and affiliated platforms. Food insecurity was assessed with a validated six-item United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Household Food Security Survey Module, which was used to create a six-point numerical food security score, where a higher score indicates lower food security. Individual-level participant demographic information was also collected. Logistic regressions (low/very-low compared with high/marginal food security) were performed to generate adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95%CIs for food insecurity and select demographic characteristics. RESULTS: Advertisements reached 250,701 individuals and resulted in 5,606 complete surveys. Overall, 14.7% of participants self-identified as having low or very low food security in their households, with higher prevalence (17.5%) among households with children. Unemployment (AOR:1.76, 95%CI:1.09-2.80), high school or lower education (AOR:2.25, 95%CI:1.29-3.90), and low income (AOR[$30,000-$50,000]:5.87, 95%CI:3.35-10.37; AOR[< $30,000]:10.61, 95%CI:5.50-20.80) were associated with higher odds of food insecurity in multivariable models among households with children (and the whole sample). CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate exacerbation of food insecurity during the pandemic. The study will be instrumental in guiding additional research and time-sensitive interventions targeted towards vulnerable food insecure subgroups.
Real-world? artificial intelligence-based opportunistic screening for diabetic retinopathy in endocrinology and indigenous healthcare settings in Australia
(NATURE PORTFOLIO, 2021-08-04)
This study investigated the diagnostic performance, feasibility, and end-user experiences of an artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted diabetic retinopathy (DR) screening model in real-world Australian healthcare settings. The study consisted of two components: (1) DR screening of patients using an AI-assisted system and (2) in-depth interviews with health professionals involved in implementing screening. Participants with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus attending two endocrinology outpatient and three Aboriginal Medical Services clinics between March 2018 and May 2019 were invited to a prospective observational study. A single 45-degree (macula centred), non-stereoscopic, colour retinal image was taken of each eye from participants and were instantly screened for referable DR using a custom offline automated AI system. A total of 236 participants, including 174 from endocrinology and 62 from Aboriginal Medical Services clinics, provided informed consent and 203 (86.0%) were included in the analysis. A total of 33 consenting participants (14%) were excluded from the primary analysis due to ungradable or missing images from small pupils (n = 21, 63.6%), cataract (n = 7, 21.2%), poor fixation (n = 2, 6.1%), technical issues (n = 2, 6.1%), and corneal scarring (n = 1, 3%). The area under the curve, sensitivity, and specificity of the AI system for referable DR were 0.92, 96.9% and 87.7%, respectively. There were 51 disagreements between the reference standard and index test diagnoses, including 29 which were manually graded as ungradable, 21 false positives, and one false negative. A total of 28 participants (11.9%) were referred for follow-up based on new ocular findings, among whom, 15 (53.6%) were able to be contacted and 9 (60%) adhered to referral. Of 207 participants who completed a satisfaction questionnaire, 93.7% specified they were either satisfied or extremely satisfied, and 93.2% specified they would be likely or extremely likely to use this service again. Clinical staff involved in screening most frequently noted that the AI system was easy to use, and the real-time diagnostic report was useful. Our study indicates that AI-assisted DR screening model is accurate and well-accepted by patients and clinicians in endocrinology and indigenous healthcare settings. Future deployments of AI-assisted screening models would require consideration of downstream referral pathways.
The immunological link between neonatal lung and eye disease
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) are two neonatal diseases of major clinical importance, arising in large part as a consequence of supplemental oxygen therapy used to promote the survival of preterm infants. The presence of coincident inflammation in the lungs and eyes of neonates receiving oxygen therapy indicates that a dysregulated immune response serves as a potential common pathogenic factor for both diseases. This review examines the current state of knowledge of immunological dysregulation in BPD and ROP, identifying similarities in the cellular subsets and inflammatory cytokines that are found in the alveoli and retina during the active phase of these diseases, indicating possible mechanistic overlap. In addition, we highlight gaps in the understanding of whether these responses emerge independently in the lung and retina as a consequence of oxygen exposure or arise because of inflammatory spill-over from the lung. As BPD and ROP are anatomically distinct, they are often considered discreet disease entities and are therefore treated separately. We propose that an improved understanding of the relationship between BPD and ROP is key to the identification of novel therapeutic targets to treat or prevent both conditions simultaneously.
Functional Vision in the Real-World Environment With a Second-Generation (44-Channel) Suprachoroidal Retinal Prosthesis
(ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC, 2021-08-01)
Purpose: In a clinical trial (NCT03406416) of a second-generation (44-channel) suprachoroidal retinal prosthesis implanted in subjects with late-stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP), we assessed performance in real-world functional visual tasks and emotional well-being. Methods: The Functional Low-Vision Observer Rated Assessment (FLORA) and Impact of Vision Impairment-Very Low Vision (IVI-VLV) instruments were administered to four subjects before implantation and after device fitting. The FLORA contains 13 self-reported and 35 observer-reported items ranked for ease of conducting task (impossible-easy, central tendency given as mode). The IVI-VLV instrument quantified the impact of low vision on daily activities and emotional well-being. Results: Three subjects completed the FLORA for two years after device fitting; the fourth subject ceased participation in the FLORA after fitting for reasons unrelated to the device. For all subjects at each post-fitting visit, the mode ease of task with device ON was better or equal to device OFF. Ease of task improved over the first six months with device ON, then remained stable. Subjects reported improvements in mobility, functional vision, and quality of life with device ON. The IVI-VLV suggested self-assessed vision-related quality of life was not impacted by device implantation or usage. Conclusions: Subjects demonstrated sustained improved ease of task scores with device ON compared to OFF, indicating the device has a positive impact in the real-world setting. Translational Relevance: Our suprachoroidal retinal prosthesis shows potential utility in everyday life, by enabling an increased environmental awareness and improving access to sensory information for people with end-stage RP.
Perceptions of injectable opioid agonist treatment (iOAT) among people who regularly use opioids in Australia: findings from a cross-sectional study in three Australian cities.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Not all people experiencing opioid dependence benefit from oral opioid agonist treatment. The aim of this study was to examine perceptions of (supervised) injectable opioid agonist treatment (iOAT) (described as 'an opioid similar to heroin self-injected at a clinic several times a day') among people who regularly use opioids and determine how common iOAT eligibility criteria accord with interest in iOAT. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey SETTING: Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart, Australia PARTICIPANTS: A total of 344 people (63% male) who use opioids regularly and had ever injected opioids, interviewed December 2017-March 2018. The mean age of participants was 41.5 years [standard deviation (SD) = 8.5]. MEASUREMENTS: Primary outcome measures were interest in iOAT, factors associated with interest and the proportion of participants who would be eligible using common criteria from trials and guidelines. We examined willingness to travel for iOAT, medication preferences and perspectives on whom should receive iOAT. FINDINGS: Overall, 53% of participants (n = 182) believed that iOAT would be a good treatment option for them. Participants who believed that iOAT was a good treatment option for them were more likely to be male [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.76, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.10-2.82], have used heroin in the past month (aOR = 6.03, 95% CI = 2.86-12.71), currently regularly inject opioids (aOR = 1.84, 95% CI = 1.16-2.91) and have met ICD-10 criteria for opioid dependence (aOR = 3.46, 95% CI = 1.65-7.24). Those interested in iOAT had commenced more treatment episodes (aOR =1.06, 95% CI = 1.00-1.12). Among those interested in iOAT (n = 182), 26% (n = 48) met common eligibility criteria for iOAT. CONCLUSIONS: Interest in injectable opioid agonist treatment does not appear to be universal among people who regularly use opioids. Among study participants who expressed interest in injectable opioid agonist treatment, most did not meet common eligibility criteria.
Prevalence, associations and characteristics of severe uncorrected refractive error in the Australian National Eye Health Survey
IMPORTANCE: In Australia, nationally representative data of the burden and associations of severe uncorrected refractive error are scarce. BACKGROUND: To report the prevalence and characteristics of severe uncorrected refractive error in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. DESIGN: Population-based cross-sectional study. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 3098 non-Indigenous Australians aged 50 to 98 and 1738 Indigenous Australians aged 40 to 92 living in 30 randomly selected Australian sites were examined. METHODS: Severe uncorrected refractive error was defined as an improvement of ≥2 lines on the logMAR chart in one or both eyes in participants with a presenting visual acuity <6/12. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Severe uncorrected refractive error RESULTS: Prevalence of severe uncorrected refractive error was 11.0% (95% confidence interval 9.3-13.0) in non-Indigenous and 14.5% (12.5-16.7) in Indigenous Australians. Eighty-two percent of non-Indigenous and 77% of Indigenous participants had a spherical equivalent refraction between -2.00D and +2.00D. Indigenous Australians who were older (odds ratio [OR] for 70-79 years vs 40-49 years = 3.59), resided in outer regional areas (OR = 1.78) and did not have an eye examination in the previous 2-years (OR = 1.50) were associated with higher odds of severe uncorrected refractive error. Geographical remoteness (OR = .68 for inner regional), male gender (OR = 1.30), older age (OR for 70-79 years vs 50-59 years = 1.51) and failure to have an eye examination in the previous 2-years (OR = 2.06) were associated with severe uncorrected refractive error among non-Indigenous participants. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Increased public awareness of the importance of regular optometric examinations may be required in groups at high risk of severe uncorrected refractive error.
Age-related cataract and 10-year mortality: the Liwan Eye Study
PURPOSE: To explore the association between age-related cataract and 10-year mortality in an adult population in urban China. METHODS: A total of 1405 participants aged 50 years or older were examined at baseline in the Guangzhou Liwan Eye Study. All participants were invited to attend a 10-year follow-up visit. Cataract cases were defined as either having visible lens opacity confirmed with direct ophthalmoscope under pupil dilation or previous history of cataract surgery. Visual impairment (VI) was defined as a visual acuity of 20/40 or worse in the better-seeing eye with habitual correction if worn. Body mass index (BMI) was based on anthropometric data. A brief questionnaire regarding family income, educational attainment and medical history of systemic disease was administered. Mortality rates were compared using the log-rank test and Cox proportional hazards regression models. RESULTS: Among 1405 participants examined at baseline, 957 participants (68.1%) had visible lens opacity or history of cataract surgery. After 10 years, 320 (22.8%) participants died. The 10-year mortality rate was significantly higher in participants with cataract than in those without (30.1% versus 7.14%, log-rank p < 0.05). After adjusting for age, gender, family income, educational attainment, BMI, history of diabetes and hypertension and presence of VI, presence of cataract predicted a nearly threefold increase in the risk of mortality (HR, 2.99; 95% CI, 1.89-4.71). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings that age-related cataract is a predictor for poorer survival compared to those without may imply that cataract is a biomarker of ageing and frailty.