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Subspecialties Cornea / Ocular Surface, Basic & Translational Research, Business and Innovation, Other

Thank Me, Laser… and Other News

Tears of joy. Researchers from Osaka University, Japan, have discovered a way to grow 3D lacrimal gland-like organoids, which have notable morphological, immunolabeling characteristics and gene expression pattern similarities to native lacrimal glands, replicate aspects of the tear duct, and differentiate into mature lacrimal glands when transplanted into animals with partial or no tear ducts. The organoids are grown from human induced pluripotent stem cells. Link

Peculiar TK. Researchers have found an unusual corneal presentation of trachomatous keratopathy, with amyloid deposits being identified in 16 of 29 eyes when retrospectively scanning histopathological records of patients undergoing keratoplasty over a three-year period. This form of trachomatous keratopathy was distinct from the usual presentation of dense leucomatous, vascularized cornea scarring in trachoma and has resulted in novel reporting of endothelial changes and formation of guttae. Link

Thank me, laser. A prospective comparison of dry eye and corneal sensation in individuals undergoing LASIK and SMILE showed that SMILE has a reduced corneal denervation compared with LASIK in the early stages that followed surgery, and this effect diminished after a year. There was no difference in dry eye symptoms between the groups. Link

Deep detection. Researchers have developed deep learning algorithms, using anterior segment images retrospectively acquired from 194 microbial keratitis patients, able to rapidly discriminate between fungal keratitis and microbial keratitis. This convolutional neural network model, using ensemble learning, demonstrated the best performance in discriminating between fungal keratitis and bacterial keratitis when compared to single architecture models, indicating that it has the potential to act as a tool for rapid provisional diagnosis in microbial keratitis patients. Link

Dry eye depression? A secondary cross-sectional and longitudinal assessment of data from the Dry Eye Assessment and Management (DREAM) randomized clinical trial of 535 participants found that patients who screened positive for depression displayed worse dry eye symptoms and overall signs of dry eye, but similar inflammatory markers compared to patients that had dry eye but screened negatively for depression. This association between depression and severe symptoms and signs of dry eye disease (DED), gives more credit to depression being a DED comorbidity. Link

In other news…
 

Defying gravity… and aging. A method of transporting corneas preserving buccal tissue and cartilage may employ zero gravity corneal storage, helping to slow down the aging processes. Link

Aiming dry high. Loss of sex steroid hormones produced by 3-HSD enzymes may lead to dry eye disease, but can be resolved by non-steroidal local NMN treatment. Link

Date with density. Low post-operative endothelial cell density following DMEK has been linked to difficult surgeries. Link

Fuchs’ associations. Newly diagnosed Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy is strongly associated with ocular allergic conditions, geographical region, residential status, and income. Link

A gift horse. The ocular surface variably expresses SARS-CoV-2 cellular entry proteins, with a very low rate of positivity. Link

Hero and teaser image credit: Image sourced from Shutterstock.com

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About the Author
Jed Boye

Associate Editor, The Ophthalmologist

I have always been fascinated by stories. During my biomedical sciences degree, though I enjoyed wet lab sessions, I was truly in my element when sitting down to write up my results and find the stories within the data. Working at Texere gives me the opportunity to delve into a plethora of interesting stories, sharing them with a wide audience as I go.

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