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1.
Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol ; 2022 Jul 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1930409

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To evaluate the impact of postponed care attributed to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic lockdowns on visual acuity and the number of anti-VEGF injections in patients with retinal vein occlusion (RVO). METHODS: A multicenter, retrospective study of consecutive RVO patients previously treated with anti-VEGF injections, which compared data from pre- (2019) and during (2020) COVID-19 lockdown period. RESULTS: A total of 814 RVO patients with a mean age of 72.8 years met the inclusion criteria. Of them, 439 patients were assessed in 2019 and 375 in 2020. There was no significant difference between the COVID-19 and pre-COVID-19 period in terms of baseline and final BCVA (p = 0.7 and 0.9 respectively), but there was a significantly reduced mean number of anti-VEGF injections during the COVID-19 period (5.0 and. 5.9 respectively, p < 0.01), with a constant lower ratio of injections per patient. A noticeable decline was found during March-May (p < 0.01) in 2020. Baseline BCVA (0.69, p < 0.01) and the number of injections (- 0.01, p = 0.01) were predictors of final BCVA. CONCLUSIONS: In a large cohort of RVO patients, during 2020 lockdowns imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant reduction in the annual number of anti-VEGF injections was noted. The postponed care did not result in a significant impact on the final BCVA. Baseline BCVA and the number of annual injections serve as predictors for final BCVA in RVO patients.

2.
Retina ; 42(8): 1529-1535, 2022 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1831443

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Evaluating the impact of delayed care, secondary to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic lockdowns, on visual acuity in previously treated neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) patients. METHODS: This was a multicenter, retrospective, study of patients with nAMD previously treated with anti-VEGF injections who were followed up during 2019 (pre-COVID-19) and compared with patients with nAMD during 2020 (COVID-19). RESULTS: A total of 1,192 patients with nAMD with a mean age of 81.5 years met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 850 patients were assessed in 2019 (pre-COVID-19) and 630 patients were assessed in 2020 (COVID-19). Three hundred eight patients were assessed through both 2019 and 2020 and thus were included in both cohorts. There was no significant difference between 2020 and 2019 in baseline and change in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA; P = 0.342 and P = 0.911, respectively). The mean number of anti-VEGF injections was significantly lower (5.55 vs. 6.13, P < 0.01), with constant lower ratio of injections per patient in the COVID-19 period. Baseline BCVA (0.859, P < 0.01), number of injections (-0.006, P = 0.01), and age (0.003, P < 0.01) were predictors of final BCVA. CONCLUSION: In patients with nAMD, delayed care secondary to COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns has no statistically significant impact on BCVA. Best-corrected visual acuity, older age, and lower number of yearly anti-VEGF injections are predictors for decrease BCVA.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Wet Macular Degeneration , Aged, 80 and over , Angiogenesis Inhibitors/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Intravitreal Injections , Pandemics , Ranibizumab/therapeutic use , Retrospective Studies , Treatment Outcome , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A , Visual Acuity , Wet Macular Degeneration/drug therapy
3.
J Clin Med ; 10(7)2021 Mar 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753619

ABSTRACT

The real-world performance of a home telemonitoring strategy (ForeseeHome AMD Monitoring System®, Notal Vision, Inc.,Manassas VA, USA) was evaluated and compared to the device arm of the AREDS2-HOME study among patients with intermediate AMD (iAMD) who converted to neovascular AMD (nAMD). All patients with confirmed conversion to nAMD who used the home monitoring system from 10/2009 through 9/2018 were identified by Notal Vision Diagnostic Clinic's medical records. Selected outcome variables were evaluated, including visual acuity (VA) at baseline and at conversion, and change in visual acuity (VA) from baseline to time of conversion. In total, 8991 patients performed 3,200,999 tests at a frequency of 5.6 ± 3.2 times/week. The 306 eyes that converted from iAMD to nAMD over the study period (a 2.7% annual rate) were included in the analyses. There was a median (interquartile range) change of -3.0 (0.0-(-10.0)) letters among converted eyes, 81% [95% confidence interval (72-88%)] maintained a VA ≥ 20/40 at the time of conversion, while 69% of the conversion detections were triggered by system alerts. The real-world performance of an at-home testing strategy was similar to that reported for the device arm of the AREDS2-HOME study. The home telemonitoring system can markedly increase early detection of conversion to nAMD.

4.
JAMA Ophthalmol ; 140(2): 161, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1712000

Subject(s)
Smartphone , Humans
5.
Ophthalmologica ; 245(4): 385-392, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673576

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The increasing high prevalence of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nvAMD) in the aging population combined with the need for frequent monitoring and treatment for many years, especially in the COVID-19 era, raises the need to establish an effective, reliable, and safe follow-up and treatment model. This study evaluates the difference in treatment decisions comparing between the gold standard face-to-face clinical examination and virtual evaluation approach based only on visual acuity (VA) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans without clinical fundoscopic examination in nvAMD patients. METHODS: A single-center retrospective cohort study was conducted that compared an original "face-to-face" visit treatment decision regarding the need for anti-vascular endothelial growth factor drug, interval, and treatment regimen based on routine VA, spectral domain OCT imaging, and dilated fundus examination to two "virtual" treatment decisions based on evaluation of OCT scans and previous medical records before and after revealing VA data on the same nvAMD patients eyes. RESULTS: About 169 eyes of 114 patients were included in the study. Forty-nine patients (43%) suffered from bilateral nvAMD and had both eyes included in the study. Agreement between the "face-to-face visit treatment decision" and "virtual treatment decision" was noted in 74.6% and 71.6% eyes before and after revealing the patient's VA in the study visit, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Virtual evaluation results in similar treatment decisions for nvAMD patients compared to standard face-to-face clinical examination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Macular Degeneration , Wet Macular Degeneration , Aged , Angiogenesis Inhibitors/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Intravitreal Injections , Macular Degeneration/drug therapy , Ranibizumab/therapeutic use , Retrospective Studies , Tomography, Optical Coherence/methods , Visual Acuity , Wet Macular Degeneration/diagnosis , Wet Macular Degeneration/drug therapy
6.
Telemed J E Health ; 2021 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522103

ABSTRACT

Purpose: To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy and reliability of a telemedicine approach for detecting keratoconus patients' progression in the era of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study, comparing the office and telemedicine evaluations in determining whether keratoconus patients were at risk of progression and indicated for further treatment of corneal crosslinking, was conducted. The clinic examination included best spectacle corrected visual acuity measurement and manifest refraction, full ophthalmic examination, and corneal topography, which provided with the gold-standard diagnosis. The remote assessment included two decisions of keratoconus progression or stability: the first evaluation after revealing patient demographics and topography images, and the second with the manifest refraction and clinical findings as documented in the outpatient clinic visit. Results: Two-hundred and four eyes of 102 keratoconus patients were included. There was an agreement of assessment between the in-person and the remote diagnostic decisions in 192 (94%) of the eyes. Among the remaining 12 eyes, a false-positive diagnosis was made in 8 (3.9%) eyes, whereas a false-negative diagnosis was made in 4 (1.9%) eyes. The remote assessment showed a sensitivity and specificity of 69% and 96%, respectively. In no case was remote diagnostic decision 2 different from remote decision 1. Conclusions: The telemedicine model yielded high specificity, but low sensitivity values, therefore, not suitable as an alternative for keratoconus patient follow-up (Clinical trial number TLV-0363-20).

8.
Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol ; 259(3): 567-574, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060218

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the easing of strict measures to reduce its spread has led to a resurgence of cases in many countries at both the national and local level. This article addresses how guidance for ophthalmologists on managing patients with retinal disease receiving intravitreal injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) during the pandemic should be adapted to the local epidemic pressure, with more or less stringent measures implemented according to the ebb and flow of the pandemic. METHODS: The Vision Academy's membership of international retinal disease experts analyzed guidance for anti-VEGF intravitreal injections during the COVID-19 pandemic and graded the recommendations according to three levels of increasing epidemic pressure. The revised recommendations were discussed, refined, and voted on by the 14-member Vision Academy Steering Committee for consensus. RESULTS: Protocols to minimize the exposure of patients and healthcare staff to COVID-19, including use of personal protective equipment, physical distancing, and hygiene measures, should be routinely implemented and intensified according to local infection rates and pressure on the hospital/clinic or healthcare system. In areas with many COVID-19-positive clusters, additional measures including pre-screening of patients, postponement of non-urgent appointments, and simplification of complex intravitreal anti-VEGF regimens should be considered. Treatment prioritization for those at greatest risk of irreversible vision loss should be implemented in areas where COVID-19 cases are increasing exponentially and healthcare resources are strained. CONCLUSION: Consistency in monitoring of local infection rates and adjustment of clinical practice accordingly will be required as we move forward through the COVID-19 era. Ophthalmologists must continue to carefully weigh the risk-benefits to minimize the exposure of patients and healthcare staff to COVID-19, ensure that patients receive sight-saving treatment, and avoid the potential long-term impact of prolonged treatment postponement.


Subject(s)
Angiogenesis Inhibitors/administration & dosage , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/antagonists & inhibitors , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Humans , Intravitreal Injections , Personal Protective Equipment , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Retinal Diseases/drug therapy
10.
Clin Ophthalmol ; 14: 4507-4509, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1004548

ABSTRACT

Since the advent of COVID-19, the patient's use of a face mask hampers our visibility because there is a marked fogging in our view produced by the warm breath that escapes from the top of the patient's mask and lands on the cooler surface of the lens. This panorama is sometimes so frustrating that we have been forced to ask our patients to remove their facemasks while examined, increasing the risk of being infected. We consider it essential to share this small pearl technique that we can apply in order to avoid fogging during the examination; it is easy, and most importantly, without putting at risk the patient or doctor's health. In our opinion, this is the first material to propose this technique.

11.
Br J Ophthalmol ; 105(12): 1738-1743, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-873487

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/AIMS: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has imposed barriers to retinal care delivery worldwide. In this context, retinal services are exploring novel ways to ensure access to healthcare. METHODS: We conducted a worldwide survey among retinal specialists between March 31, 2020 and April 12, 2020. The expert survey was developed on the basis of focus group discussions involving retinal specialists and literature searches. It included 44 questions on alternative ways of care provision including digital health domains such as teleophthalmology, home monitoring or decentralised patient care. RESULTS: 214 retinal experts participated in the survey, of which 120 (56.1%) had more than 15 years of experience in ophthalmology. Most participants were clinicians (n=158, 73.9%) practising in Western Europe (n=159, 74%). In the majority of institutions, teleophthalmology, home monitoring and decentralised patient care have not been implemented before the pandemic (n=46, 21.8.1%; n=64, 29.9%; n=38, 19.1%). During the pandemic, the use of teleophthalmology and home monitoring increased significantly (n=105, p<0.001; n=90, p<0.001). In the subgroup of institutions reporting no teleophthalmology service before and implementing a service during the pandemic (34/70, 48.6%), reimbursement was the sole significant parameter (OR 9.62 (95% CI 2.42 to 38.16); p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Digital health is taking the centre stage tackling unpreceded challenges of retinal care delivery during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and may sustainably change the way we practice ophthalmology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Ophthalmology , Telemedicine , Attitude , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Prog Retin Eye Res ; 82: 100900, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-745955

ABSTRACT

The simultaneous maturation of multiple digital and telecommunications technologies in 2020 has created an unprecedented opportunity for ophthalmology to adapt to new models of care using tele-health supported by digital innovations. These digital innovations include artificial intelligence (AI), 5th generation (5G) telecommunication networks and the Internet of Things (IoT), creating an inter-dependent ecosystem offering opportunities to develop new models of eye care addressing the challenges of COVID-19 and beyond. Ophthalmology has thrived in some of these areas partly due to its many image-based investigations. Tele-health and AI provide synchronous solutions to challenges facing ophthalmologists and healthcare providers worldwide. This article reviews how countries across the world have utilised these digital innovations to tackle diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, refractive error correction, cataract and other anterior segment disorders. The review summarises the digital strategies that countries are developing and discusses technologies that may increasingly enter the clinical workflow and processes of ophthalmologists. Furthermore as countries around the world have initiated a series of escalating containment and mitigation measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, the delivery of eye care services globally has been significantly impacted. As ophthalmic services adapt and form a "new normal", the rapid adoption of some of telehealth and digital innovation during the pandemic is also discussed. Finally, challenges for validation and clinical implementation are considered, as well as recommendations on future directions.


Subject(s)
Artificial Intelligence/trends , Digital Technology/methods , Eye Diseases/diagnosis , Eye Diseases/therapy , Ophthalmology/methods , Telemedicine/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Global Health , Humans , Inventions , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
13.
Eye (Lond) ; 35(5): 1459-1466, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-640465

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has imposed measures of social distancing and barriers in delivery of "in person" education. Institutions, involved in training the next generation of ophthalmologists, are using alternative teaching methods to maintain the standard of education. METHODS: We conducted a worldwide survey among physicians, who are actively involved in Ophthalmology-related education, between 3 and 14 April 2020. The expert survey, developed on the basis of literature search and focus group discussions, comprised 23 questions addressing the use of e-learning in Ophthalmology during the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: A total of 321 participants from both academic and non-academic institutions worldwide, with variable practice experience and expertise, completed the survey. Before the pandemic, the majority of participants used traditional training modalities, including lectures, grand rounds and journal clubs, and 48% did not use any e-learning. There was a statistically significant increase in the use of all e-learning alternatives during the pandemic (p < 0.001), associated mainly with the availability of e-learning facilities (p < 0.001) and the academic character of institutions (p < 0.001). Zoom® was recognized as the mostly used platform for virtual teaching. Although theoretical teaching may take place, the surgical training of residents/fellows was dramatically reduced. The latter was significantly associated with participants' perspectives about teaching practices (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: COVID-19 pandemic imposed great challenges in the educational field of Ophthalmology. The experience related to virtual training in Ophthalmology, gained during the pandemic, may change the traditional teaching practices in the world and provide new educational opportunities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Education, Distance , Curriculum , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Expert Rev Clin Immunol ; 16(7): 651-657, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-624559

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Routine medical and ophthalmic care is being drastically curtailed in the context of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. Uveitis patients require particular attention because of their theoretical risk of viral infection, in the context of therapeutic immunosuppression. AREAS COVERED: This collaborative work proposes practical management and follow-up criteria for uveitis patients in the context of the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. EXPERT OPINION: Management should proceed as usual when access to health care possible in patients who do not belong to a group at high risk of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, and in uncontrolled uveitis cases. In case of reduced access to eye clinics or high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, patients' management should be stratified based on their clinical presentation. In non-severe uveitis cases, the use of systemic steroids should be avoided, and local steroids preferred whenever possible. In uncontrolled situations where there is real risk of permanent visual loss, high-dose intravenous steroids and/or systemic immunosuppressants and/or biotherapies can be administered depending on the severity of eye disease. Immunosuppressive therapy should not be withheld, unless the patient develops SARS-CoV2 infection.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Immunocompromised Host , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Uveitis , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Humans , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Uveitis/drug therapy
15.
Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol ; 258(6): 1149-1156, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-121183

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: There is an urgent need to address how to best provide ophthalmic care for patients with retinal disease receiving intravitreal injections with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. This article provides guidance for ophthalmologists on how to deliver the best possible care for patients while minimizing the risk of infection. METHODS: The Vision Academy's Steering Committee of international retinal disease experts convened to discuss key considerations for managing patients with retinal disease during the COVID-19 pandemic. After reviewing the existing literature on the issue, members put forward recommendations that were systematically refined and voted on to develop this guidance. RESULTS: The considerations focus on the implementation of steps to minimize the exposure of patients and healthcare staff to COVID-19. These include the use of personal protective equipment, adherence to scrupulous hygiene and disinfection protocols, pre-screening to identify symptomatic patients, and reducing the number of people in waiting rooms. Other important measures include triaging of patients to identify those at the greatest risk of irreversible vision loss and prioritization of treatment visits over monitoring visits where possible. In order to limit patient exposure, ophthalmologists should refrain from using treatment regimens that require frequent monitoring. CONCLUSION: Management of patients with retinal disease receiving intravitreal injections during the COVID-19 pandemic will require adjustment to regular clinical practice to minimize the risk of exposure of patients and healthcare staff, and to prioritize those with the greatest medical need. The safety of patients and healthcare staff should be of paramount importance in all decision-making.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Intravitreal Injections , Ophthalmology/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Retinal Diseases/drug therapy , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/antagonists & inhibitors , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Disinfection , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment , SARS-CoV-2
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