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Eur J Ophthalmol ; 32(1): 695-703, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136200


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: To compare the number of eye surgical procedures performed in Italy in the 2 months following the beginning of lockdown (study period) because of COVID-19 epidemic with those performed in the two earlier months of the same year (intra-year control) and in the period of 2019 corresponding to the lockdown (inter-year control). METHODS: Retrospective analysis of surgical procedures carried out at 39 Academic hospitals. A distinction was made between elective and urgent procedures. Intravitreal injections were also considered. Percentages for all surgical procedures and incidence rate ratios (IRR) for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) events were calculated. A p value <0.05 was considered significant. RESULTS: A total of 20,886 versus 55,259 and 56,640 patients underwent surgery during the lockdown versus intra-and inter-year control periods, respectively. During the lockdown, only 70% of patients for whom an operation/intravitreal injection was recommended, finally underwent surgery; the remaining patients did not attend because afraid of getting infected at the hospital (23%), taking public transportation (6.5%), or unavailable swabs (0.5%). Elective surgeries were reduced by 96.2% and 96.4%, urgent surgeries by 49.7% and 50.2%, and intravitreal injections by 48.5% and 48.6% in the lockdown period in comparison to intra-year and inter-year control periods, respectively. IRRs for RRDs during lockdown dropped significantly in comparison with intra- and inter-year control periods (CI: 0.65-0.80 and 0.61-0.75, respectively, p < 0.001 for both). CONCLUSION: This study provides a quantitative analysis of the reduction of eye surgical procedures performed in Italy because of the COVID-19 epidemic.

COVID-19 , Retinal Detachment , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
Int Ophthalmol ; 41(1): 349-362, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-743741


PURPOSE: Several studies have reported conflicting results on ocular manifestations and transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) whose causative virus, SARS-CoV-2, belongs to the coronavirus family, the seventh recognized as a human pathogen and the third causing a severe clinical syndrome. COVID-19 primarily affects the lungs, similar to the other human coronaviruses. Comparing the relation between the animal-to-human transmitted coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-1, SARS-Cov-2, MERS-CoV, CoV-229E, NL63, OC43, HKU1) and the eye may contribute to determining their actual eye-tissue tropism and risk of ocular transmission. METHODS: Literature review was conducted via, Google Scholar and medRixv using the following keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, CoV-229E, NL63, OC43, HKU1, conjunctivitis, tear swab, ocular expression, ocular symptoms and human angiotensin converting enzyme-2 expression. Studies with lack in methodology were excluded. RESULTS: Sixteen observational studies were selected. The range for detection of viral RNA in tears was 0-8% for SARS-CoV-1 and 0-5.3% for SARS-CoV-2, while no reports were found for other coronaviruses. Ocular manifestations have been reported for NL63 and SARS-CoV-2. Ocular symptoms in the form of conjunctivitis/conjunctival congestion predominantly were detected in 65 (3.17%) out of 2048 reported patients with COVID-19 (range of 0.8-32%). Eye symptoms were not reported for the other coronaviruses. CONCLUSIONS: Data aggregation for coronaviruses shows a relatively low eye-tissue tropism. Conjunctival congestion is an uncommon manifestation of COVID-19 similar to all human coronaviruses' infections. In a low percentage of patients, the virus can be excreted in ocular fluids at different stages of the infection, regardless of positive SARS-Cov-2 throat swab. Albeit high viral loads in ocular tissue seem to have relatively low prevalence, the eye should be regarded as a potential source of infection dissemination for COVID-19.

COVID-19/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , Eye Infections, Viral/virology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , Eye Infections, Viral/epidemiology , Global Health , Humans , Incidence , Tropism
Eur J Ophthalmol ; 31(5): 2252-2258, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-729486


PURPOSE: To compare the number of eye surgical procedures performed in Italy during the first month of lockdown with those performed in the same period in 2019. METHODS: Review of the surgical procedures performed from 10 March to 9 April 2019 and from 10 March to 9 April 2020 (the first month of lockdown because of the COVID-19 outbreak) at six academic institutional centers of Italy. A distinction was made between urgent procedures: any trauma repairment, trabeculectomy/drainage implant for glaucoma, any operation for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) repair, pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) for vitreous hemorrhage (VH), macular hole, or retained lens fragments; elective procedures: corneal transplant, phacoemulsification for cataract extraction, silicone oil removal, and PPV for epiretinal membrane; and intravitreal injections (either anti-vascular endothelial growth factor [VEGF] or dexamethasone) to treat exudative maculopathies. The main outcome measure was the rate of reduction in urgent and elective surgeries performed. RESULTS: Overall, 3624 and 844 surgical procedures were performed from 10 March to 9 April 2019 and from 10 March to 10 April 2020, respectively (-76.7% in 2020 compared to 2019, p < 0.0001). Urgent and elective surgical procedures and intravitreal injections of anti-VEGF drugs or dexamethasone reduced significantly in 2020 in comparison to 2019 (p < 0.0001 for urgent and elective surgeries and 0.01 for intravitreal injections). CONCLUSION: A significant reduction in the rate of urgent and elective surgeries and intravitreal injections was recorded during the first month of lockdown compared to the same period in 2019. With this analysis, the authors hope to provide some preliminary insights about the consequences of lockdown for the eyecare system in Italy.

COVID-19 , Retinal Detachment , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Retinal Detachment/surgery , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Vitrectomy