EW Weekly, March 28, 2014

March 28, 2014
Volume 19 , Number 9

Stellaris gains additional 510(k) clearance

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted 510(k) clearance to Bausch + Lomb (Bridgewater, N.J.) for its Stellaris PC Vision Enhancement System for the integrated 532 nm laser and software, the company said in a press release. With the new approval, the Stellaris PC “now provides one of the most complete ophthalmic surgical systems for posterior segment, anterior segment and combined procedures,” B+L said. Among the features of the device: a fully integrated 532 nm green laser, which can be upgraded in existing systems; a first-of-its-kind wireless, dual linear foot pedal; and a full portfolio of multifunction laser fibers.

AAO brings IRIS Registry online

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (San Francisco) has officially launched the IRIS Registry, or Intelligent Research in Sight, the nation’s first comprehensive eye disease and condition registry, AAO said.
The centralized data repository and reporting tool aggregates patient data from electronic health records (EHRs) and performs statistical analysis that enables ophthalmologists to improve patient care, reduce the cost and enhance the speed of some large clinical trials, assist in monitoring resource utilization, comply with federal payment programs, and enhance quality and practice efficiency. The IRIS Registry is the first of its kind in any U.S. medical specialty, and the nation’s only comprehensive, longitudinal, outpatient-focused clinical data registry for ophthalmology, AAO said in its news release.
Already, 2,300 physicians in 47 states nationwide are participating in the IRIS Registry, having signed up during a limited rollout, which began in 2013. The ophthalmology registry currently holds more than 5 million patient records and is expected to ultimately house more than 20 million in 2 years, AAO said.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals names Richard A. Lewis, MD, as chair

Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Bedminster, N.J.) has appointed Richard A. Lewis, MD, as chair of Aerie’s Scientific Advisory Board, effective immediately, the company said. The company’s former chair, David L. Epstein, MD, passed away recently, the company added.
Dr. Lewis is the former director of glaucoma at the University of California, Davis. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Lewis is actively involved in clinical research in national and international clinical trials in glaucoma therapy. He is on the Executive Board of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery as its incoming president (April 2014) and past president of the American Glaucoma Society (2000-02), among many other accolades.

Rohit Varma, MD, named chair at Keck School of Medicine

Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California has named Rohit Varma, MD, as its chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and director of the USC Eye Institute; he will also serve as professor of ophthalmology and preventive medicine and hold the Grace and Emery Beardsley Chair in Ophthalmology.
Dr. Varma has been a funded researcher for the past 20 years by the National Eye Institute, and is the principal investigator of the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES), Multi-Ethnic Pediatric Eye Diseases Study (MEPEDS), African-American Eye Disease Study and the Chinese-American Eye Study, in addition to his studies on blindness and vision impairment for the World Health Organization.
Dr. Varma will assume his new role this summer.


  • A small case study on 10 eyes of 9 patients with pseudophakic malignant glaucoma found an anterior chamber capsulo-hyaloidectomy and anterior vitrectomy through the peripheral iridectomy seems to be safe and effective in all cases, reported T. Zarnowski and colleagues. The main outcome measures for the newer surgical method included reformation of the anterior chamber, intraocular pressure (IOP), best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), and complications. The mean age of the patients was 63.3 years. All cases had a relief of aqueous misdirection with anterior chamber deepening during and after the surgery and postoperative IOP normalization. No relapses have been observed to date. There were no complications during surgery and in the postoperative period. The study is published online ahead of print in Eye.
  • Spontaneous vitreomacular traction (VMT) resolution is negatively associated with the horizontal adhesion diameter, according to George P. Theodossiadis and colleagues. The strength of the traction exerted by the vitreous on the fovea seems to be positively related to the size of the vitreomacular angle, the study authors added. They evaluated the natural course of idiopathic VMT in 46 eyes (46 patients), divided into those that proceeded to spontaneous VMT resolution (12 cases) and those that remained at the VMT stage (34 cases). All patients were examined with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. In the 12 eyes that proceeded to spontaneous resolution, the vitreous adhesion angle had a mean increase of 38 degrees at VMT, compared to the angle at the vitreomacular adhesion stage. In the 34 eyes that remained at the VMT stage, the mean angle of traction increased by only 1 degree throughout follow-up. In all 46 patients, the angle at the VMT stage was significantly associated with traction resolution (nasally P=.001, temporally P<.001). The likelihood of resolution was more than 99% lower for patients with a VMT diameter >400 μm compared with that of eyes with a VMT diameter <400 μm. Patients with broad-type VMT remained at the same stage, whereas patients with V-type VMT had 80% probability of resolution. The study is published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.
  • Calling glaucoma “the diabetes of the brain,” a group of researchers postulates that the proposition may lead to appreciation of certain important facets of glaucoma that have previously not been given due consideration. M.A. Faiq and colleagues suggested their hypothesis also may lead to an alternative classification of diabetes as pancreatic and brain diabetes thereby widening the vision arena of the understanding of both of these disorders. The group asserts there are a “remarkable” number of similarities between glaucoma and diabetes. For example, glaucoma and diabetes share many aspects from various molecular mechanisms to involvement of insulin and possible use of anti-diabetics in glaucoma therapy. Additionally, Alzheimer’s disease has already been proposed to be diabetes type 3. “We show that Alzheimer's disease is cerebral glaucoma and diabetes at the same time which, by transitive property of similarities, again leads to our hypothesis that glaucoma is diabetes of the brain,” they wrote in Medical Hypotheses.


  • OD-OS (Teltow, Germany) will launch the Navilas Laser System 577+ featuring the popular yellow 577 nm wavelength as well as microsecond pulsed laser treatments at next week’s World Ophthalmology Congress. The Navilas Laser System is an advanced focal/panretinal photocoagulation device that integrates diagnostics with laser therapy and allows a pre-planned, computer-guided and digitally documented treatment to be performed by the retina specialist, the company said.

EYEWORLD WEEK Online is edited by Stacy Majewicz and Michelle Dalton.

EyeWorld Week Online (ISSN 1089-0319), a digital publication of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators, is published every Friday, distributed by email, and posted live on Friday.

Medical Editors: Eric Donnenfeld, MD, chief medical editor; Rosa Braga-Mele, MD, cataract editor; Clara Chan, MD, cornea editor; Nathan Radcliffe, MD, glaucoma editor; and Vance Thompson, MD, refractive editor.

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