EW Weekly, May 5, 2014

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May 5, 2014
Volume 19 , Number 12

ODs hoping to expand scope of practice in La.

Optometrists in Louisiana won the right to bring a bill to the state House floor that would allow them to perform laser and some surgical procedures, according to news reports. The Optometric Association of Louisiana says optometrists outnumber ophthalmologists in the state, with the latter typically clustered around bigger cities, leaving the state’s rural population underserved.
"In Louisiana, barbers must have 1,500 hours of training to be able to cut hair. Yet you're hearing that we would allow people to have 32 hours of training to cut on eyes," testified Brad Black, MD, a pediatric ophthalmologist and president of the Louisiana Ophthalmology Association.

Escalon to distribute Diaton tonomters

Escalon Medical Group (Ardmore, Pa.) will distribute Long Beach, N.Y.-based BiCOM’s transpalpebral Diaton tonometer, the company said in a news release.
The Diaton tonometer is the world’s “only non-corneal contact tonometer used through the eyelid to quickly and painlessly determine intraocular pressure without directly touching the cornea or requiring use of topical anesthesia,” Escalon noted.

B+L, Cirle ink exclusive license agreement

Bausch + Lomb (Bridgewater, N.J.) has entered into an exclusive license agreement for a three-dimensional surgical navigation technology, the Cirle Surgical Navigation System (Cirle, Miami). Bausch + Lomb will commercialize the system for cataract surgery, the company said in a press release.
In late 2012, Bausch + Lomb announced its partnership with Cirle to bring together the experience and expertise of some of the world’s leading eye health experts, medical researchers and Bausch + Lomb’s global business and commercial capabilities.
The Surgical Navigation System is not commercially available in the U.S. at this time.

Nanovision Group to commercialize in Europe, Asia

Nanovision Group (Russia) “plans to market innovative intraocular lenses, refractive surgery laser equipment and the first independent network of eye banks in Eastern Europe,” according to a news release. The company plans for the lasers to be the first products commercialized internationally in September 2014. The excimer Visum 500 and Femto-Visum platforms are already marketed in Russia and China. The European focus will be on select markets during the initial commercial rollout, the news release said.
The company’s medical board comprises Dimitry Dementiev, MD; Jorge Alio, MD; Ioannis Pallikaris, MD; Anselm Kampik, MD; Matteo Piovella, MD; Ken Hoffer, MD; Tatiana Naomidi, MD; Igor Solomatins, MD; and Nikolai Pashtaev, MD.

MacuLogix appoints Joan Miller, MD, to board

MacuLogix (Hummelstown, Pa.) has named Joan W. Miller, MD, as a clinical advisor, the company announced. Dr. Miller is the chief of ophthalmology at both Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary and Massachusetts General Hospital.

RESEARCH BRIEFS

  • A fixed combination of 0.03% bimatoprost and 0.5% timolol (BTFC) was effective and well tolerated in treatment-nave patients with open angle glaucoma (OAG) at high risk of progression. E. Gutierrez-Diaz and colleagues enrolled 81 patients at 15 sites in Spain and Portugal: 43 were randomized to BTFC and 38 to latanoprost monotherapy (LM). Patients instilled one drop of medication once per day at 8 p.m. for 12 weeks. The primary outcome was change in intraocular pressure (IOP) at 12 weeks. Mean change in IOP from baseline to 12 weeks was significantly greater for BTFC than for LM: 13.5 mmHg vs. 11.4 mmHg, respectively (P=0.003). Similarly, at 12 weeks, significantly more BTFC patients than LM patients had IOP reductions of ≥40% (74.4% versus 47.4%, P=0.015) or ≥50% (46.5% versus 15.8%, P=0.003). Adverse events were more frequent with BTFC than with LM (33 versus 13 events), but most were mild in severity. The study is published in Clinical Ophthalmology.
  • Lens fit and biodeposits, in the form of lens-associated bacterial bioburden, were not associated with the development of contact lens-induced papillary conjunctivitis (CLPC) during extended wear with lotrafilcon A silicone hydrogel lenses, according to A. Tagliaferri and colleagues. Data from 205 subjects enrolled in the Longitudinal Analysis of Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lens study wearing lotrafilcon A silicone hydrogel lenses for up to 30 days of continuous wear were used to determine risk factors for CLPC in this secondary analysis of the main cohort. Across 12 months of follow-up, 52 subjects (25%) experienced CLPC. No associations were found between the CLPC development and the presence of bacterial bioburden, lens-to-cornea fitting relationships, history of adverse events, gender, or race. Contact lens-induced papillary conjunctivitis development followed the same seasonal trends as the local peaks in environmental allergens. The study is published in Eye & Contact Lens.
  • Reading was the most commonly reported difficulty, regardless of the patient’s low vision diagnosis, according to results from the Low Vision Rehabilitation Outcomes Study. J.C. Brown and the Low Vision Research Network Study Group recruited 819 patients between 2008 and 2011 from 28 clinical centers in the United States. New patients referred for low vision rehabilitation were asked, "What are your chief complaints about your vision?" before their appointment. Full patient statements were transcribed as free text. Two methods assessed whether statements indicated difficulty in each of 13 functional categories: (1) assessment by 2 masked clinicians reading the statement, and (2) a computerized search of the text for specific words or word fragments. Reading was the most common functional complaint (66.4% of patients). Other functional difficulties expressed by at least 10% of patients included driving (27.8%), using visual assistive equipment (17.5%), mobility (16.3%), performing in-home activities (15.1%), lighting and glare (11.7%), and facial recognition and social interactions (10.3%). Additionally, men were more likely to report driving difficulties and difficulties related to lighting, whereas women were more likely to report difficulty with either in-home activities or facial recognition or social interaction (P<0.05 for all). The study is published online ahead of print in Ophthalmology.

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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