Five-Year Safety and Performance Results from the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System Clinical Trial.
ABSTRACT: The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System (Second Sight Medical Products, Inc, Sylmar, CA) was developed to restore some vision to patients blind as a result of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) or outer retinal degeneration. A clinical trial was initiated in 2006 to study the long-term safety and efficacy of the Argus II System in patients with bare or no light perception resulting from end-stage RP.Prospective, multicenter, single-arm clinical trial. Within-patient controls included the nonimplanted fellow eye and patients' native residual vision compared with their vision with the Argus II.Thirty participants in 10 centers in the United States and Europe.The worse-seeing eye of blind patients was implanted with the Argus II. Patients wore glasses mounted with a small camera and a video processor that converted images into stimulation patterns sent to the electrode array on the retina.The primary outcome measures were safety (the number, seriousness, and relatedness of adverse events) and visual function, as measured by 3 computer-based, objective tests. Secondary measures included functional vision performance on objectively scored real-world tasks.Twenty-four of 30 patients remained implanted with functioning Argus II Systems at 5 years after implantation. Only 1 additional serious adverse event was experienced after the 3-year time point. Patients performed significantly better with the Argus II on than off on all visual function tests and functional vision tasks.The 5-year results of the Argus II trial support the long-term safety profile and benefit of the Argus II System for patients blind as a result of RP. The Argus II is the first and only retinal implant to have market approval in the European Economic Area, the United States, and Canada.
Project description:Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of inherited retinal degenerations leading to blindness due to photoreceptor loss. Retinitis pigmentosa is a rare disease, affecting only approximately 100 000 people in the United States. There is no cure and no approved medical therapy to slow or reverse RP. The purpose of this clinical trial was to evaluate the safety, reliability, and benefit of the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System (Second Sight Medical Products, Inc, Sylmar, CA) in restoring some visual function to subjects completely blind from RP. We report clinical trial results at 1 and 3 years after implantation.The study is a multicenter, single-arm, prospective clinical trial.There were 30 subjects in 10 centers in the United States and Europe. Subjects served as their own controls, that is, implanted eye versus fellow eye, and system on versus system off (native residual vision).The Argus II System was implanted on and in a single eye (typically the worse-seeing eye) of blind subjects. Subjects wore glasses mounted with a small camera and a video processor that converted images into stimulation patterns sent to the electrode array on the retina.The primary outcome measures were safety (the number, seriousness, and relatedness of adverse events) and visual function, as measured by 3 computer-based, objective tests.A total of 29 of 30 subjects had functioning Argus II Systems implants 3 years after implantation. Eleven subjects experienced a total of 23 serious device- or surgery-related adverse events. All were treated with standard ophthalmic care. As a group, subjects performed significantly better with the system on than off on all visual function tests and functional vision assessments.The 3-year results of the Argus II trial support the long-term safety profile and benefit of the Argus II System for patients blind from RP. Earlier results from this trial were used to gain approval of the Argus II by the Food and Drug Administration and a CE mark in Europe. The Argus II System is the first and only retinal implant to have both approvals.
Project description:Human adults with normal vision can combine visual landmark and non-visual self-motion cues to improve their navigational precision. Here we asked whether blind individuals treated with a retinal prosthesis could also benefit from using the resultant new visual signal together with non-visual information when navigating. Four patients (blind for 15-52 years) implanted with the Argus II retinal prosthesis (Second Sight Medical Products Inc. Sylmar, CA), and five age-matched and six younger controls, participated. Participants completed a path reproduction and a triangle completion navigation task, using either an indirect visual landmark and non-visual self-motion cues or non-visual self-motion cues only. Control participants wore goggles that approximated the field of view and the resolution of the Argus II prosthesis. In both tasks, control participants showed better precision when navigating with reduced vision, compared to without vision. Patients, however, did not show similar improvements when navigating with the prosthesis in the path reproduction task, but two patients did show improvements in the triangle completion task. Additionally, all patients showed greater precision than controls in both tasks when navigating without vision. These results indicate that the Argus II retinal prosthesis may not provide sufficiently reliable visual information to improve the precision of patients on tasks, for which they have learnt to rely on non-visual senses.
Project description:Visual prostheses are devices to treat profound vision loss by stimulating nerve cells anywhere along the visual pathway, typically with electrical pulses. The Argus II implant, developed by Second Sight Medical Products (SSMP, Sylmar, CA, USA), targets the retina and features 60 electrodes that electrically stimulate the surviving retinal neurons. Of the approximately 20 research groups that are actively developing visual prostheses, SSMP has the longest track record. The Argus II was the first visual prosthesis to become commercially available: it received the European conformity mark in 2011 and FDA approval was granted in early 2013 for humanitarian use in the USA. Meanwhile, the Argus II safety/benefit study has been extended for research purposes, and is still ongoing. In this review, we will discuss the performance of the Argus II in restoring sight to the blind, and we will shed light on its expected developments in the coming years.
Project description:Retinal prosthesis technologies require that the visual system downstream of the retinal circuitry be capable of transmitting and elaborating visual signals. We studied the capability of plastic remodeling in late blind subjects implanted with the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis with psychophysics and functional MRI (fMRI). After surgery, six out of seven retinitis pigmentosa (RP) blind subjects were able to detect high-contrast stimuli using the prosthetic implant. However, direction discrimination to contrast modulated stimuli remained at chance level in all of them. No subject showed any improvement of contrast sensitivity in either eye when not using the Argus II. Before the implant, the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) activity in V1 and the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) was very weak or absent. Surprisingly, after prolonged use of Argus II, BOLD responses to visual input were enhanced. This is, to our knowledge, the first study tracking the neural changes of visual areas in patients after retinal implant, revealing a capacity to respond to restored visual input even after years of deprivation.
Project description:The purpose of this analysis was to compare observer-rated tasks in patients implanted with the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, when the device is ON versus OFF.The Functional Low-Vision Observer Rated Assessment (FLORA) instrument was administered to 26 blind patients implanted with the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System at a mean follow-up of 36 months. FLORA is a multi-component instrument that consists in part of observer-rated assessment of 35 tasks completed with the device ON versus OFF. The ease with which a patient completes a task is scored using a four-point scale, ranging from easy (score of 1) to impossible (score of 4). The tasks are evaluated individually and organised into four discrete domains, including 'Visual orientation', 'Visual mobility', 'Daily life and 'Interaction with others'.Twenty-six patients completed each of the 35 tasks. Overall, 24 out of 35 tasks (69 per cent) were statistically significantly easier to achieve with the device ON versus OFF. In each of the four domains, patients' performances were significantly better (p < 0.05) with the device ON versus OFF, ranging from 19 to 38 per cent improvement.Patients with an Argus II Retinal Prosthesis implanted for 18 to 44 months (mean 36 months), demonstrated significantly improved completion of vision-related tasks with the device ON versus OFF.
Project description:Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can measure the effects of vision loss and recovery on brain function and structure. In this case study, we sought to determine the feasibility of acquiring anatomical and functional MRI data in recipients of the Argus II epiretinal prosthesis system.Following successful implantation with the Argus II device, two retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients completed MRI scans with their implant unpowered to measure primary visual cortex (V1) functional responses to a tactile task, whole-brain morphometry, V1 cortical thickness, and diffusion properties of the optic tract and optic radiation. Measurements in the subjects with the Argus II implant were compared to measurements obtained previously from RP patients and sighted individuals.The presence of the Argus II implant resulted in artifacts that were localized around the patient's implanted eye and did not extend into cortical regions or white matter tracts associated with the visual system. Structural data on V1 cortical thickness and the retinofugal tract obtained from the two Argus II subjects fell within the ranges of sighted and RP groups. When compared to the RP and sighted subjects, Argus II patients' tactile-evoked cross-modal functional MRI (fMRI) blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) responses in V1 also fell within the range of either sighted or RP groups, apparently depending on time since implantation.This study demonstrates that successful acquisition and quantification of structural and functional MR images are feasible in the presence of the inactive implant and provides preliminary information on functional changes in the brain that may follow sight restoration treatments.Successful MRI and fMRI acquisition in Argus II recipients demonstrates feasibility of using MRI to study the effect of retinal prosthesis use on brain structure and function.
Project description:To investigate the ability of 28 blind subjects implanted with a 60-electrode Argus II (Second Sight Medical Products Inc) retinal prosthesis system to detect the direction of a moving object.Blind subjects (bare light perception or worse in both eyes) with retinitis pigmentosa were implanted with the Argus II prosthesis as part of a phase 1/2 feasibility study at multiple clinical sites worldwide. The experiment measured their ability to detect the direction of motion of a high-contrast moving bar on a flatscreen monitor in 3 conditions: with the prosthesis system on and a 1-to-1 mapping of spatial information, with the system off, and with the system on but with randomly scrambled spatial information.Fifteen subjects (54%) were able to perform the task significantly better with their prosthesis system than they were with their residual vision, 2 subjects had significantly better performance with their residual vision, and no difference was found for 11 subjects. Of the 15 better-performing subjects, 11 were available for follow-up testing, and 10 of them had significantly better performance with normal rather than with scrambled spatial information.This work demonstrates that blind subjects implanted with the Argus II retinal prosthesis were able to perform a motion detection task they could not do with their native vision, confirming that electrical stimulation of the retina provides spatial information from synchronized activation of multiple electrodes.clinicaltrials.gov Identifier:NCT00407602
Project description:Low vision devices in the past have been mainly extraocular. There are now four new devices in different stages of development and implementation that are currently available. Three of them, the Implantable Miniature Telescope (IMT, VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Saratoga, CA), Intraocular Lens for Visually Impaired People (IOL-VIP, IOL-VIP System, Soleko, Pontecorvo, Italy), and Lipschitz Mirror Implant (LMI, Optolight Vision Technology, Herzlia, Israel) are implanted into the anterior segment while the Argus II (Second Sight Medical Products, Sylmar, CA) is implanted into the posterior segment. The goal of these devices is to increase the patient quality of life which has been measured by Visual Functioning Questionnaire (VFQ) scales. The IMT is the only device that has been shown to increase the VFQ score by seven points at 6 months compared to baseline. It is the only FDA-approved device in the US while the Argus has been approved in Europe. Each of these prosthetics has potential benefits for patients.
Project description:The Argus II 60 channel epiretinal prosthesis has been developed in order to provide partial restoration of vision to subjects blinded from outer retinal degenerative disease. To date the device has been implanted in 21 subjects as part of a feasibility study. In 6 month post-implantation door finding and line tracking orientation and mobility testing, subjects have shown improvements of 86% and 73%, respectively, for system on vs. system off. In high-contrast Square Localization tests using a touch screen monitor 87% of tested subjects performed significantly better with the system on compared with off. These preliminary results show that the Argus II system provides some functional vision to blind subjects.
Project description:Importance:The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System is indicated for patients with vision loss due to severe to profound outer retinal degeneration, a group with few treatment options. Objectives:To collect postapproval safety and visual function data for the Argus II. Design, Setting, and Participants:Multicenter, postapproval clinical trial conducted at 9 sites in Germany and Italy. Data were collected from December 2, 2011, to September 30, 2017, and patients were followed-up for 12 months or longer. Patients were 25 years or older with severe to profound outer retinal degeneration, some residual light perception or the ability of the retina to respond to electrical stimulation, and a history of useful form vision and were already planning to undergo Argus II implantation. Main Outcomes and Measures:The primary end point of this study was the nature and rate of adverse events. Secondary end points included 3 visual function tests: square localization (SL), direction of motion, and grating visual acuity (GVA). Results:Forty-seven patients were followed for 12 months or longer after implant. Mean (SD) age was 56 (12) years, 37 (79%) had retinitis pigmentosa, and 27 (57%) were male. Through the first 12 months postimplantation, 23 patients (49%) experienced 51 nonserious adverse events and 12 (26%) experienced 13 serious adverse events (SAEs), 9 of which were judged to be related to the Argus II, and 4 of which were judged to be related to the procedure. The most common SAE was conjunctival erosion, reported in 4 patients. No significance testing was done for group analysis for the SL or direction-of-motion tests. When averaged across the group, patients' accuracy on the SL test, but not on the direction-of-motion test, appeared better when the Argus II was on than when it was switched off. For GVA, more patients at each point in time achieved the 2.9 GVA cutoff in the implanted eye when the Argus II was on compared with it switched off. Conclusions and Relevance:Safety and visual function outcomes in this clinical practice setting cohort of patients with Argus II implants were consistent with previously reported results. Longer follow-up of these patients and data from additional patients are required to better outline the risks and benefits of this approach to addressing blindness secondary to severe-to-profound outer retinal degeneration. Trial Registration:ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01490827.