Advances in understanding and management of retinopathy of prematurity.
ABSTRACT: The understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of retinopathy of prematurity have changed in the 70 years since the original description of retrolental fibroplasia associated with high oxygenation. It is now recognized that retinopathy of prematurity differs in appearance worldwide and as ever smaller and younger premature infants survive. New methods are being evaluated to image the retina, diagnose severe retinopathy of prematurity, and determine windows of time for treatment to save eyes and improve visual and neural outcomes. New treatments to promote physiologic retinal vascular development, vascular repair, and inhibit vasoproliferation by regulating proteins involved in vascular endothelial growth factor, insulin-like growth factor, or erythropoietin signaling. Reducing excessive oxidative/nitrosative stress and understanding progenitor cells and neurovascular and glial vascular interactions are being studied.
Project description:Retinopathy of prematurity, formerly known as a retrolental fibroplasia, is a leading cause of infantile blindness worldwide. Retinopathy of prematurity is caused by the failure of central retinal vessels to reach the retinal periphery, creating a nonperfused peripheral retina, resulting in retinal hypoxia, neovascularization, vitreous hemorrhage, vitreoretinal fibrosis, and loss of vision. We established a potential retinopathy of prematurity model by using a green fluorescent vascular endothelium zebrafish transgenic line treated with cobalt chloride (a hypoxia-inducing agent), followed by GS4012 (a vascular endothelial growth factor inducer) at 24 hours postfertilization, and observed that the number of vascular branches and sprouts significantly increased in the central retinal vascular trunks 2-4 days after treatment. We created an angiography method by using tetramethylrhodamine dextran, which exhibited severe vascular leakage through the vessel wall into the surrounding retinal tissues. The quantification of mRNA extracted from the heads of the larvae by using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction revealed a twofold increase in vegfaa and vegfr2 expression compared with the control group, indicating increased vascular endothelial growth factor signaling in the hypoxic condition. In addition, we demonstrated that the hypoxic insult could be effectively rescued by several antivascular endothelial growth factor agents such as SU5416, bevacizumab, and ranibizumab. In conclusion, we provide a simple, highly reproducible, and clinically relevant retinopathy of prematurity model based on zebrafish embryos; this model may serve as a useful platform for clarifying the mechanisms of human retinopathy of prematurity and its progression.
Project description:The immature retinas of preterm neonates are susceptible to insults that disrupt neurovascular growth, leading to retinopathy of prematurity. Suppression of growth factors due to hyperoxia and loss of the maternal-fetal interaction result in an arrest of retinal vascularisation (phase 1). Subsequently, the increasingly metabolically active, yet poorly vascularised, retina becomes hypoxic, stimulating growth factor-induced vasoproliferation (phase 2), which can cause retinal detachment. In very premature infants, controlled oxygen administration reduces but does not eliminate retinopathy of prematurity. Identification and control of factors that contribute to development of retinopathy of prematurity is essential to prevent progression to severe sight-threatening disease and to limit comorbidities with which the disease shares modifiable risk factors. Strategies to prevent retinopathy of prematurity will depend on optimisation of oxygen saturation, nutrition, and normalisation of concentrations of essential factors such as insulin-like growth factor 1 and ?-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as curbing of the effects of infection and inflammation to promote normal growth and limit suppression of neurovascular development.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Endogenous erythropoietin (EPO) concentrations vary widely in preterm infants and may be associated with perinatal risk factors and neurological outcomes. Erythropoietin is elevated in fetal hypoxia but is also a potential neuroprotectant.<h4>Methods</h4>In a prospective study of 27 infants ≤ 30 weeks gestation, serum erythropoietin concentrations were measured during the first month of life, on day 1 and weeks 1, 2, and 4, and related to perinatal risk factors and outcomes including retinopathy of prematurity and cerebral injury evaluated near term-equivalent post menstrual age using magnetic resonance imaging with quantitative scoring.<h4>Results</h4>Lower birth weight was associated with higher EPO concentrations throughout the first 2 weeks of life (r = -0.6, p < 0.01). Higher day 1 and week 1 EPO concentrations were associated with lower Apgar score at 1 minute (r = - 0.5) and 5 minutes (r = -0.7), respectively (p < 0.01). Higher day 1 EPO concentrations and 2-week area under the curve were associated with increased risk (p = 0.01) and severity (r = 0.5, p < 0.02) of retinopathy of prematurity. Higher EPO concentrations at 2 weeks were associated with increased total brain injury score (r = 0.5, p < 0.05).<h4>Conclusion</h4>Elevated endogenous erythropoietin concentrations in the first two weeks of life are associated with lower birth weight and increased risk of adverse outcomes.
Project description:Retinopathy of prematurity is a leading cause of childhood blindness worldwide. Peripheral retinal ablation with conventional (confluent) laser therapy is destructive, causes complications, and does not prevent all vision loss, especially in cases of retinopathy of prematurity affecting zone I of the eye. Case series in which patients were treated with vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors suggest that these agents may be useful in treating retinopathy of prematurity.We conducted a prospective, controlled, randomized, stratified, multicenter trial to assess intravitreal bevacizumab monotherapy for zone I or zone II posterior stage 3+ (i.e., stage 3 with plus disease) retinopathy of prematurity. Infants were randomly assigned to receive intravitreal bevacizumab (0.625 mg in 0.025 ml of solution) or conventional laser therapy, bilaterally. The primary ocular outcome was recurrence of retinopathy of prematurity in one or both eyes requiring retreatment before 54 weeks' postmenstrual age.We enrolled 150 infants (total sample of 300 eyes); 143 infants survived to 54 weeks' postmenstrual age, and the 7 infants who died were not included in the primary-outcome analyses. Retinopathy of prematurity recurred in 4 infants in the bevacizumab group (6 of 140 eyes [4%]) and 19 infants in the laser-therapy group (32 of 146 eyes [22%], P=0.002). A significant treatment effect was found for zone I retinopathy of prematurity (P=0.003) but not for zone II disease (P=0.27).Intravitreal bevacizumab monotherapy, as compared with conventional laser therapy, in infants with stage 3+ retinopathy of prematurity showed a significant benefit for zone I but not zone II disease. Development of peripheral retinal vessels continued after treatment with intravitreal bevacizumab, but conventional laser therapy led to permanent destruction of the peripheral retina. This trial was too small to assess safety. (Funded by Research to Prevent Blindness and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00622726.).
Project description:Retinopathy of prematurity is defined as retinal abnormalities that occur during development as a consequence of disturbed oxygen conditions and nutrient supply after preterm birth. Both neuronal maturation and retinal vascularization are impaired, leading to the compensatory but uncontrolled retinal neovessel growth. Current therapeutic interventions target the hypoxia-induced neovessels but negatively impact retinal neurons and normal vessels. Emerging evidence suggests that metabolic disturbance is a significant and underexplored risk factor in the disease pathogenesis. Hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia correlate with the retinal neurovascular dysfunction in infants born prematurely. Nutritional and hormonal supplementation relieve metabolic stress and improve retinal maturation. Here we focus on the mechanisms through which metabolism is involved in preterm-birth-related retinal disorder from clinical and experimental investigations. We will review and discuss potential therapeutic targets through the restoration of metabolic responses to prevent disease development and progression.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Nearly one in ten children is born preterm. The degree of immaturity is a determinant of the infant's health. Extremely preterm infants have higher morbidity and mortality than term infants. One disease affecting extremely preterm infants is retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a multifactorial neurovascular disease that can lead to retinal detachment and blindness. The advances in omics technology have opened up possibilities to study protein expressions thoroughly with clinical accuracy, here used to increase the understanding of protein expression in relation to immaturity and ROP.<h4>Methods</h4>Longitudinal serum protein profiles the first months after birth in 14 extremely preterm infants were integrated with perinatal and ROP data. In total, 448 unique protein targets were analyzed using Proximity Extension Assays.<h4>Results</h4>We found 20 serum proteins associated with gestational age and/or ROP functioning within mainly angiogenesis, hematopoiesis, bone regulation, immune function, and lipid metabolism. Infants with severe ROP had persistent lower levels of several identified proteins during the first postnatal months.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The study contributes to the understanding of the relationship between longitudinal serum protein levels and immaturity and abnormal retinal neurovascular development. This is essential for understanding pathophysiological mechanisms and to optimize diagnosis, treatment and prevention for ROP.<h4>Impact</h4>Longitudinal protein profiles of 14 extremely preterm infants were analyzed using a novel multiplex protein analysis platform combined with perinatal data. Proteins associated with gestational age at birth and the neurovascular disease ROP were identified. Among infants with ROP, longitudinal levels of the identified proteins remained largely unchanged during the first postnatal months. The main functions of the proteins identified were angiogenesis, hematopoiesis, immune function, bone regulation, lipid metabolism, and central nervous system development. The study contributes to the understanding of longitudinal serum protein patterns related to gestational age and their association with abnormal retinal neuro-vascular development.
Project description:Pathological proliferation of retinal blood vessels commonly causes vision impairment in proliferative retinopathies, including retinopathy of prematurity. Dysregulated crosstalk between the vasculature and retinal neurons is increasingly recognized as a major factor contributing to the pathogenesis of vascular diseases. Class 3 semaphorins (SEMA3s), a group of neuron-secreted axonal and vascular guidance factors, suppress pathological vascular growth in retinopathy. However, the upstream transcriptional regulators that mediate the function of SEMA3s in vascular growth are poorly understood. Here we showed that retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor ? (ROR?), a nuclear receptor and transcription factor, is a novel transcriptional regulator of SEMA3E-mediated neurovascular coupling in a mouse model of oxygen-induced proliferative retinopathy. We found that genetic deficiency of ROR? substantially induced Sema3e expression in retinopathy. Both ROR? and SEMA3E were expressed in retinal ganglion cells. ROR? directly bound to a specific ROR response element on the promoter of Sema3e and negatively regulated Sema3e promoter-driven luciferase expression. Suppression of Sema3e using adeno-associated virus 2 carrying short hairpin RNA targeting Sema3e promoted disoriented pathological neovascularization and partially abolished the inhibitory vascular effects of ROR? deficiency in retinopathy. Our findings suggest that ROR? is a novel transcriptional regulator of SEMA3E-mediated neurovascular coupling in pathological retinal angiogenesis.-Sun, Y., Liu, C.-H., Wang, Z., Meng, S. S., Burnim, S. B., SanGiovanni, J. P., Kamenecka, T. M., Solt, L. A., Chen, J. ROR? modulates semaphorin 3E transcription and neurovascular interaction in pathological retinal angiogenesis.
Project description:More than 11 000 children are examined for possible retinopathy of prematurity in Germany each year, and 2-5% of them are treated for it. Even though screening and treatment programs are in place, the affected children can still suffer visual impairment.In this article, we summarize the pathogenesis, screening, and treatment of retinopathy of prematurity on the basis of a selective review of pertinent literature, retrieved by a PubMed search. The article centers on publications from 2011 to 2015 on the new option of treatment with VEGF inhibitors and discusses it in comparison to laser therapy.All premature neonates with a low gestational age at birth, low birth weight, or prolonged exposure to supplemental oxygen must undergo screening by an ophthalmologist. Laser therapy is effective for stages 1-3 and for aggressive posterior retinopathy of prematurity. Its disadvantages are the induction of scarring and the development of severe myopia in 17-40% of the children so treated. Anti-VEGF treatment (VEGF = vascular endothelial growth factor) does not induce any visible scarring and seems to cause less myopia, but long-term data on safety, dosing, and the choice of anti-VEGF drug are still lacking.The available evidence for anti-VEGF treatment is on a much lower level than the evidence for laser therapy. Anti-VEGF may be a way to avoid the disadvantages of laser therapy (scarring and severe myopia). Unlike laser therapy, however, the intravitreal injection of VEGF inhibitors may suppress systemic VEGF levels and potentially harm the developing brain, lungs, or other organs. The currently open questions about anti-VEGF treatment concern its dosing, choice of drug, and long-term safety.
Project description:Lipid signaling is dysregulated in many diseases with vascular pathology, including cancer, diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, and age-related macular degeneration. We have previously demonstrated that diets enriched in ?-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) effectively reduce pathological retinal neovascularization in a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy, in part through metabolic products that suppress microglial-derived tumor necrosis factor-?. To better understand the protective effects of ?-3 PUFAs, we examined the relative importance of major lipid metabolic pathways and their products in contributing to this effect. ?-3 PUFA diets were fed to four lines of mice deficient in each key lipid-processing enzyme (cyclooxygenase 1 or 2, or lipoxygenase 5 or 12/15), retinopathy was induced by oxygen exposure; only loss of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) abrogated the protection against retinopathy of dietary ?-3 PUFAs. This protective effect was due to 5-LOX oxidation of the ?-3 PUFA lipid docosahexaenoic acid to 4-hydroxy-docosahexaenoic acid (4-HDHA). 4-HDHA directly inhibited endothelial cell proliferation and sprouting angiogenesis via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? (PPAR?), independent of 4-HDHA's anti-inflammatory effects. Our study suggests that ?-3 PUFAs may be profitably used as an alternative or supplement to current anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) treatment for proliferative retinopathy and points to the therapeutic potential of ?-3 PUFAs and metabolites in other diseases of vasoproliferation. It also suggests that cyclooxygenase inhibitors such as aspirin and ibuprofen (but not lipoxygenase inhibitors such as zileuton) might be used without losing the beneficial effect of dietary ?-3 PUFA.
Project description:Aggressive posterior retinopathy of prematurity (AP-ROP) is a severe form of ROP occurring in preterm infants that is characterized by rapid progression and prominent vascularity. We report the use of investigational bedside noninvasive optical coherence tomography angiography to visualize the slow and progressive perifoveal vascular formation in an infant with AP-ROP treated with bevacizumab. We also document extensive vascular shunts and morphological differences between arrested and growing retinal capillaries at the vascular wavefront.