Navigation Links
New surgical implant tested at U-Iowa prevents total blindness
Date:2/18/2009

A work accident leaves a woman blind in one eye. As she copes with the loss, within months the vision in the other, previously uninjured eye begins to blur, and the eye becomes red and inflamed.

The rare eye condition, known as sympathetic ophthalmia, occurs when vision is lost in one eye through injury or multiple surgeries, and the body's overactive immune system attacks the remaining healthy eye. Left untreated, a person can become completely blind.

However, University of Iowa ophthalmologists and colleagues have tested and are now using a surgical implant called Retisert to prevent complete vision loss and eliminate dependence on systemic, or whole-body, immunosuppression. Before use of the surgical technique, doctors had to "shut down" a person's entire immune system to stop the attack on the remaining good eye.

"Until recently, the primary treatment option for sympathetic ophthalmia was non-surgical and involved high doses of oral steroids followed by oral immunosuppressive medication to preserve vision in a patient's remaining eye," said Vinit Mahajan, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and a retinal surgeon with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

"But this treatment, similar to organ transplantation cases, subjects patients to life-long use of immunosuppressive drugs that have serious side effects such as osteoporosis, weight gain, potentially life-threatening infection and liver or kidney damage," he added.

The new Retisert treatment involves the surgical implantation into the endangered eye of a small plastic tab that contains a slow-release steroid called fluocinoloe acetonide. The insert provides immunosuppression only to the endangered eye, not other body parts. It lasts for about two-and-a-half years and then can be replaced.

Along with University of Iowa retinal surgeons James Folk, M.D., professor of ophthalmology, and Karen Gehrs, M.D., clinical associate professor of ophthalmology, Mahajan published a retrospective paper online in January in the journal Ophthalmology that documents the successful use of Retisert to treat eight patients with sympathetic ophthalmia.

The device previously was studied in approximately 300 individuals who had a different immune system inflammation of the eye. The UI-led sympathetic ophthalmia study found that with Retisert, the eight patients reduced or eliminated use of systemic medications to control inflammation. While two patients needed to resume using an oral immunosuppressive, vision improved or remained stable in all eight patients.

"Using Retisert, we are stabilizing vision in patients with sympathetic ophthalmia and getting them off the heavy-duty immunosuppressive medications," Mahajan said. "Patients had been willing to put up with the serious side effects of systemic immunosuppression because if they lost vision in their remaining good eye, it would be totally life-altering. With Retisert, we can save the eye, and the side effects are limited to treatable risks of high pressure or cataracts in the eye."

While each implant costs approximately $20,000, their use appears to be less expensive over the long-run compared to systemic immunosuppressive drugs and the required frequent hospital visits.

"If you add up the total number of patient visits, costs of lab tests and the costs of the immunosuppressive drugs, the $20,000 for the device is cheaper," Mahajan said.

Mahajan and colleagues are reaching out to retinal surgeons nationwide to make them aware of this new treatment option for patients with sympathetic ophthalmia.


'/>"/>

Contact: Becky Soglin
becky-soglin@uiowa.edu
319-335-6660
University of Iowa
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. BLIS™ Announces Alliance with Surgical Review Corporation to Offer Surgical Complication Insurance Coverage for Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence Designees
2. White patients benefit more than blacks in surviving surgical complications at teaching hospitals
3. White Patients Benefit More Than Blacks in Surviving Surgical Complications at Teaching Hospitals
4. Conjoined Twins Separated by Surgical Team at Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC During Complex, 24-Hour Procedure
5. DRE Veterinary Unveils Line of Surgical and Exam Tables
6. Navigation System Significantly Improves the Surgical Accuracy of Total Knee Replacement for Arthritis Patients
7. Womens cancer outcomes improved by surgical evaluation
8. Nationwide Medical/Surgical Unveils Flu Protection Tip Sheet
9. Surgical technique in Spain enables extirpation of benign tumors of the pancreas
10. Arizona Heart Institute Announces FREE Public Forum Featuring Live Viewing of Surgical Procedures Via High-Definition (HD) Satellite
11. Shands HealthCare Increases Operational Efficiency in Surgical Suites With Omnicell Supply Systems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New surgical implant tested at U-Iowa prevents total blindness
(Date:10/13/2017)... WI (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... As ... in medicine known as “patient engagement.” The patient is doing more than filling out ... partners. , “There is an increasing emphasis in health care and research on ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The International Association of ... of excellence for the field of eating disorders, announces the opening of early ... in Orlando, Florida at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. , The ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law Office ... of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our office ... forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ElderCounsel ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting ... Day Market. Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the ... and quality-focused health and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, ... week that explains one of the most popular and least understood books in the ... cryptic and puzzling descriptions that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... --  Divoti USA will engrave and process all ... the latest FDA requirements, which stipulates new criteria regarding medical device ... of Medical ID jewelry such as Medical ID Bracelets, can rest ... terms of the new FDA requirements . ... Divoti offers this dark mark fiber laser engraving ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  Caris Life Sciences ... on fulfilling the promise of precision medicine, today announced ... joined Caris, Precision Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as its 17 ... centers, the St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute will help ... the use of tumor profiling, making cancer treatment more ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received ... Mobile  — a medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for ... aims to transform technology into a clinical solution to support the ... costs. Innovative Design ... NDS ZeroWire Mobile Wireless Solution ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: