Sunday, January 23, 2011

Asia ARVO 2011

For the benefit of non eye doctors, Asia ARVO is essentially one of many conferences cum trade exhibitions for eye professionals. By attending these events, we hope to keep up to date and abreast of new developments. For the organisers, a successful event garners brownie points and prestige.

This event was held over the last 4 days at Resorts World Sentosa. I went without expecting too much in the way of new developments. But I was peasantly surprised. For me, these were the highlights:

1. Rho kinase inhibitor (ROCK inhibitor) Y-27632 has been found to be able to cause corneal endothelial cells to proliferate both in vitro and in vivo. To put you in the picture, corneal endothelial cells keep the cornea transparent but the unfortunate thing is-once they are damaged, to date, they have behaved like nerve cells-showing no inclination to repair themselves. So the traditional treatment for conditions where they are too damaged has been corneal transplants. Now we may have a medicine so that many can avoid these surgeries!
2. Intravitreal Avastin has been found useful for all stages of CRVO. Avastin blocks a vascular growth factor, which causes many of the complications of central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO). Finally, we have a clearer picture of the role of avastin in this condition.
3. Richard Spaide has done some remarkable work with OCT and choroidal vessel imaging. Apparently there are cases of unexplained visual loss which have now been shown to be correlated to loss of the choriocapillaris. And guess what? Viagra has been shown to increase the thickness of the choriocapillaris! On a more serious note we now need to see if other vasodilators like glyceryl trinitrate can do the trick on a more prolonged basis without too much in the way of complications...
4. Lenticule extraction with the Visumax laser (FLEX procedure) is associated with a fairly prolonged loss of best vision in 25% of patients! I have a feeling this is not going to work out too well...

No comments:

Post a Comment