Category: Tropical papers

First ever African Glaucoma Guidelines!

First ever African Glaucoma Guidelines! A Toolkit for Glaucoma Management in Sub-Saharan Africa (Light for the World, Sightsavers, IAPB, ICO, SAFO, COECSA, WACS), 2021

Which capsulotomy to use in SICS?

Manual small incision cataract surgery (MSICS) is a gold standard for high-volume cataract services in developing countries. Since recently (with the rise of global ophthalmology concept) it has become part of the best ophthalmology training programs in the US and across the world. It is an absolutely brilliant and gentle technique, which is especially suited for premature, mature and hypermature cataracts, as well as traumatic and congenital cataracts. But one can also apply the same technique to operate on immature cataracts. Here it won’t be so fast, as the aspiration of sticky cortex will take its time with Simcoe cannula. Nevertheless, all the stages are doable.

There are differences in capsulotomy diameter, which one needs for “normal” immature cataracts (~5-6 mm) and for hypermature cataracts (up to 9-10 mm!). In mature cataracts one has to use a dye (trypan blue), but also often to carefully decompress an elevated intralenticular pressure (which often fails and leads to capsular tear and/or “argentinian flag”-style tears)! This makes capsulotomy (and capsulorhexis as one of them) in mature cataracts more complex if compared to the one in immature “transparent” cataracts.

For MSICS I personally preferred mainly a so-called “can-opener” type of capsulotomy, as it is a) easier, b) faster, and c) safer. Once I had realized these benefits, I switched to this technique almost invariably. Can-opener is best for big mature nuclei and also for Morgagnian cataracts. I am, however, aware, that can-opener is almost always not a good option for phaco. At the same time I found continuous curvilinear capsulorhexis (CCC) technique in transparent (immature) cataracts pretty easy to perform in comparison to intumescent hypermature cataracts. However, CCC is also possible by MSICS on mature cataracts. One can do it through both a tunnel or a paracentesis. A tunnel offers greater maneuverability, a paracentesis offers more stable anterior chamber.

For CCC in MSICS one can employ a) insuline syringe needle, b) Utrata forceps (gives the best control over rhexis!) and c) McPherson tying forceps. The latter is non-toothed and is a sort of improvisation, when the correct forceps is inavailable (often the case in Tropics!). In this video I depicted typical variants of CCC by mature and hypermature (and intumescent and Morgagnian!) cataracts, both uncomplicated and complicated cases. The can-opener technique is presented in two cases here and also in the other video of this channel.

* Some of the videos were screened at the earlier stage of my MSICS career. Some of the capsulotomies depicted here could have been managed better, and do not necessarily represent the best possible surgical technique. After I had bought Utrata capsulorhexis-forceps during my trip to the USA in early 2017, I never used McPherson for this purpose anymore. So, I highly recommend to purchase Utrata early in your MSICS career. The video will however be a good one for the MSICS beginners in the tropics, who often have to tackle the complex intumescent lenses with suboptimal instruments, and who still have the right to do mistakes 🙂 I would anyways appreciate your (also critical) comments.

Those of you, who just start with MSICS – Keep it up!

Thanks for watching!

Eye precancerous lesions mimic benign pyogenic granuloma

Not all pyogenic granulomas are equally safe. Some of them may comprise an elements of ocular surface squamous neoplasia, OSSN (conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasia, CIN). The paper Herwig-Carl MC, Grossniklaus HE, Müller PL, et al. Br J Ophthalmol Epub. doi:10.1136/ bjophthalmol-2018-312960 highlighted 9 such cases.

OSSN is extremely common in the areas with widespread HIV-prevalence. Human papilloma virus is responsible for this, as a typical opportunistic infection. Knowledge of the potential of OSSN to mimic pterygia and pyogenic granulomas is crucial, especially for the mid level ophthalmic personnel, as they are the primary surgeons for these conditions in many areas.

Pyogenic Granuloma Associated With Conjunctival Epithelial Neoplasia: Report of Nine Cases

Aims: To systematically describe the clinical and histopathological features of a case series of conjunctival carcinomatous lesions underlying as-and also masquerading-pyogenic granuloma.

Methods: Nine cases of conjunctival carcinomatous lesions underlying a pyogenic granuloma (which were clinically predominant) were retrospectively identified. Patients’ records were analysed for demographic data, clinical appearance and the postoperative course. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens were routinely processed and stained with H&E and periodic acid-Schiff. Immunohistochemical stains for cytokeratin were performed in selected cases.

Results: All nine tumours were located in the conjunctiva (bulbar, tarsal, limbal conjunctiva) of patients between 44 and 80 years. The lesions exhibited clinical features of pyogenic granuloma which dominated the clinical appearance. Additional features comprised a papillomatous appearance of the adjacent conjunctiva, a more whitish aspect of the lesion and a history of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) respectively surgery for other entities. Histopathological analysis revealed a carcinomatous lesion (conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasia or SCC) at the base of a classic pyogenic granuloma in all nine cases. Surgical removal (R0 resection) was performed. Three cases received adjuvant mitomycin C or interferon α2b treatment. Two lesions locally recurred within 2 years after initial presentation.

Conclusion: Carcinomatous lesions may be accompanied by a pyogenic granuloma which may dominate the clinical pictures. As the tumour is usually located at the base of the lesion, a complete surgical excision followed by histopathological analysis is mandatory for each lesion appearing as conjunctival pyogenic granuloma.

Keywords: conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasia; histology; pyogenic granuloma; squamous cell carcinoma; tumour.

How many ophthalmologists are there in the world?

A new data from 2015 (ICO and co.). Actually, there are 232,866 ophthodocs, which makes it 31,7 ophthalmologists per 1,000,000 of world population. Not bad, until we dig into the details.

Take Zambia or Zimbabwe: ~ 30 ophthalmologists per 16,000,000 of population of each country. ~1,9 ophthalmologist per million!

Russia: 13,700 ophthalmologists (95,5 ophthalmologists per 1,000,000).

Germany: 7,300 ophthalmologists (90,5 per million).

USA: 17,600 (54,7 per million).

UK: 3000 (46,4 per million).

Australia: 961 (40,1 per million).

Belarus: 600 (63,2)

Ukraine: 2973 (66,3).

A great job done by the ICO and S. Resnikoff:

Br J Ophthalmol. 2020 Apr; 104(4): 588–592.
Published online 2019 Jul 2. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2019-314336
PMCID: PMC7147181
PMID: 31266774
Estimated number of ophthalmologists worldwide (International Council of Ophthalmology update): will we meet the needs?

To estimate 2015 global ophthalmologist data and analyse their relationship to income groups, prevalence rates of blindness and visual impairment and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.

Online surveys were emailed to presidents/chairpersons of national societies of ophthalmology and Ministry of Health representatives from all 194 countries to capture the number and density (per million population) of ophthalmologists, the number/density performing cataract surgery and refraction, and annual ophthalmologist population growth trends. Correlations between these data and income group, GDP per capita and prevalence rates of blindness and visual impairment were analysed.

In 2015, there were an estimated 232 866 ophthalmologists in 194 countries. Income was positively associated with ophthalmologist density (a mean 3.7 per million population in low-income countries vs a mean 76.2 in high-income countries). Most countries reported positive growth (94/156; 60.3%). There was a weak, inverse correlation between the prevalence of blindness and the ophthalmologist density. There were weak, positive correlations between the density of ophthalmologists performing cataract surgery and GDP per capita and the prevalence of blindness, as well as between GDP per capita and the density of ophthalmologists doing refractions.

Although the estimated global ophthalmologist workforce appears to be growing, the appropriate distribution of the eye care workforce and the development of comprehensive eye care delivery systems are needed to ensure that eye care needs are universally met.