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Wednesday 02, Jun 2010

  Total blindness preventable with new surgical implant

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Total blindness preventable with new surgical implantA new device can prove effective for preventing complete loss of vision besides eliminating dependence on systemic immunosuppression for a rare but potentially devastating eye condition.

This rare eye condition, which is known as sympathetic ophthalmia, happens when vision is lost in one eye through injury or multiple surgeries. This is the time when overactive immune system attacks the remaining healthy eye and can lead to complete blindness if not treated on time.

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

Thursday 25, Jun 2009

  Implant That Releases Low Steroid Is Effective For Sympathetic Ophthalmia

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Implant That Releases Low Steroid Is Effective For Sympathetic OphthalmiaA surgical implant that releases low doses of a steroid appears to prevent inflammation and stabilize vision in patients with sympathetic ophthalmia. In a retrospective case series, the implant called Retisert has improved the vision of three patients and stabilized it in five.

According to Dr. James Folk of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and colleagues, the implant, an approved noninfectious uveitis treatment, is a useful second-line therapy for sympathetic ophthalmia patients who have recurrent inflammation or can’t tolerate systemic anti-inflammatory medications.

The implant contains fluocinolone acetonide and costs about $20,000. This is sutured to the sclera and is good for about two and half years. Since sympathetic ophthalmia is a chronic disease, the implant needs to be replaced after about 2.5 years. Researchers said that this is actually cheaper than long-term immunosuppressive medications and the associated hospital visits.