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עמוד בית
Mon, 26.02.24

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January 2022
Brice Nguedia Vofo MD, Ana Navarrete MD, Jaime Levy MD, and Itay Chowers MD

Background: In response to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, routine clinical visits to the ophthalmic emergency department (OED) were deferred, while emergency cases continued to be seen.

Objectives: To assess the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for ophthalmic emergencies.

Methods: A retrospective chart analysis of patients who presented to the OED during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic was conducted. The proportions of traumatic, non-traumatic-urgent, and non-traumatic-non-urgent presentations in 2020 were compared to those of the same time period in 2019. Duration of chief complains and best-corrected visual acuity were also assessed.

Results: There were 144 OED visits in 2020 compared to 327 OED visits during the same 3-week-period in 2019. Lower mean age of OED patients was present in 2020. Logarithmic expression (LogMAR) best corrected visual acuity (BVCA) was similar in both years. In 2020 there was a reduction in traumatic, non-traumatic-urgent, and non-traumatic-non-urgent cases compared to 2019 (15.4% reduction, P = 0.038; 57.6% reduction, P = 0.002; 74.6% reduction, P = 0.005, respectively). There was a higher proportion of same-day presentations at commencement of symptoms in 2020 compared with 2019 (52.8% vs. 38.8%, respectively P = 0.006).

Conclusions: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of OED visits at a tertiary hospital dropped by more than half. Although the drop in visits was mostly due to decrease in non-traumatic-non-urgent cases, there was also decrease in non-traumatic-urgent presentations with possible important visual consequences. Additional studies should elucidate what happened to these patients

June 2012
A. Lichtinger, M. Caraza, T. Galbinur and I. Chowers

Background: Delayed diagnosis of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) adversely affects visual outcome.

Objectives: To identify factors associated with early detection of CNV in the clinic setting.

Methods: Demographic and clinical data and lesion characteristics were retrospectively collected from 76 consecutive AMD patients who had a history of CNV in one eye and presented with CNV in the second eye. These data were evaluated for association with visual acuity (VA) at the time of presentation.

Results: Better VA was associated with a history of CNV in the fellow eye (P < 0.0001), adherence to follow-up every 4 months (P = 0.015), younger age (P = 0.03), smaller lesion (P < 0.0001), and non-subfoveal location (P = 0.048). VA of the fellow eye did not correlate with VA at presentation with CNV.

Conclusions: These data suggest that patients’ experience of CNV, regardless of VA, facilitates early diagnosis in the fellow eye. Adherence to follow-up in the routine clinic setting also facilitates early detection of CNV.

September 2007
S. Abu-Asleh and I. Chowers

Background: Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of legal blindness in the developed world including Israel. Ethnic background is a risk factor for advanced AMD[1] in several populations, however the relative prevalence of this disease in different ethnic groups in the Middle East is unknown.

Objectives: To compare the prevalence of advanced AMD in Arabs and Jews in Israel.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of two independent groups of patients: the first group comprised a sequential series of Jerusalem residents who underwent photodynamic therapy for neovascular AMD (PDT[2] group), and the second group consisted of all individuals in Jerusalem who received a blind certificate due to AMD (legal blindness group). Control groups were assessed to exclude inherited ethnic associated bias in the two study groups.

Results: The PDT group included 146 patients: 142 were Jews (97.3%) and 4 were Arabs (2.7%). The legal blindness group included 340 Jerusalem residents: 326 Jews (96%) and 14 Arabs (4%). The number of Arab AMD patients in the two groups was lower than expected based on the ethnic composition of the age-matched Jerusalem population (P = 0.0002 for the PDT group, and P < 0.0001 for the legal blindness group). By contrast, the number of non-AMD Arab patients who were treated in the same clinic and the number of Arabs who received a blind certificate for diabetic retinopathy was not different from expected based on their relative number in the Jerusalem population.

Conclusions: Advanced AMD is less common in the Arab than the Jewish population of Jerusalem. Genetic and environmental factors may account for this difference. A population-based study is required to assess the overall prevalence of AMD in Jews and Arabs.

[1] AMD = age-related macular degeneration

[2] PDT = photodynamic therapy

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