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Reply [Letter]

Berkowitz, Sean T; Finn, Avni P; Parikh, Ravi; Kuriyan, Ajay E; Patel, Shriji
PMID: 38573247
ISSN: 1549-4713
CID: 5671432

Progression to Pars Plana Vitrectomy in Patients With Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Alsoudi, Amer F; Wai, Karen M; Koo, Euna; Parikh, Ravi; Mruthyunjaya, Prithvi; Rahimy, Ehsan
IMPORTANCE/UNASSIGNED:The Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network Protocol S suggested that vitrectomy for vitreous hemorrhage (VH) or tractional retinal detachment (TRD) was more common among eyes assigned initially to panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) vs anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) for proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). These clinical implications warrant further evaluation in the clinical practice setting. OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:To explore outcomes of PDR treated with PRP monotherapy compared with matched patients treated with anti-VEGF monotherapy. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS/UNASSIGNED:Retrospective cohort study using an aggregated electronic health records research network. Patients with PDR who received PRP or anti-VEGF monotherapy between January and September 2023 were included before propensity score matching. Patients were excluded with 6 or fewer months' follow-up after monotherapy or with a combination of PRP and anti-VEGF. Data were analyzed in September 2023. EXPOSURES/UNASSIGNED:Patients with new PDR diagnoses stratified by monotherapy with PRP or anti-VEGF agents using Current Procedural Terminology code. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES/UNASSIGNED:Incidence of pars plana vitrectomy (PPV), VH, or TRD. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:Among 6020 patients (PRP cohort: mean [SD] age, 64.8 [13.4]; 6424 [50.88%] female; 3562 [28.21%] Black, 6180 [48.95%] White, and 2716 [21.51%] unknown race; anti-VEGF cohort: mean [SD] age, 66.1 [13.2]; 5399 [50.52%] male; 2859 [26.75%] Black, 5377 [50.31%] White, and 2382 [22.29%] unknown race) who received treatment, PRP monotherapy was associated with higher rates of PPV when compared with patients treated with anti-VEGF monotherapy at 5 years (RR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.05-1.36; RD, 1.37%; 95% CI, 0.39%-2.37%; P < .001), with similar associations at 1 and 3 years. PRP monotherapy was associated with higher rates of VH at 5 years (relative risk [RR], 1.72; 95% CI, 1.52-1.95; risk difference [RD], 7.05; 95% CI, 5.41%-8.69%; P < .001) and higher rates of TRD at 5 years (RR, 2.76; 95% CI, 2.26-3.37; RD, 4.25%; 95% CI, 3.45%-5.05%; P < .001), with similar magnitudes of associations at 6 months, 1 year, and 3 years, when compared with patients treated with anti-VEGF monotherapy. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE/UNASSIGNED:These findings support the hypothesis that patients with PDR treated with PRP monotherapy are more likely to develop VH, TRD, and undergo PPV when compared with matched patients treated with anti-VEGF monotherapy. However, given the wide range in relative risk, confounding factors may account for some of the association between PRP vs anti-VEGF monotherapy and outcomes evaluated.
PMID: 38842828
ISSN: 2168-6173
CID: 5665632

Impact of GLP-1 Agonists and SGLT-2 Inhibitors on Diabetic Retinopathy Progression: An Aggregated Electronic Health Record Data Study

Wai, Karen M; Mishra, Kapil; Koo, Euna; Ludwig, Cassie Ann; Parikh, Ravi; Mruthyunjaya, Prithvi; Rahimy, Ehsan
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:To examine the effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1) agonists compared to SGLT-2 inhibitors on diabetic retinopathy. DESIGN/METHODS:Retrospective clinical cohort study using TriNetX, a federated electronic health records network comprising multiple healthcare organizations. METHODS:Patients with an International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code of nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) and monotherapy treatment, excluding insulin, with GLP-1 agonists or SGLT-2 inhibitors. Patients with a history of PDR prior to initiation of treatment were excluded. The rate of progression to PDR and rate of development of diabetic macular edema (DME) were compared between patients on GLP-1 agonists compared to those on SGLT-2 inhibitors. The groups were propensity score matched for age, gender, ethnicity, race, type of diabetes, and severity of PDR. Main outcomes included rate and relative risk (RR) of progression to PDR and risk of DME in the GLP-1 agonist group versus the SGLT-2 inhibitor group. RESULTS:A total of 6481 patients were identified in the GLP-1 cohort and the SGLT-2 inhibitor cohort after propensity score matching. At 1 and 3 years after initiation of therapy, a higher rate of progression of PDR was noted (RR: 1.26, CI 1.04-1.51, P = .017 at 1 year, RR: 1.284, CI 1.1-1.499, P = .002 at 3 years) in the GLP-1 agonist cohort compared to the SGLT-2 inhibitor cohort. There was a higher rate of DME noted at 3 months (RR: 1.192, CI 1.059-1.276, P = .002), 6 months (RR: 1.22, CI 1.13-1.32, P < .001), 1 year (RR: 1.24, CI 1.15-1.33, P < .001), and at 3 years (RR: 1.29, CI 1.21-1.38, P < .001) in the GLP-1 agonist cohort compared to the SGLT-2 inhibitor cohort. CONCLUSIONS:A higher rate of progression of PDR and risk of new-onset DME was observed in patients on monotherapy with GLP-1 agonists compared to those on SGLT-2 inhibitors. It is important for clinicians to be aware of these potential effects and to consider the current retinopathy status when initiating treatment with newer hypoglycemic agents to ensure these patients are appropriately monitored for developing potential vision-threatening complications.
PMID: 38636788
ISSN: 1879-1891
CID: 5657482

Ophthalmology Workforce Projections in the United States, 2020 to 2035

Berkowitz, Sean T; Finn, Avni P; Parikh, Ravi; Kuriyan, Ajay E; Patel, Shriji
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:To analyze ophthalmology workforce supply and demand projections from 2020 to 2035. DESIGN/METHODS:Observational cohort study using data from the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis (NCHWA). METHODS:Data accessed from the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) website were compiled to analyze the workforce supply and demand projections for ophthalmologists from 2020 to 2035. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES/METHODS:Projected workforce adequacy over time. RESULTS:From 2020 to 2035, the total ophthalmology supply is projected to decrease by 2650 full-time equivalent (FTE) ophthalmologists (12% decline) and total demand is projected to increase by 5150 FTE ophthalmologists (24% increase), representing a supply and demand mismatch of 30% workforce inadequacy. The level of projected adequacy was markedly different based on rurality by year 2035 with 77% workforce adequacy versus 29% workforce adequacy in metro and nonmetro geographies, respectively. By year 2035, ophthalmology is projected to have the second worst rate of workforce adequacy (70%) of 38 medical and surgical specialties studied. CONCLUSIONS:The HRSA's Health Workforce Simulation Model forecasts a sizeable shortage of ophthalmology supply relative to demand by the year 2035, with substantial geographic disparities. Ophthalmology is one of the medical specialties with the lowest rate of projected workforce adequacy by 2035. Further dedicated workforce supply and demand research for ophthalmology and allied professionals is needed to validate these projections, which may have significant future implications for patients and providers. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE(S)/BACKGROUND:Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found in the Footnotes and Disclosures at the end of this article.
PMID: 37739231
ISSN: 1549-4713
CID: 5614082

Performance Assessment of an Artificial Intelligence Chatbot in Clinical Vitreoretinal Scenarios

Maywood, Michael J; Parikh, Ravi; Deobhakta, Avnish; Begaj, Tedi
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:To determine how often ChatGPT is able to provide accurate and comprehensive information regarding clinical vitreoretinal scenarios. To assess the types of sources ChatGPT primarily utilizes and to determine if they are hallucinated. METHODS:A retrospective cross-sectional study. We designed 40 open-ended clinical scenarios across 4 main topics in vitreoretinal disease. Responses were graded on correctness and comprehensiveness by two blinded retina specialists. The primary outcome was the number of clinical scenarios that ChatGPT answered correctly and comprehensively. Secondary outcomes included: theoretical harm to patients, the distribution of the type of references utilized by the chatbot, and the frequency of hallucinated references. RESULTS:In June 2023, ChatGPT answered 83% (33/40) of clinical scenarios correctly but provided a comprehensive answer in only 52.5% (21/40) of cases. Subgroup analysis demonstrated an average correct score of 86.7% in nAMD, 100% in DR, 76.7% in retinal vascular disease and 70% in the surgical domain. There were 6 incorrect responses with 1 (16.7%) case of no harm, 3 (50%) cases of possible harm and 2 (33.3%) cases of definitive harm. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:ChatGPT correctly answered more than 80% of complex open-ended vitreoretinal clinical scenarios, with a reduced capability to provide a comprehensive response.
PMID: 38271674
ISSN: 1539-2864
CID: 5625242

Risk of Stroke, Myocardial Infarction, Deep Vein Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism, and Death After Retinal Vein Occlusion

Wai, Karen M; Ludwig, Cassie A; Koo, Euna; Parikh, Ravi; Mruthyunjaya, Prithvi; Rahimy, Ehsan
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:To examine rates of stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), and death in patients after retinal vein occlusion (RVO) compared to controls. DESIGN/METHODS:Retrospective cohort study. METHODS:An aggregated electronic health records research network, TriNetX, was used to identify patients with diagnosis of RVO and a control group of patients with cataract. Patients were excluded if they had history of stroke, MI, DVT, or PE within 2 years of diagnosis of RVO or cataract. Propensity score matching was performed to control for baseline demographics and medical comorbidities. Main outcomes included relative risk (RR) of death, stroke, MI, DVT, and PE after RVO compared to those in matched controls. RESULTS:A total of 45,304 patients were included in each cohort. There was elevated risk of death in the RVO cohort compared to the control cohort at 1 year (RR = 1.30, P < .01), 5 years (RR = 1.22, P < .01), and 10 years (RR = 1.08, P < .01). There was elevated risk of stroke at 1 year (RR = 1.61, P < .01), 5 years (RR = 1.31, P < .01), and 10 years (RR = 1.18, P < .01). There was elevated risk of MI at 1 year (RR = 1.26, P < .01) and 5 years (RR = 1.13, P < .01), but not at 10 years (RR = 1.06, P = .12). There was mildly elevated risk of DVT at 1 year (RR = 1.65, P < .01) but not at 5 years (RR = 0.94, P = .94) or 10 years (RR = 1.05, P = .37). There was no elevated risk of PE at 1 year (RR = 0.98, P = 0.80), 5 years (RR = 0.95, P = .42), or 10 years (RR = 0.85, P =.40). CONCLUSIONS:There is an increased rate of death, stroke, and MI after RVO compared to those in matched controls. We emphasize the need for long-term systemic evaluation after RVO.
PMID: 37660963
ISSN: 1879-1891
CID: 5613472

Risk of Stroke, Myocardial Infarction, and Death After Retinal Artery Occlusion

Wai, Karen M; Knapp, Austen; Ludwig, Cassie A; Koo, Euna; Parikh, Ravi; Rahimy, Ehsan; Mruthyunjaya, Prithvi
IMPORTANCE/UNASSIGNED:Patients with retinal artery occlusions (RAOs) are recommended to have emergent stroke workup, although the true risk of death and subsequent vascular events post-RAO is not clear. OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:To determine short-term and long-term rates of stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), and death in patients after RAO compared with a control cohort. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS/UNASSIGNED:This retrospective cohort study used aggregated electronic health records from January 1, 2003, through April 14, 2023, from TriNetX, a network with data from more than 111 million patients. Patients with RAO and a cataract control group were identified and matched for age, sex, race, and comorbidities, including hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and smoking status. Patients were excluded if they had a stroke or MI within 2 years before the diagnosis of RAO or cataract. EXPOSURE/UNASSIGNED:International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision, diagnosis code for RAO or age-related cataract. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES/UNASSIGNED:Rate of death, stroke, and MI at 2 weeks, 30 days, 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years after RAO compared with matched controls. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:There were a total of 34 874 patients with at least 1 year of follow-up in the RAO cohort. The mean (SD) age at the RAO event was 66 (15.2) years. The rate of death after RAO diagnosis was higher than after cataract diagnosis at 2 weeks (0.14% vs 0.06%; relative risk [RR], 2.45; 95% CI, 1.46-4.12; risk difference [RD], 0.08%; 95% CI, 0.04%-0.13%; P < .001), 30 days (0.29% vs 0.14%; RR, 2.10; 95% CI, 1.49-2.97; RD, 0.15%; 95% CI, 0.08%-0.22%; P < .001), 1 year (3.51% vs 1.99%; RR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.61-1.94; RD, 1.41%; 95% CI, 1.17%-1.66%; P < .001), 5 years (22.74% vs 17.82%; RR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.23-1.33; RD, 4.93%; 95% CI, 4.17%-5.68%; P < .001), and 10 years (57.86% vs 55.38%; RR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.02-1.07; RD, 2.47%; 95% CI, 1.25%-3.69%; P < .001). Risk of stroke after RAO was higher at 2 weeks (1.72% vs 0.08%; RR, 21.43; 95% CI, 14.67-31.29; RD, 1.64%; 95% CI, 1.50%-1.78%; P < .001), 30 days (2.48% vs 0.18%; RR, 14.18; 95% CI, 10.94-18.48; RD, 2.31%; 95% CI, 2.14%-2.47%; P < .001), 1 year (5.89% vs 1.13%; RR, 5.20; 95% CI, 4.67-5.79; RD, 4.64%; 95% CI, 4.37%-4.91%; P < .001), 5 years (10.85% vs 4.86%; RR, 2.24; 95% CI, 2.09-2.40; RD, 6.00%; 95% CI, 5.50%-6.50%; P < .001), and 10 years (14.59% vs 9.18%; RR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.48-1.70; RD, 5.41%; 95% CI, 4.62%-6.21%; P < .001). Risk of MI after RAO was higher at 2 weeks (0.16% vs 0.06%; RR, 3.00; 95% CI, 1.79-5.04; RD, 0.11%; 95% CI, 0.06%-0.16%; P < .001), 30 days (0.27% vs 0.10%; RR, 2.61; 95% CI, 1.78-3.83; RD, 0.17%; 95% CI, 0.10%-0.23%; P < .001), 1 year (1.66% vs 0.97%; RR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.51-1.97; RD, 0.59%; 95% CI, 0.42%-0.76%; P < .001), 5 years (6.06% vs 5.00%; RR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.12-1.31; RD, 1.07%; 95% CI, 0.64%-1.50%; P < .001), and 10 years (10.55% vs 9.43%; RR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.04-1.21; RD, 1.13%; 95% CI, 0.39%-1.87%; P = .003). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE/UNASSIGNED:This study showed an increased risk of death, stroke, and MI in patients with RAO at both short-term and long-term intervals after RAO compared with a matched control population diagnosed with cataract. These findings suggest a potential need for multidisciplinary evaluation and long-term systemic follow-up of patients post-RAO.
PMID: 37883068
ISSN: 2168-6173
CID: 5613002

Reply [Letter]

Zhang, Casey; Friedman, Scott; Mruthyunjaya, Prithvi; Parikh, Ravi
PMID: 37642620
ISSN: 1549-4713
CID: 5618412

The Biosimilar Paradox: How Anti-VEGF Biosimilars will Increase Patient and Overall Healthcare Costs

Zhang, Casey; Friedman, Scott; Mruthyunjaya, Prithvi; Parikh, Ravi
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) medications for intraocular use are a major and increasing cost, and biosimilars may be a means of reducing the high cost of many biologic medications. However, a bevacizumab biosimilar, which is currently pending FDA approval (bevacizumab-vikg), may paradoxically increase the cost burden of intravitreal anti-VEGF, as "off-label" repackaged drug may no longer be allowed per the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA). We aim to investigate the potential impact of biosimilars on the health system and patient costs in the US. DESIGN/METHODS:Cost analysis of anti-VEGF medications. PARTICIPANTS/METHODS:Medicare data from October 2022, previously published market share data from 2019. METHODS:Average sales price (ASP) of ranibizumab, aflibercept, and bevacizumab are calculated from Medicare allowable payments. ASPs of biosimilars are calculated from wholesale acquisition costs from a representative distributor. The cost of an intraocular bevacizumab formulation is modeled at $500 and $900/1.25mg dose. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES/METHODS:Overall costs of anti-VEGF drugs to Medicare Part B and patients. RESULTS:If an intraocular bevacizumab biosimilar were to be priced at $500, costs to Medicare would increase by $457 million from $3.01 billion to $3.47 billion (15.2% increase). Patient responsibility would increase by $117 million from $768 million to $884 million. Similarly, if intraocular bevacizumab were priced at $900, Medicare costs would increase by $897 million to $3.91 billion (29.8% increase), and patient responsibility would increase by $229 million to $997 million. If bevacizumab were $500/dose, switching all patients currently on ranibizumab or aflibercept to respective biosimilars would only compensate for 28.8% of the increased cost. Current prices of ranibizumab and aflibercept biosimilars would have to decrease by an aggregate of 15.7% to $616.80, $1027.97, and $1436.88/injection for ranibizumab 0.3 mg, 0.5 mg, and aflibercept, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:An FDA-approved bevacizumab biosimilar for ophthalmic use could significantly increase costs to the healthcare system and patients, raising concerns for access. This increase in cost would not be offset by ranibizumab and aflibercept biosimilar use at current prices. These data support the need for an exemption of section 503B of the DQSA and continued use of repackaged off-label bevacizumab.
PMID: 37116720
ISSN: 1549-4713
CID: 5465612

Ophthalmologist Turnover in the United States: Analysis of Workforce Changes from 2014 through 2021

Patel, Prem N; Patel, Parth A; Sheth, Amar H; Ahmed, Harris; Begaj, Tedi; Parikh, Ravi
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:Physician turnover is costly to health care systems and can affect patient experience due to discontinuity of care. This study aimed to assess the frequency of turnover by ophthalmologists and characteristics associated with turnover. DESIGN/METHODS:A retrospective cross-sectional study. PARTICIPANTS/METHODS:Actively practicing US ophthalmologists included in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Physician Compare and Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File between 2014 and 2021. METHODS:Using two separate publicly available Medicare data sets, we collated data for ophthalmologists associated with practices in each year between 2014 and 2021. We calculated the rate of turnover as (1) annually in each year window and (2) cumulatively as the total proportion of 2014 practices separated by 2021. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify physician and practice characteristics associated with cumulative turnover. Additionally, we evaluated changes in annual turnover surrounding the Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES/METHODS:Ophthalmologist turnover, defined as a change of an ophthalmologist's National Provider Identifier practice affiliation from one year to the next. RESULTS:Of 13,264 ophthalmologists affiliated with 3,306 unique practices, 34.1% separated from at least one practice between 2014 and 2021. Annual turnover ranged from 3.7% (2017) to 19.4% (2018), with an average rate of 9.4%. Factors associated with increased turnover included solo practice (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 9.59, p<0.01), university-affiliation (aOR, 1.55, p<0.01), practice location in the Northeast (aOR 1.39, p<0.01), and practice size of 2-4 members (aOR, 1.21, p<0.01). Factors associated with decreased turnover included male gender (aOR, 0.87, p<0.01), and greater than 5 years of practice: 6-10 years (aOR, 0.63), 11-19 years (aOR, 0.54), 20-29 years (aOR, 0.36), and ≥30 years (aOR, 0.18) (p < 0.01 for all). In the initial year of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020), annual turnover grew from 7.8% to 11.0%, then fell to 8.7% in the pandemic post-vaccine period (2021). CONCLUSIONS:One-third of US ophthalmologists separated from at least one practice from 2014-2021. Turnover patterns differ by various physician and practice characteristics, the knowledge of which may prove useful when developing strategies to optimize future workforce stability. Because reasons for turnover cannot be solely determined using administrative data, further investigation is warranted given the potential clinical and financial implications.
PMID: 37164243
ISSN: 1549-4713
CID: 5509382