Hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA, commonly found in the tear fluid of patients with chronic HCV, may also be prevalent in the tears of dry eye patients who exhibit no clinical evidence of HCV, according to a study published in the January 2015 Cornea.1 Researchers used real-time polymerase chain reaction testing to detect HCV RNA in tear fluid collected from 36 dry eye patients and 20 healthy controls. Twenty-one of the 36 (i.e., 58.3%) dry eye tear samples tested HCV RNA-positive, while none of the control samples tested positive. These findings, say the researchers, may indicate a possible etiological role of HCV in causing dry eye.

The researchers also evaluated 15 serum samples collected from dry eye patients. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for anti-HCV was negative in all 15—a result they say further confirms the presence of HCV RNA without active viral infection. Normal levels of alanine aminotransferase were also observed in all 15, but alkaline phosphatase was abnormal in 12 of the 15 samples. This indicates the patients likely do not have subclinical hepatitis, but it cannot be completely ruled out. 

1. Rajalakshmy AR, et al. Patients with dry eye without hepatitis C virus infection possess the viral RNA in their tears. Cornea. 2015 Jan;34(1):28-31.

• A new hydrophilic daily disposable soft multifocal lens for presbyopic correction, called NaturalVue, has received FDA 510(k) clearance. Similar to a spherical contact lens, the NaturalVue 1-day multifocal is designed to be easy to fit, with one base curve, one diameter and one “universal” add power, which accommodates up to 3.00D of equivalent near power, says manufacturer Visionering Technologies. 

• SynergEyes has released eight video tutorials designed to assist doctors with fitting the Duette Progressive lens for astigmatic presbyopes who no longer attain acceptable near vision from soft multifocal contact lenses. The step-by-step tutorials cover lens design, fitting and dispensing, as well as how to achieve good near vision, distance vision and patient compliance.