The FDA has approved the Diaton tonometer (Bicom Inc.), which is applied against the eyelid, not the cornea. The handheld tonometer requires no sterilization or anesthesia, so it is especially useful for patients who have conjunctivitis, corneal erosions and corneal edema, and after corneal surgery, the company says.

The FDA also issued an approvable letter for Arxxant (ruboxistaurin, Eli Lilly), intended for the treatment of moderate to severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. In the letter, the FDA requested additional data to support the clinical evidence submitted in the new drug application. Lilly plans to meet with the FDA to determine whether existing data will suffice or whether a new study is required.

Intestinal surgery, such as gastric-bypass procedures, may cause vitamin A deficiency and lead to decreased vision, according to a report in Augusts British Journal of Ophthalmology. Some patients in the study had intestinal surgery more than 18 years before their visual symptoms developed. Suspect vitamin A deficiency in patients who present with unexplained decreased vision and a history of intestinal surgery, regardless of the timing of the surgical procedure, the authors say.

Vol. No: 143:09Issue: 9/15/2006