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Relationship between vitreous and serum vascular endothelial growth factor levels, control of diabetes and microalbuminuria in proliferative diabetic retinopathy

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Nader Baharivand1, Nosratollah Zarghami2, Farid Panahi3, Yazdan Dokht Ghafari M3, Ali Mahdavi Fard1, Abbas Mohajeri21Department of Ophthalmology, Nikookari Eye Hospital, 2Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Radiopharmacy, Drug Applied Research Center, 3Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, IranBackground: Diabetic retinopathy is a serious microvascular disorder of the retina. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression, induced by high glucose levels and hypoxia, is a main feature in retinopathy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between vitreous and serum VEGF levels and control of diabetes and microalbuminuria in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy.Methods: Sixty-five patients were enrolled in this case-control study, comprising 30 patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (cases) and 35 patients with nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (controls). The vitreous VEGF level was compared with the serum VEGF level in both groups. Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), microalbuminuria, serum creatinine, and stage of nephropathy and retinopathy were also measured in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy, and the relationship between these parameters and serum and vitreous VEGF levels was investigated.Results: Mean vitreous and serum VEGF levels were significantly higher in cases compared with controls (P = 0.001, P = 0.011, respectively). There was also a significant correlation between vitreous and serum VEGF levels (P = 0.012, r = 0.453). VEGF levels in patients with well controlled blood glucose (P = 0.039), on drug treatment (P = 0.045) and at an early stage of nephropathy (P = 0.042) were significantly lower. There was a significant correlation between VEGF and albumin to creatinine ratio (P = 0.017, r = 0.432).Conclusion: Serum and vitreous VEGF levels was significantly lower in patients on oral therapy, in those with well controlled glycemia, and in those with early-stage retinopathy. Administration of anti-VEGF had a good effect in reducing the progression of proliferative diabetic retinopathy.Keywords: proliferative diabetic retinopathy, vascular endothelial growth factor, vitreous body

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