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Elevated levels of plasma tumor necrosis factor alpha in patients with pseudoexfoliation glaucoma

Authors Kondkar AA, Azad TA, Almobarak FA, Kalantan H, Al-Obeidan SA, Abu-Amero KK

Received 25 October 2017

Accepted for publication 6 December 2017

Published 17 January 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 153—159

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S155168

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Altaf A Kondkar,1 Taif A Azad,1 Faisal A Almobarak,1 Hatem Kalantan,1 Saleh A Al-Obeidan,1 Khaled K Abu-Amero1,2

1Glaucoma Research Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Background: Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine, which plays a role in glaucomatous neurodegeneration. Based on the plausible role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of pseudoexfoliation glaucoma (PEG), we investigated whether there is any relationship between the levels of plasma TNF-α and PEG or any of its clinical indices in comparison to normal controls.
Methods: The study was designed as a retrospective analysis. Plasma samples from 49 PEG patients and 88 non-glaucomatous controls were evaluated for TNF-α levels using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The assay was performed in duplicates on a biochemical/ELISA analyzer.
Results: The two study groups were similar in age, sex and systemic disease distribution. The mean TNF-α concentration was significantly higher in the PEG patients (5.54±4.58 pg/mL) than in the control subjects (0.93±1.49 pg/mL; 95% confidence interval [CI] =3.50–5.72; p=0.000). The overall dose–response trend was significant (χ2=57.07, df=2; p=0.000). A moderate positive and significant correlation was seen between TNF-α level and cup/disc ratio, an important clinical index for PEG. Besides, binary logistic regression analysis showed that the risk of PEG was most significantly affected by TNF-α level as compared to no association with age and sex. In receiver operating characteristic analysis, the area under the curve was 0.777 (95% CI =0.682–0.872) and statistically significant (p=0.000).
Conclusion: Elevated systemic levels of inflammatory marker, TNF-α, are associated with PEG and may possibly serve as a biomarker for undiagnosed early glaucoma and/or as a marker for disease progression.

Keywords: glaucoma, inflammation, oxidative stress, pseudoexfoliation, TNF-α

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