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Statin medication in patients with epiretinal membrane is associated with low intravitreal EPO, TGF-beta-1, and VEGF levels

Authors Tuuminen R, Loukovaara S

Received 3 February 2016

Accepted for publication 23 March 2016

Published 23 May 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 921—928


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Raimo Tuuminen,1 Sirpa Loukovaara2

1Department of Ophthalmology, Kymenlaakso Central Hospital, Kotka, Finland; 2Unit of Vitreoretinal Surgery, Dept of Ophthalmology, Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

Background: In eyes with idiopathic epiretinal membrane (iERM), the intravitreal growth factor and cytokine levels may associate with postvitrectomy outcomes. Here, we have analyzed the perioperative intravitreal protein levels of potent vasoactive, proinflammatory, and extracellular matrix-remodeling factors in iERM eyes and evaluated the postvitrectomy outcomes.
Methods: This was an institutional, observational study. Eyes operated on for iERM (n=26) were analyzed according to the use of statin medication. Vitreous samples were subjected to protein measurements of angiopoietin-1 and -2, erythropoietin, transforming growth factor-β1, and vascular endothelial growth factor by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 by gelatin zymography. One-month visual outcomes and 1-year revitrectomy rates were recorded.
Results: In iERM eyes of patients taking statins, intravitreal levels of erythropoietin (mean ± standard deviation, 10.8±4.9 vs 82.9±119.5 mIU/mg, P=0.003), transforming growth factor-β1 (2.3±4.7 vs 15.8±16.3 pg/mg, P=0.035), and vascular endothelial growth factor (5.5±9.9 vs 236.6±491.6 pg/mg, P=0.006) were lower than in nonstatin-treated patients. At 1-month, visual gain did not significantly differ between iERM eyes of patients with statins and those without (improvement 0.27±0.20 vs 0.16±0.38 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution units, P=0.118).
Conclusion: Systemic statin therapy might have a favorable effect on intravitreal factors involved in vascular permeability, inflammation, and fibroproliferation in aging human iERM eyes.

Keywords: epiretinal membrane, erythropoietin, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, transforming growth factor-beta, vascular endothelial growth factor, vitrectomy

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