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To investigate whether interleukin (IL)-6 or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
influences macular edema in patients with central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO).
Retrospective case-control study.
Twenty-seven patients who had macular edema with CRVO and 16 patients with nonischemic
ocular diseases (control group).
Retinal ischemia was evaluated by measuring the area of capillary nonperfusion using
fluorescein angiography and the public domain Scion Image program, and macular edema
was examined by optical coherence tomography. Vitreous fluid samples were obtained
at pars plana vitrectomy. VEGF and IL-6 levels in vitreous fluid and plasma were determined
with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits.
Vitreous fluid levels of IL-6 and VEGF.
The vitreous fluid levels of VEGF (median: 435 pg/ml) and IL-6 (median: 51.2 pg/ml)
were significantly higher in the patients with CRVO than in the control group (median:
62.4 pg/ml and 1.07 pg/ml, respectively; P = 0.0046 and P<0.0001, respectively). The
vitreous fluid level of VEGF was significantly correlated with that of IL-6 (P = 0.0029).
Vitreous fluid levels of both VEGF and IL-6 were significantly higher in patients
with CRVO who had retinal ischemia than in those without ischemia (P<0.0001 and P
= 0.0003, respectively). Vitreous fluid levels of VEGF and IL-6 were also significantly
correlated with the severity of macular edema (P = 0.0014 and P = 0.0047, respectively).
Both IL-6 and VEGF were elevated in the vitreous fluid of patients with ischemic CRVO
and macular edema. VEGF may increase vascular permeability in patients with macular
edema and CRVO, whereas IL-6 may also contribute by acting together with or via VEGF.
The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed
in this article.