Purpose: To evaluate the association between vitreous fluid levels of inflammatory factors and macular edema in patients with central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO).
Methods: In 30 CRVO patients with macular edema and 29 controls with idiopathic macular hole, vitreous fluid samples were obtained during vitreoretinal surgery. Retinal ischemia was evaluated from capillary nonperfusion on fluorescein angiography. Macular edema was examined by optical coherence tomography.
Results: Vitreous fluid levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), soluble VEGF receptor 2 (sVEGFR-2), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), interleukin 6 (IL-6), monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1), and pentraxin 3 (PTX3) were significantly higher in CRVO patients than in macular hole patients. Vitreous fluid levels of VEGF, sICAM-1, IL-6, MCP-1, and PTX3 were significantly correlated with the retinal thickness at the central fovea. There were significant correlations between the vitreous fluid level of VEGF and the levels of sICAM-1, IL-6, and MCP-1 in the CRVO patients. There was also a significant correlation between sVEGFR-2 and PTX3 but not between VEGF and PTX3.
Conclusion: These findings suggest the importance of VEGF, its signal transduction pathways, and the cytokine network and may be useful for understanding the mechanism of macular edema in CRVO and developing new treatments.