Plasma endothelin-1 concentrations in patients with retinal vein occlusions.
AIMS: To investigate whether plasma levels of endothelin-1 (ET-1), a potent vasoconstricting peptide that is crucial in regulating retinal blood flow, were elevated in patients with retinal vein occlusion (RVO). METHODS: ET-1 plasma concentrations were determined by radioimmunoassays in a double blind fashion in a group of 18 selected patients with RVO, in 20 healthy age matched non-smoking, normoglycaemic, normotensive control subjects, and in 15 patients with uncomplicated essential hypertension in the same age range. RESULTS: Patients with RVO had significantly increased ET-1 plasma levels (14.22 (SD 4.6) pg/ml) compared with both normal subjects (7.90 (1.6) pg/ml; p < 0.05) and hypertensive patients (8.50 (2.9) pg/ml; p < 0.05). The highest concentrations of circulating ET-1 were found in patients with RVO of the ischaemic type (16.97 (3.5) pg/ml; p < 0.01; n = 7). Systemic hypertension alone did not account for the observed increase in plasma ET-1 concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: These findings raise the possibility that the increased circulating ET-1 levels in patients with RVO may be a marker of the occlusive event, thereby suggesting that ET-1 homeostasis may be relevant to RVO pathogenesis and retinal ischaemic manifestations.
Iannaccone, A; Letizia, C; Pazzaglia, S; Vingolo, EM; Clemente, G; Pannarale, MR
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