Objective: To investigate the expression of the profibrotic connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) in relation to severity of intraocular fibrosis and neovascularization in human vitreoretinal disorders for the identification of potential therapeutic targets to prevent fibrosis.
Methods: Concentrations of CTGF were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 119 vitreous samples from patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy, proliferative vitreoretinopathy, epiretinal membrane, and macular hole. Clinical data, including degree of intraocular fibrosis and neovascularization, were collected using standardized forms.
Results: Multifactorial analysis revealed that only CTGF levels correlated highly significantly with degree of fibrosis in the various vitreoretinal disorders studied (P<.001; R2= 47.7%). Likewise, variation in degree of fibrosis was best predicted by CTGF levels (P<.001).
Conclusion: The strong correlation between CTGF levels and degree of fibrosis in vitreoretinal disorders suggests that CTGF is an important factor in ocular fibrosis, similar to its role in pathologic fibrosis in other organs.
Clinical relevance: Connective tissue growth factor may be a therapeutic target for prevention of sight-threatening vitreoretinal scarring in the eye.