The effect of trabeculectomy on serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in primary open-angle glaucoma

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2018 Jun;256(6):1173-1178. doi: 10.1007/s00417-018-3923-y. Epub 2018 Feb 7.


Purpose: We aimed to investigate the effect of trabeculectomy on serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels. Our secondary goal was to compare serum and aqueous humor (AH) BDNF levels in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and control subjects.

Methods: This prospective, cross-sectional study consists of 20 eyes of with advanced-stage POAG who had trabeculectomy and 19 eyes of age- and sex-matched control healthy subjects who had cataract surgery. Serum and AH samples were obtained preoperatively in trabeculectomy group and control subjects. Serum samples were obtained at the third postoperative month in both groups.

Results: The aqueous humor and serum levels of BDNF at the surgery day were found to be strongly positive correlated (r = 0.868; p < 0.001). Serum and AH BDNF levels of POAG cases were significantly lower than control subjects at the surgery day (respectively p = 0.038, p = 0.011). In POAG cases, serum BDNF levels significantly increased at the third month after trabeculectomy while there was not a significant difference in control subjects with cataract surgery (p < 0.001; p = 0.717 respectively).

Conclusion: Trabeculectomy was found to have a positive effect on serum BDNF levels in POAG cases.

Keywords: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; Primary open-angle glaucoma; Trabeculectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Aqueous Humor / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / metabolism*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / metabolism*
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / physiopathology
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / surgery
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Trabeculectomy / methods*


  • Biomarkers
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • BDNF protein, human