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Clinical Trial
, 32 (7), 643-649

Serological Inflammatory Factors as Biomarkers for Anatomic Response in Diabetic Macular Edema Treated With anti-VEGF

Clinical Trial

Serological Inflammatory Factors as Biomarkers for Anatomic Response in Diabetic Macular Edema Treated With anti-VEGF

Pedro Brito et al. J Diabetes Complications.


Purpose: To study the relationship between systemic pro-inflammatory factors and macular structural response to intravitreal bevacizumab for diabetic macular edema (DME).

Methods: Prospective study including 30 cases with DME, treated with bevacizumab and a minimum follow-up of 6 months. All cases underwent baseline laboratory testing for cardiovascular risk (high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), homocystein), dyslipidemia, renal dysfunction and glucose control. Serum levels of VEGF, soluble ICAM-1, MCP-1 and TNF-α were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. Significant associations between systemic factors and quantitative and qualitative spectral-domain optical coherence macular features were analyzed.

Results: A mean of 4.82 ± 0.56 intravitreal injections was performed, resulting in significant improvement of central foveal thickness (CFT) (p < 0.001). A significant association with third month CFT decrease <10% was found for hsCRP (3.33 ± 2.01 vs 1.39 ± 1.15 mg/l, p = 0.007) and ICAM1 (975.54 ± 265.49 vs 727.07 ± 336.09 pg/ml, p = 0.012). ROC curve analysis indicated hsCRP and ICAM1 as significant biomarkers for 3rd month reduced anatomic response (area under the curve (AUC) = 0.807, p = 0.009 for hsCRP; AUC = 0.788, p = 0.014 for ICAM1). ROC curve analysis revealed hsCRP as a significant biomarker for 6th month CFT decrease <10% (AUC = 0.903, p < 0.001, cutoff value = 1.81 mg/l). A significant association with 6th month CFT decrease ≥25% was found for serum MCP1 (244.69 ± 49.34 pg/ml vs 319.24 ± 94.88 pg/ml, p = 0.017) and serum VEGF (90.84 ± 37.33 vs 58.28 ± 25.19 pg/ml, p = 0.027). The combined model of serum VEGF and LDL-cholesterol was found to be predictive of 6th month hard exudate severity (p = 0.001, r2 = 0.463).

Conclusions: Increased levels of hsCRP and ICAM1 were found to be significant biomarkers for early reduced anatomic response to anti-VEGF treatment. Cases with higher serum levels of such factors had increased CFT values, despite treatment, suggesting inner blood-retinal barrier breakdown that is not adequately responsive to anti-VEGF monotherapy.

Keywords: Anti-VEGF; Bevacizumab; C-reactive protein; Diabetic macular edema; Inflammatory biomarkers.

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