Purpose: To evaluate whether the eosinophil preformed mediators, eosinophil cationic protein X, and eosinophil-derived neurotoxin/eosinophil protein X (EDN/EPX) are detectable in serum and can be used as markers of eosinophilic inflammation.
Methods: A competitive radioimmunoassay was used to detect serum levels of eosinophil cationic protein and EDN/EPX in 31 patients with vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) and in 15 healthy controls.
Results: Mean serum levels of both eosinophil cationic protein and EDN/EPX were significantly higher in patients with VKC than in controls. There was a good correlation between serum levels of eosinophil cationic protein and EDN/EPX. No significant difference in mean serum eosinophil cationic protein levels was observed between patients with positive radioallergosorbent test (RAST) results and those with negative RAST results who have VKC, whereas mean EDN/EPX and total immunoglobulin E serum levels were significantly higher in patients with positive RAST results than in those with negative RAST results who have VKC. Serum eosinophil cationic protein, but not EDN/EPX, levels were significantly related to total immunoglobulin E levels.
Conclusion: The authors' data indicate that serum levels of eosinophil cationic protein and EDN/EPX are useful markers of eosinophilic ocular inflammation in VKC.