Background: Retinal pigment epithelium cells and activated phagocytes are believed to be involved in the pathogenesis of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). Both cell types are capable of producing oxygen free radicals and other molecules with a high oxidative potential which can lead to a propagation of oxidative damage. It was the aim of this study to investigate whether products of oxidative reactions are detectable in the vitreous body of patients suffering from PVR.
Methods: In vitreous aspirates of patients vitrectomized because of PVR (n = 27), macular pucker (n = 9), or other reasons (controls, n = 31), the following parameters were determined: lipid peroxides (LPO), determined as malondialdehyde-like substances (MDA) and as thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), and myeloperoxidase activity (MPO).
Results: Compared with the controls, both LPO levels and MPO activities were significantly elevated in the vitreous of patients suffering from PVR. Vitreous of patients with macular pucker did not reveal any significant differences from controls in the parameters analyzed.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that both oxygen free radicals and inflammation-related reactions participate in the process of PVR. Oxidative tissue damage is obviously not involved in the pathogenesis of macular pucker.