Fermin Rodrigo (Department of Ophthalmology of Marina Baixa Hospital), José María Ruiz-Moreno (University of Castilla La Mancha), Juan Bernabé García (Department of Ophthalmology of Marina Baixa Hospital), María Eugenia Torregrosa (Department of Ophthalmology of Marina Baixa Hospital), José Vicente Segura (Miguel Hernández University) and David P. Piñero (University of Alicante).
Purpose: To evaluate preliminarily and compare the level of plasmatic biomarkers of vascular risk in patients with and without exudative age‑related macular degeneration (ARMD) and to relate it to vascular resistance alterations in the ophthalmic artery (OA), central retinal artery (CRA), posterior temporal ciliary artery (PTCA), and posterior nasal ciliary artery (PNCA). Methods: Color Doppler imaging of the OA, CRA, PTCA, and PNCA was performed in 30 eyes of 30 cataract patients (control group) as well as in 30 eyes of 30 patients with naive exudative ARMD (study group), measuring the peak systolic velocity, end‑diastolic velocity (EDV), and Pourcelot resistive index (RI). Likewise, in both groups, a blood test was performed to determine the plasmatic levels of homocysteine, C‑reactive protein (CRP), B12 vitamin, and folic acid.
Results: A positive and significant correlation was found between the level of CRP and RI of the OA in the ARMD group (r = 0.498, P = 0.005), with an increased RI in all arteries compared to controls, although differences only reached statistical significance for the PTCA (P = 0.035). Likewise, a significantly lower EDV for the CRA was found in ARMD eyes compared to controls (P = 0.041). In the study group, significantly higher plasmatic levels of homocysteine (P = 0.042) and CRP (P = 0.046) were found. In contrast, no significant differences were found between groups in the levels of folic acid (P = 0.265) and B12 vitamin (P = 0.520).
Conclusion: The decrease of the choroidal perfusion related to hyperhomocysteinemia, and increase in the CRP plasmatic levels may play an etiological role on the exudative ARMD. This should be investigated in future studies with larger samples of patients.