April 1991
Volume 32, Issue 5
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Articles  |   April 1991
Increased plasma noncortisol glucocorticoid activity in open-angle glaucoma.
Author Affiliations
  • G R McCarty
    Department of Ophthalmology, New England Medical Centre Hospitals, Boston, Massachusetts 02111.
  • B Schwartz
    Department of Ophthalmology, New England Medical Centre Hospitals, Boston, Massachusetts 02111.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 1991, Vol.32, 1600-1608. doi:
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      G R McCarty, B Schwartz; Increased plasma noncortisol glucocorticoid activity in open-angle glaucoma.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1991;32(5):1600-1608.

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Abstract

Total biologic plasma glucocorticoid activity of normal, ocular hypertensive, and open-angle glaucoma patients was compared using a glucocorticoid receptor-based competitive binding assay. Multiple linear-regression analysis was used to adjust for the effects of significant ocular and nonocular variables, including therapy for glaucoma. The glaucoma patients had significantly greater plasma glucocorticoid activities than did normal subjects. A comparison of receptor-based assay values to values obtained with a cortisol radioimmunoassay showed that significant amounts of biologic glucocorticoid activity in the plasma of the glaucoma patients could not be explained by cortisol alone. In the normal and ocular hypertensive groups, however, virtually all of the plasma glucocorticoid activity could be accounted for by cortisol. These results suggest that in open-angle glaucoma patients, noncortisol glucocorticoids are responsible for elevating biologic plasma glucocorticoid activity. Thus, open-angle glaucoma may be associated with a disturbance of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis that produces increased plasma levels of both cortisol and other noncortisol glucocorticoids.

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