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N. Terai, Sr., M. Bauer, E. Spoerl, A. Böhm, L. Pillunat; Protective Effect of Estrogen on Glaucoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):4819.
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In the pathogenesis of glaucoma different changes in cellular and biomechanical metabolism have been discussed. Estrogen seems to interfere in these cellular mechanisms. Several epidemiological studies already suspected a connection between a modified hormone level and glaucoma but so far only very few studies underlined this causality. Aim of this study was to prove a hormonal effect of estrogen on the development of glaucoma by using blood samples of glaucoma patients and healthy subjects.
1 female patients were enclosed in this study. 20 patients belonged to the control group and showed clinically no glaucoma. 21 patients had a glaucoma which was defined by means of the visual field, intraocular pressure and the excavation of the optic nerve head. Exclusion criterion was the intake of additional hormone medication (e.g. birth control pill). Blood samples were taken from all participants on the 18th day of menstruation cycle. The mean of estradiol concentration E2 was compared in both groups using the t-test.
Age of participants of the control group was 46, 4 +/- 8, 2 (range: 29-60), the age of patients with glaucoma was 50, 4 +/- 7, 3 (range: 36-60). Age showed no statistical significance between the two groups (P=0,112).The estradiol concentration in the control group was 242, 6 +/-305, 9 pmol/l and the estradiol concentration in the patients` group about more than the half less (94, 8 +/- 110, 8 pmol/l). This difference was statistically significant (P= 0,004).
This study presented that the estrogen concentration in glaucoma patients in contrast to the control group was significantly diminished. Therefore a possible protective effect of estrogen on the cellular metabolism of glaucoma patients may also be reduced. A substitution of estrogen in glaucoma patients may as a consequence be a valuable therapeutic option and could influence the course of disease positively.
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