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Ward Fickweiler, Ingeborg Klaassen, Ilse M. C. Vogels, Johanna M. M. Hooymans, Bruce H. R. Wolffenbuttel, Leonoor I. Los, Reinier O. Schlingemann, for the BRDME Research Group; Association of Circulating Markers With Outcome Parameters in the Bevacizumab and Ranibizumab in Diabetic Macular Edema Trial. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(14):6234-6241. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-20157.
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate selected candidate biomarkers as potential markers for patients with diabetic macular edema (DME) who receive antivascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy
Selected biomarkers included blood levels of messenger RNA (mRNA) of retinoschisin, RPE65, rhodopsin, and endothelial progenitor cell markers CD34 and CD133. Blood samples were obtained from 89 patients with DME according to the study protocol of the Bevacizumab and Ranibizumab in Diabetic Macular Edema (BRDME) study. During each monthly visit, patients underwent optical coherence tomography scanning and visual acuity was measured. Anti-VEGF injections were administered at fixed monthly intervals over 6 months. Analyses of covariance using simplified and linear mixed models were used to examine the correlations between candidate markers and changes in visual acuity and central subfield thickness.
Plasma mRNA levels of retinoschisin were negatively associated with visual acuity, and plasma mRNA levels of rhodopsin were positively associated with visual acuity in patients with DME (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively). In addition, changes in central subfield thickness between baseline and months 1, 2, and 3 during anti-VEGF treatment were associated with mRNA levels of retinoschisin, rhodopsin, and the ratio of retinoschisin-to-rhodopsin (P < 0.01, all).
This prospective, multicenter study found that circulating mRNA levels of retinoschisin and rhodopsin are associated with visual acuity and changes in central subfield thickness during anti-VEGF therapy in patients with DME. (ClinicalTrials.gov number: NCT01635790.)
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