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Michael Augustynik, Anima D Buehler, Felicitas Bucher, Jan Wöhrl, Gottfried Martin, Gunther R Schlunck, Hansjuergen Agostini, Daniel Böhringer, Gerhard Pütz, Andreas Stahl; Serum patterns of omega-3 and -6 polyunsaturated fatty acids among patients with diabetic retinopathy and age related macular degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):4393.
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The anti-angiogenic effect of omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has previously been shown in the mouse model of oxygen induced retinopathy (OIR). The ARED 2 study, in contrast, did not find significant effects of omega-3-PUFA supplementation in the prevention of AMD progression. The goal of this clinical study was therefore to investigate whether different subtypes of PUFAs (including omega-3 and omega-6) correlate with the degree of diabetic retinopathy or the type of age related macular degeneration (AMD).
Venous blood samples from 67 patients with all stages of diabetic retinopathy (DR) and 47 patients with AMD were acquired and the lipid phase was extracted using a two step-procedure with chloroform and methanol. The extracts where then analyzed using mass spectrometry. Clinical data was acquired using indirect funduscopy, SD-OCT and Fluorescein Angiography where appropriate. In addition, patient demographics and medical history including current medication were acquired. Statistical analysis was done using the Kruskal-Wallis rank sum test.
Patients with DR showed the highest degree of variability in serum lipid profiles, both in omega-3-PUFAs as well as in other lipids. However, there was no clear correlation between severity of DR and serum lipid levels. Neither did we find a correlation between diabetic macular edema (DME) and serum lipid levels. In patients with AMD, we found a trend towards lower omega-3-PUFA serum levels in patients with advanced wet AMD. However, this trend was not statistically significant. When analyzing the overall patient population, we found that patients with elevated omega-3-PUFA levels tended to have also high levels of other lipids as well as a high body mass index (BMI).
We found several differences in the serum lipid patterns among patients with diabetic retinopathy and AMD. Due to the multifactorial causes of the diseases, however, there was no statistically significant correlation between disease severity and lipid levels in the two groups.
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