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Anima Buehler, Michael Augustynik, Felicitas Bucher, Jan Wöhrl, Gottfried Martin, Gunther R Schlunck, Hansjürgen Agostini, Daniel Boehringer, Gerhard Pütz, Andreas Stahl; Systemic confounders for serum patterns of omega-3- and -6-polyunsaturated fatty acids in patients with different retinal pathologies. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):3695.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have a highly anti-angiogenic effect in the mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). However, the clinical relevance of omega-3-PUFAs in human retinal pathologies remains unclear. The ARED 2 study found no effect of omega-3-PUFA supplementation on AMD progression. The aim of this study was to compare serum levels of omega-3- or omega-6-PUFAs between patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR), age related macular degeneration (AMD), retinal vein occlusion (RVO) and controls.
Venous blood samples were collected from 45 patients with DR, 26 with AMD, 12 with RVO and 27 controls. The lipid phase was extracted using chloroform and methanol. Lipids were analyzed using mass spectrometry. Retinal disease staging was done by indirect funduscopy, OCT and FAG where appropriate. Patient demographics and medical history including current medication and fasting state were acquired. Tukey contrasts for multiple comparisons of the mean and linear regression analysis were used for statistical analysis.
Omega-6-PUVA serum levels were not different between patients with AMD, DR, RVO and controls (p>0.858). Omega-3-PUFA levels were significantly higher in AMD patients compared to patients with DR but not compared to controls (p=0.004, corrected for multiple testing). However, after correcting for possible independent confounders such as body mass index (BMI), age, sex, fasting and use of statins by linear regression analysis, no statistically significant difference remained for serum omega-3-PUFA levels. The confounders fasting and use of statins had significant effects on serum levels of various serum fatty acids (both saturated and unsaturated).
Significant differences in serum levels of omega-3-PUFAs can be found among patients with different types of retinal diseases. However, in our cohort these results were not robust after correction for possible confounders. These results demonstrate that serum lipid profiles need to be interpreted with caution since they are potently altered by multiple factors independent from the underlying disease. These confounders need to be identified and corrected for when serum lipid profiles are compared in clinical studies.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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