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Anand Vinekar, Archana Padmanabhan Nair, Shivani Sinha, Tanuja Vaidya, Koushik Chakrabarty, Rohit Shetty, Arkasubhra Ghosh, Swaminathan Sethu; Tear Fluid Angiogenic Factors: Potential Noninvasive Biomarkers for Retinopathy of Prematurity Screening in Preterm Infants. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(3):2. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.62.3.2.
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To determine the status of proangiogenic factors in the tear fluid of preterm infants with and without retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).
Preterm infants (n = 36) undergoing routine ROP screening included in the prospective study were categorized as No-ROP (n = 13, no ROP at any visits), ROP (if ROP was present at first visit; n = 18), or No-ROP to ROP (no disease at first visit, but developed ROP subsequently; n = 5). Infants with ROP were also grouped as progressing (n = 7) and regressing (n = 16) based on ROP evolution between the first and subsequent visits. Schirmer's strips were used to collect tear fluid and proangiogenic factors (VEGF, angiogenin, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule, and fractalkine) levels (in picograms per milliliter) in tear fluid were measured by multiplex ELISA.
Lower levels of VEGF (135 ± 69; mean ± standard deviation) and higher levels of angiogenin (6568 ± 4975) were observed in infants with ROP compared with infants without ROP (172.5 ± 54.0; 4139 ± 3909) at the first visit. Significantly lower levels of VEGF were observed in the No-ROP to ROP group compared with the No-ROP and ROP groups. The VEGF and angiogenin levels at the first visit were significantly lower in infants with ROP with progressing disease. Angiogenin levels negatively correlated with birth weight and gestational age in ROP. The area under the curve (AUC) and odds ratio (OR) analysis demonstrated that angiogenin/birth weight (AUC = 0.776; OR, 8.6); angiogenin/gestational age (AUC = 0.706; OR, 7.3) and Angiogenin/VEGF (AUC = 0.806; OR, 14.3) ratios were able to differentiated preterm infants with and without ROP.
The association between angiogenin and ROP suggests its possible role in ROP. The ratio of angiogenin level with birth weight, gestational age, and/or VEGF could serve as a potential noninvasive screening biomarker for ROP.
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