EPO responsible for DR

August 11, 2008

Erythropoietin (EPO) could be responsible for the development of diabetic retinopathy, according to a study published in the August 2008 issue of Eye.

Erythropoietin (EPO) could be responsible for the development of diabetic retinopathy, according to a study published in the August 2008 issue of Eye.

J. Garcì-Arumì of the Department of Ophthalmology, Hospital Vall d' Hebron, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain and colleagues investigated the role of EPO in macular oedema-causing conditions - as subjects with diabetic macular oedema (DME) have high levels of EPO - by comparing vitreous EPO levels in subjects with macular oedema secondary to retinal vein occlusion (RVO) with the EPO levels of DME and control subjects.

The team found the median vitreous level of EPO in RVO subjects to be 76 mU/ml (range: 30–806); in control subjects, the median level was 25 mU/ml (range: 10–75); in DME subjects, the median level was 430 mU/ml (range: 41–3000).

As the levels of EPO were significantly higher in DME subjects than in RVO or control subjects, the team concluded that, while EPO may play a role in the development of diabetic retinopathy, it does not have a role in the pathogenesis of macular oedema secondary to RVO.