Glaucoma and Helicobacter pylori infection: correlations and controversies
- 1Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
- 2Department of Head/Neck Pathologies, St Martino Hospital, Ophthalmology Unit, Genoa, Italy
- 3Department of Neurosciences, Ophthalmology and Genetics, Clinica Oculistica University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
- 4Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, University “La Sapienza” St Andrea Hospital, Rome, Italy
- Correspondence to Dr S C Saccà, St Martino Hospital, Ophthalmology Unit, Viale Benedetto XV, I° piano. 16132 Genoa, Italy;
- Accepted 22 February 2009
A possible association between Helicobacter pylori infection (fig 1) and eye diseases, including Sjögren syndrome, blepharitis, central serous chorioretinopathy and uveitis, has been proposed. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, after cataracts, and the leading cause of irreversible blindness, but many aspects of its pathogenesis remain unknown. H pylori infection may influence the pathophysiology of glaucoma by releasing various proinflammatory and vasoactive substances, as well as by influencing the apoptotic process, parameters that may also exert their own effects in the induction and/or progression of glaucomatous neuropathy. It is difficult to understand how H pylori infection can be linked to such varied pathologies. Systemic H pylori-induced oxidative damage may be the mechanism which links oxidative stress, H pylori infection and the damage to the trabecular meshwork and optical nerve head that results in glaucoma.
Funding Supported by grants from The Glaucoma Foundation (TGF).
Competing interests None.
Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
See Editorial, p 1420