Background/aim: Little is known about biochemical markers related to change in visual acuity after vitrectomy. The potential use of transthyretin (TTR), a carrier of the retinol/retinol-binding protein, as a biochemical marker protein, was investigated.
Methods: TTR was measured using immunonephelometry in a group of patients (n = 77) in longstanding (>1 week) retinal detachment (n = 29), fresh (<1 week) retinal detachment (n = 17), macular holes (n = 20) or diabetic retinopathy (n = 11). Vitreous samples were taken at the start of every vitrectomy procedure. For reference values, cadaver specimens (n = 73) were used.
Results: Reference values for vitreous TTR (median 18 mg/l; IQR 4 to 24 mg/l) comprised 2.2% of reference values for vitreous protein levels (median 538 mg/l; IQR 269 to 987 mg/l). Vitreous TTR values of patients were comparable in all disorders. Vitreous TTR values were higher in phakic (median 22.5 mg/l; IQR 10 to 27 mg/l) than in pseudophakic patients (median 12 mg/l; IQR 8 to 19 mg/l; p = 0.06). Postoperative change in visual acuity correlated well with vitreous TTR values found peroperatively (rs = 0.408; p = 0.012). Both change in visual acuity and lens status were the only variables which proved to explain the variance of TTR (multiple correlation coefficient: 0.494; phakic status: t = 2.767; p = 0.0084; and change in visual acuity t = 2.924: p = 0.0056).
Conclusion: Vitreous fluid concentrations of TTR can be regarded as a biochemical marker for retinal function.
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