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Relationship between Glaucoma and Selenium Levels in Plasma and Aqueous Humor
  1. Roberta L Bruhn (rlbruhn{at},
  2. W Daniel Stamer (dstamer{at},
  3. Lisa A Herrygers,
  4. Jason Levine,
  5. Robert J Noecker (noeckerrj{at}
  1. University of Arizona, United States
  2. University of Arizona, United States
  3. University of Arizona, United States
  4. University of Arizona, United States
  5. University of Pittsburgh, United States


    Objective: To compare selenium levels in plasma and aqueous humor in subjects with and without primary open-angle glaucoma.

    Methods: 47 primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) cases and 54 controls in this case-control study were recruited from surgery patients at the University Physician's Ophthalmology Clinic in Tucson, Arizona. Aqueous humor and plasma selenium were determined by high performance liquid chromatography ion channel plasma-mass spectrometry (HPLC ICP-MS). Potential confounders were assessed via questionnaire. Biological samples were collected and processed at surgery and analyzed for selenium content after collection was complete. Outcome measures included the odds of glaucoma in relationship to plasma selenium, aqueous humor selenium, and the ratio of aqueous humor to plasma selenium.

    Results: Tertile of selenium and its relationship to POAG was examined. After adjustment for common glaucoma risk factors, the odds of glaucoma in the highest tertile of plasma selenium (OR = 11.3; p=.03) and the middle tertile of aqueous humor selenium (OR = 0.06; p=0.02) was significantly associated with glaucoma.

    Conclusion: Although a causal pathway cannot be inferred from our analysis, our data plus that of others suggest selenium-related pathology.

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