Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Plasma endothelin-1 concentrations in patients with retinal vein occlusions
  1. Alessandro Iannacconea,
  2. Claudio Letiziaa,b,
  3. Sebastiano Pazzagliaa,
  4. Enzo M Vingoloa,
  5. Giovanni Clementeb,
  6. Mario R Pannaralea
  1. aInstitute of Ophthalmology, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy, bInstitute of Internal Medicine II, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy
  1. Alessandro Iannaccone, MD, University of Tennessee Department of Ophthalmology, Coleman Building, Suite D-228, 956 Court Avenue, Memphis, TN 38163, USA.


AIMS To investigate whether plasma levels of endothelin-1 (ET-1), a potent vasoconstricting peptide that is crucial in regulating retinal blood flow, were elevated in patients with retinal vein occlusion (RVO).

METHODS ET-1 plasma concentrations were determined by radioimmunoassays in a double blind fashion in a group of 18 selected patients with RVO, in 20 healthy age matched non-smoking, normoglycaemic, normotensive control subjects, and in 15 patients with uncomplicated essential hypertension in the same age range.

RESULTS Patients with RVO had significantly increased ET-1 plasma levels (14.22 (SD 4.6) pg/ml) compared with both normal subjects (7.90 (1.6) pg/ml; p < 0.05) and hypertensive patients (8.50 (2.9) pg/ml; p <0.05). The highest concentrations of circulating ET-1 were found in patients with RVO of the ischaemic type (16.97 (3.5) pg/ml; p < 0.01; n = 7). Systemic hypertension alone did not account for the observed increase in plasma ET-1 concentrations.

CONCLUSIONS These findings raise the possibility that the increased circulating ET-1 levels in patients with RVO may be a marker of the occlusive event, thereby suggesting that ET-1 homeostasis may be relevant to RVO pathogenesis and retinal ischaemic manifestations.

  • endothelin-1
  • hypoxia
  • ischaemia
  • retinal vein occlusion
  • thrombogenesis
  • venous stasis

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.