Background/Aims Neurofilament light chain (NfL) levels in cerebrospinal fluid and serum are reliable indicators for neuroaxonal damage in a broad spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases. Herein, we investigate NfL levels in serum and anterior chamber fluid of patients with glaucoma.
Methods Patients scheduled for routine glaucoma or cataract surgery were recruited for this study. Retinal nerve fibre layer thickness was measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT, Heidelberg Spectralis). NfL levels in serum and in anterior chamber fluid were analysed with Simoa SR-X Analyzer (Quanterix; NFLIGHT, Lexington, Massachusetts, USA). T-test was used for parametric data and Mann-Whitney-U test for nonparametric data. Spearman’s rank-order correlation was used to investigate correlations. P values<0.05 were considered as statistically significant.
Results Sixty patients with glaucoma and 58 controls were enrolled. Serum NfL concentration of patients with glaucoma was similar to serum NfL concentration in controls (median (IQR); 22.7 (18.9) pg/mL vs 22.5 (24.0) pg/mL; p=0.763). A positive correlation of serum NfL with age was observed in both patients with glaucoma (r=0.77; p<0.001) and in the control group (r=0.82, p<0.001). In the anterior chamber fluid, the NfL concentration was substantially increased in patients with glaucoma compared with controls (20.7 (101.3) pg/mL vs 3.1 (2.9) pg/mL; p<0.001). Furthermore, we found a positive correlation of anterior chamber fluid NfL with preoperative intraocular pressure (r=0.39, p=0.003) and with retinal nerve fibre layer thickness (r=0.58, p<0.001).
Conclusion NfL levels in anterior chamber fluid are elevated in patients with glaucoma and correlate with intraocular pressure and retinal nerve fibre layer thickness. The presented data strongly support anterior chamber fluid NfL as a new marker for glaucoma.
- Anterior chamber
- Aqueous humour
Data availability statement
Data are available upon reasonable request.
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MK and EL are joint senior authors.
Contributors NW, MK and EL made a substantial contribution to the present work in the design of the study, acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data, manuscript drafting and approval of the version of the manuscript to be published. MK and EL share senior authorship. KV, LH, AG, JH-W, MRS and ML had contributed to acquisition of data, critical revision for important intellectual content and approval of the version to be published. DI, NS, LS had an important participation in the critical revision for important intellectual content and approval of the present version of the manuscript. AB provided acquisition of data, critical revision for important intellectual content and approval of the present version of the manuscript. RR provided analysis and interpretation of data, manuscript drafting and approval of the version of the manuscript to be published. EL is responsible for the overall content as the guarantor.
Funding This study was funded by means of the Medical University of Graz.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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