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01.12.2014 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 6/2014

International Ophthalmology 6/2014

The expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in pterygium tissue of atopic patients

International Ophthalmology > Ausgabe 6/2014
Hamid Gharaee, Mohammad Reza Shayegan, Mohammad Reza Khakzad, Sina Kianoush, A-Reza Varasteh, Mojtaba Sankian, Mojtaba Meshkat


The exact pathogenesis of pterygium has not been completely elucidated. Growth factors have been considered to play a role in pterygium formation. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is one of the principal mediators of angiogenesis, fibroblast stimulation and tissue remodeling in allergic conditions. The aim of this study was to compare the association between pterygium and VEGF gene expression between atopic and non-atopic individuals. At first visit, all patients with pterygium underwent blood tests, serum immunoglobulin E (IgE), serum cytokines including interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and peripheral blood eosinophil count. After obtaining informed consents, questionnaires were used to obtain demographic and clinical data from patients who underwent pterygium excision surgery. Skin prick test was performed to confirm or rule out atopy in 30 patients with (case group) and 30 patients without (control group) atopy. Pterygium tissues were then removed by surgery. A semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was performed to determine VEGF gene expression in all patients. Our results illustrated that VEGF mRNA expression in atopic patients was significantly higher than in the non-atopic group (P = 0.01). Eosinophil count, serum IgE and IL-4 were also significantly higher in atopic patients than in the non-atopic group (P = 0.03, 0.001 and 0.001, respectively). However, no significant difference was noted in serum IFN-γ between the two groups (P = 0.06). The excessive expression of VEGF gene in pterygium tissue of patients with atopy suggests that growth factors may play a role in the pathogenesis of pterygium or accelerate its formation.

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