Aqueous Flare, Functional-Morphological Parameters, and Cytokines in Age-Related Macular Degeneration after Anti-VEGF Treatment

The Open Ophthalmology Journal 10 Nov 2021 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874364102115010209



The role of inflammation and cytokines in AMD and anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (anti-VEGF) treatment remains unclear. Therefore, this study aimed to examine whether anti-VEGF treatment for exudative Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) affects aqueous flare value (an indicator of inflammation), functional-morphologic parameters, and aqueous humor levels of cytokines or inflammatory mediators.


We compared aqueous humor levels of 8 cytokines, growth factors (including VEGF), and inflammatory mediators in 43 patients who received anti-VEGF treatment with aflibercept for AMD and 24 healthy controls by the suspension array method. In addition, we measured aqueous flare values with a laser flare meter and Central Macular Thickness (CMT) and Macular Volume (MV) by optical coherence tomography.


The patient group had a significantly higher aqueous flare value than the control group. At baseline, CMT showed significant correlations with aqueous humor levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-8 and MV, with aqueous humor levels of VEGF, sICAM-1, MCP-1, IL-6, and IL-8. Moreover, we found significant correlations between aqueous flare value and aqueous humor levels of MCP-1, IL-6, IL-8, and interferon-gamma–inducible protein 10. One month after anti-VEGF treatment, the patient group showed a significant correlation between the change in MV and improvement in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA); CMT showed no such correlation.


Inflammation appears to be involved in AMD. Change in MV may be an index of improvement in BCVA in patients receiving anti-VEGF treatment for AMD.

Keywords: Age-related macular degeneration, Anti-VEGF treatment, Inflammation, Aqueous flare value, Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, Soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, Interleukin, Interferon-inducible 10-kDa protein.
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