Background: To perform a comprehensive serum growth factor analysis in dry eye syndrome patients and to compare this with matched controls.
Methods: Six female dry eye syndrome patients and six age- and gender-matched controls were recruited. Whole blood was collected, allowed to clot and then centrifuged. Serum was extracted by using sterile technique. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were performed to quantify serum growth factor levels.
Results: Levels of transforming growth factor-beta 1 and 2 (TGF-β1 and β2), nerve growth factor (NGF), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), epidermal growth factor (EGF), acidic and basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF), keratinocyte growth factor (KGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet-derived growth factor-AA, AB and BB (PDGF-AA, AB and BB), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) were quantified, and statistical analysis was performed by using the Mann–Whitney U-test with the Bonferroni correction.
Conclusions: No significant difference was found between serum growth factor levels in dry eye syndrome patients versus controls. Our study provides comprehensive analysis of serum growth factor levels in autologous serum eye drops produced from ocular surface disease patients. A knowledge of growth factor levels in serum may be important because of the increasing use of autologous serum eye drops in refractory ocular surface diseases and for an understanding of how topical serum may provide benefit.