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Alterations of the immune system may have a role in thrombogenesis. Artery sites occluded with thrombi apparently release pro-inflammatory cytokines. Non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy (NAION) results from occlusion of the blood supply to the optic nerve. The aim of this study was to analyse levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in patients with acute event of NAION.Study participants included 10 patients (12 eyes) with NAION and 20 age matched controls with the same risk factors for atherosclerosis disease. Peripheral blood samples were obtained immediately at the acute onset of NAION. Plasma interleukin 8 (IL-8), IL-6, and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) levels were measured immediately following diagnosis and during the follow up intervals.The plasma levels of IL-8 were significantly higher in NAION patients at the time of diagnosis in comparison to the control group (p = 0.002), and decreased during the follow up period (6–12 months) (p = 0.05). There were no differences in plasma levels of IL-6 and TNF-α between NAION patients and controls, either in the acute phase or during the follow up period.Plasma levels of IL-8 are elevated during the acute phase of NAION, but not IL-6 and TNF-α. These elevated levels are in accordance with other acute vascular thrombosis. The clinical significance of these findings should be further evaluated.