This study was designed to evaluate plasma homocysteine levels in noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus patients (NIDDM) with preproliferative retinopathy and neovascular glaucoma. The experimental goal was to determine the relationship between plasma homocysteine content and the development of microvascular lesions.Methods:
Plasma homocysteine levels were assessed in three experimental groups consisting of healthy controls (n=30), NIDDM patients with preproliferative retinopathy (n=20) and NIDDM patients with neovascular glaucoma (n=20). Homocysteine levels were determined via a fluorescence polarization immunoassay method by an Abbot IMX instrument.Results:
Plasma homocysteine levels in NIDDM patients with preproliferative retinopathy and neovascular glaucoma (n=40) were found to be significantly higher than those of controls (n=30) (p < 0.01). When statistical analysis was performed separately among the three experimental groups, no significant difference in plasma homocysteine levels were found in patients with preproliferative retinopathy compared to controls. However, homocysteine levels in patients with neovascular glaucoma were found to be significantly higher than the control group (p < 0.001). No significant difference in plasma homocysteine levels could be detected between patients with preproliferative retinopathy and neovascular glaucoma.Conclusions:
Hyperhomocysteinemia is a risk factor for the development of microvascular lesions in patients with NIDDM but cannot be used as a marker to assess the progression of lesions observed in neovascular glaucoma.