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Eye hospital finds clues to overcoming limitations of glaucoma surgery
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2019.06.18 17:44
  • Updated 2019.06.18 17:44
  • comments 0

A research team at Kim's eye hospital has found a method to overcome the surgical site fibrosis, which is a leading cause of poor outcome after glaucoma surgery.

From left, Professors Hwang Young-hoon and Lee Joon-hang

The team, led by Professors Hwang Young-hoon and Lee Joon-hang at the hospital, published a report entitled "Transforming growth factor-β1-induced human subconjunctival fibrosis is mediated by microRNA 142/145 expression," a treatment method that can overcome the limitation of the surgery by lowering the high intraocular pressure.

Glaucoma is an eye disease, in which the optic nerve grows weaker due to various causes. The most important cause of glaucoma and its deterioration is high intraocular pressure.

In most cases, patients control intraocular pressure by using eye drops. If eye drops are not sufficient to treat the symptoms, patients require glaucoma surgery. The surgery creates a way for water in the eyes to pass through the space below the conjunctiva. The biggest problem is that over time, the waterways created by the surgery get clogged due to fibrosis. Although hospitals use various drugs to prevent fibrosis of the glaucoma surgery site, they have limited effectiveness or potential side effects.

To overcome these limitations of glaucoma surgery, the team found a new treatment that could inhibit fibrosis using microRNAs. MicroRNA is a gene that plays a crucial role in cell proliferation and differentiation.

The researchers hypothesized that microRNAs would play an essential role in the process of fibrosis in the human eye, and proved the theory on Tenon's capsule fibroblast, which plays a crucial role in glaucoma surgery site fibrosis.

Among various types of microRNAs, the team found that microRNA 143/145 played an essential role in glaucomatous surgical site fibrosis and observed that by regulating microRNA-they could either proliferate or inhibit the fibrosis cells.

"The research is the first study in the world to use microRNA 143/145 to control fibrosis in glaucoma surgery," Professor Hwang said. "If we can control fibrosis by using the microRNA, we expect that the success rate of glaucoma surgery will go up."

Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science published the results of the study.


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