Patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms and high levels of systemic inflammation develop age-related macular degeneration

Charlotte Liisborg, Marie Krogh Nielsen, Hans Carl Hasselbalch, Torben Lykke Sørensen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review


Background: Epidemiological data show that myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are associated with increased risk of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). However, knowledge about the retinal findings in these patients is lacking. This study was conducted to examine retinal ageing and the prevalence of a hallmark of AMD; drusen, in patients with MPNs. Further, we examine the role of chronic systemic inflammation, considered central in both AMD and MPNs.

Methods: In this single-centre cross-sectional study, we consecutively enrolled 200 patients with MPNs. The study was divided into three substudies. Firstly, we obtained colour fundus photographs from all patients to evaluate and compare the prevalence of drusen with the published estimates from three large population-based studies. Secondly, to evaluate age-related changes in the various retinal layers, optical coherence tomography images were obtained from 150 of the patients and compared to a healthy control group, from a previous study. Thirdly, venous blood was sampled from 63 patients to determine the JAK2V617F allele burden and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), a marker of systemic inflammation, in MPN patients with and without drusen.

Findings: Patients with MPNs had an increased risk of having large drusen compared to the three population-based studies OR 5·7 (95%CI, 4·1-8·0), OR 6·0 (95%CI, 4·2-8·4) and OR 7·0 (95%CI, 5·0-9·7). Also, we found that the retinal site of drusen accumulation - the Bruch's-membrane-retinal-pigment-epithelium-complex was thicker compared to healthy controls, 0·43μm (95%CI 0·17-0·71, p = 0·0014), but there was no sign of accelerated retinal ageing in terms of thinning of the neuroretina. Further, we found that MPN patients with drusen had a higher level of systemic inflammation than MPN patients with no drusen (p = 0·0383).

Interpretation: Patients with MPNs suffer from accelerated accumulation of subretinal drusen and therefore AMD from an earlier age than healthy individuals. We find that the retinal changes are located only between the neuroretina and the choroidal bloodstream. Further, we find that the drusen accumulation is associated with a higher JAK2V617F allele burden and a higher NLR, suggesting that low-grade chronic inflammation is a part of the pathogenesis of drusen formation and AMD.

Funding: Fight for Sight, Denmark and Region Zealand's research promotion fund.

StatusUdgivet - sep. 2020

Bibliografisk note

© 2020 The Author(s).


Udforsk hvilke forskningsemner 'Patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms and high levels of systemic inflammation develop age-related macular degeneration' indeholder.