Racial differences in oxygen levels in the anterior segment help identify risk factors for glaucoma

The study consisted of 106 patients undergoing cataract and/or glaucoma surgery. The distribution of oxygen (pO2) was sampled in the anterior chamber angle, mid-anterior chamber, and near the central corneal endothelium of all the patients. Using small-molecule “metabolomic “profiling, researchers analyzed the aqueous humor from 36 patients with the lowest or highest pO2.

In the reference group, African Americans had significantly higher pO2 than Caucasians beneath the central cornea, in the mid-anterior chamber, near the lens and in the posterior chamber. A marginally significant higher pO2 was found in the AC angle of African Americans. The results also revealed statistically significant elevation of several acyl-carnitines in patients with lower oxygen levels in the aqueous humor compared to the patients with higher levels of pO2.

According to the researchers, “African heritage is an important risk factor for development of open angle glaucoma and has been associated with differences in systemic oxidative metabolism, specifically mitochondrial oxidative capacity.” Based on the results of their study, the team concluded: “Lower levels of acyl-carnitines and elevated oxygen in the aqueous suggest that racial differences in mitochondrial activity underlie these differences in ocular metabolism.”

Abstract Title: Racial Differences of Oxygen Levels in the Human Ocular Anterior Segment In Vivo
Presentation Start/End Time: Tuesday, May 4, 2010, 8:30 – 10:15am
Location: Hall B/C, Broward County Convention Center
Session Number: 375

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