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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2012, Article ID 872978, 11 pages
Review Article

Usefulness of the Vitreous Fluid Analysis in the Translational Research of Diabetic Retinopathy

1Department of Endocrinology, Hospital Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona, Spain
2Diabetes and Metabolism Research Unit, Vall d'Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), Autonomous University of Barcelona, Pg Vall d'Hebron 119-129, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
3CIBER de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas, (CIBERDEM), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 08035 Barcelona, Spain

Received 18 July 2012; Accepted 21 August 2012

Academic Editor: Ahmed M. Abu El-Asrar

Copyright © 2012 Olga Simó-Servat et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the major cause of acquired blindness in working-age adults. Current treatments for DR (laser photocoagulation, intravitreal corticosteroids, intravitreal antivascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents, and vitreo-retinal surgery) are applicable only at advanced stages of the disease and are associated with significant adverse effects. Therefore, new pharmacological treatments for the early stages of the disease are needed. Vitreous fluid obtained from diabetic patients undergoing vitreoretinal surgery is currently used to explore the events that are taking place in the retina for clinical research. However, several confounding factors such as vitreous haemorrhage and concentration of vitreous proteins should be considered in the analysis of the results. In this paper we will focus on the vitreous fluid as a tool for exploring the mediators of DR and in particular the molecules related to inflammatory pathways. In addition, their role in the pathogenesis of DR will be discussed. The usefulness of new technologies such as flow cytometry and proteomics in identifying new candidates involved in the inflammatory process that occurs in DR will be overviewed. Finally, a more personalized treatment based on vitreous fluid analysis aiming to reduce the burden associated with DR is suggested.