Diabetic macular edema, retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration as inflammatory conditions
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Submission date: 2015-04-07
Final revision date: 2015-04-17
Acceptance date: 2015-04-20
Online publication date: 2016-08-25
Publication date: 2016-08-31
Arch Med Sci 2016;12(5):1142–1157
Diabetic macular edema (DME) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) are complications affecting about 25% of all patients with long-standing type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus and are a major cause of significant decrease in vision and quality of life. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is not uncommon, and diabetes mellitus affects the incidence and progression of AMD through altering hemodynamics, increasing oxidative stress, accumulating advanced glycation end products, etc. Recent studies suggest that DME, DR and AMD are inflammatory conditions characterized by a breakdown of the blood-retinal barrier, inflammatory processes and an increase in vascular permeability. Key factors that seem to have a dominant role in DME, DR and AMD are angiotensin II, prostaglandins and the vascular endothelial growth factor and a deficiency of anti-inflammatory bioactive lipids. The imbalance between pro- and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids and enhanced production of pro-angiogenic factors may initiate the onset and progression of DME, DR and AMD. This implies that bioactive lipids that possess anti-inflammatory actions and suppress the production of angiogenic factors could be employed in the prevention and management of DME, DR and AMD.