Glaucoma, a leading cause of irreversible blindness, is a global public health concern. Primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG), a prevalent form of glaucoma, poses challenges in early detection and prognosis. However, a groundbreaking study conducted by researchers from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, has identified and validated serum androstenedione as a promising biomarker for PACG.
The study utilized a comprehensive five-phase design to profile blood metabolites and evaluate their diagnostic and predictive capabilities in PACG. In the discovery phase, the researchers identified 32 potential metabolites associated with PACG, with androstenedione showing a significant positive correlation with visual field deviation. Two independent validation phases confirmed the elevated levels of androstenedione in individuals with PACG, demonstrating its diagnostic accuracy. The study also revealed higher levels of androstenedione in severe cases of PACG, suggesting its potential as an indicator of disease severity. Additionally, the study investigated changes in androstenedione levels before and after treatment, indicating its value in monitoring therapeutic efficacy.
An important criterion for the practical application of androstenedione as a clinical biomarker was the positive correlation between serum androstenedione levels and aqueous humor androstenedione levels. This finding supports the biological relevance of androstenedione in PACG. Calibration plots displayed a high level of agreement between predicted and observed values, further validating the reliability of serum androstenedione as a diagnostic biomarker. Baseline androstenedione levels were also identified as a valuable predictor of glaucomatous visual field progression.
The discovery and validation of serum androstenedione as a biomarker for PACG diagnosis and prognosis provide new possibilities for early detection and monitoring of this sight-threatening condition. The study’s findings demonstrate high diagnostic accuracy, efficiency across genders and disease severity, and potential in monitoring treatment outcomes. However, the study acknowledges the need for larger cohorts and further research to confirm and expand on these findings.
The identification of serum androstenedione as a potential biomarker for PACG represents a significant advancement in glaucoma research. It has the potential to transform clinical practice and enhance the quality of life for individuals at risk of developing this debilitating eye condition. Future studies should focus on validating the use of existing drugs, new pharmaceutical compounds, or phytochemicals to decrease serum androstenedione levels and potentially halt the progression of PACG.