PURPOSE: To evaluate serum soluble Flt-1 (sFlt-1) in age-related degeneration (AMD) patients.
DESIGN: Case control study.
METHODS: Fifty-six non-AMD participants, fifty-three early AMD patients and ninety-seven neovascular AMD patients from Belfast in Northern Ireland. Serum samples were collected from each patient. Serum sFlt-1 was measured by human sVEGFR1/sFlt-1 ELISA kit. The results were analyzed by Excel and SPSS.
RESULTS: Serum sFlt-1 concentration of non-AMD, early AMD, and neovascular AMD were 90.8±2.9 pg/mL (±SEM), 88.2±2.6 pg/mL and 79.9±2.2 pg/mL. sFlt-1 from neovascular AMD patients was significantly decreased compared to non-AMD and early AMD patients (ANOVA, p<0.01). For each 10 point increase in sFlt-1, the odds for having neovascular AMD compared with non-AMD and neovascular AMD decreases by 27.8% OR=0.722 (95% CI: 0.588-0.888, p=0.002) and 27.0% OR=0.730 (95% CI: 0.594-0.898, p=0.003), respectively. In patients over 73 years of age, serum sFlt-1 <80 pg/mL was associated with a >6-fold higher risk of neovascular AMD.
CONCLUSIONS: Reduced serum sFlt-1 differentiates those patients with neovascular AMD from both early AMD and non-AMD participants. In those aged over 73, serum sFlt <80 pg/mL seems to indicate a particularly high risk of neovascular AMD. Our results indicate serum sFlt-1 could be a biomarker for development of neovascular AMD.