Research Article

In-vitro venous prostacyclin production, plasma 6-keto-prostaglandin F1 alpha concentrations, and diabetic retinopathy.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 282 doi: (Published 18 April 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:1259
  1. T M Davis,
  2. E Bown,
  3. D R Finch,
  4. M D Mitchell,
  5. R C Turner


    Previous studies have shown that vessels from diabetics produce less prostacyclin in vitro than those from normal controls. To determine whether this decreased production is related to complications elective biopsy of a superficial forearm vein was performed on 12 insulin-dependent male diabetics, six with nil or minimal and six with proliferative retinopathy, and seven male controls. Vein segments from the diabetics and controls produced similar amounts of prostacyclin in vitro (medians 0.11 and 0.19 ng/mg tissue respectively), but the segments from the diabetics with nil or minimal retinopathy produced less than those from the diabetics with proliferative retinopathy (medians 0.09 and 0.18 ng/mg respectively). Preoperative plasma immunoreactive concentrations of 6-keto-prostaglandin F1 alpha were not significantly different between the controls and the diabetics (medians 101 and 116 pg/ml respectively). In a separate study, however, 11 diabetics with duration of disease of over 10 years and nil or minimal retinopathy had significantly lower concentrations than a matched group of 16 with background or proliferative retinopathy (medians 79 and 121 pg/ml respectively). These results do not support an association between reduced prostacyclin production and diabetic retinopathy.