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1.  VITREAL LEVELS OF ERYTHROPOIETIN ARE INCREASED IN PATIENTS WITH RETINAL VEIN OCCLUSION AND CORRELATE WITH VITREAL VEGF AND THE EXTENT OF MACULAR EDEMA 
Retina (Philadelphia, Pa.)  2010;30(9):1524-1529.
Purpose
This study compares vitreal levels of erythropoietin (EPO) in patients with retinal vein occlusion (RVO) with control subjects. In addition, it investigates different RVO disease parameters (time of vein occlusion, patient age, vitreal vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels, and extent of central macular edema) for possible correlations with vitreal EPO levels.
Methods
Serum and vitreal EPO were measured from 6 patients with branch retinal vein occlusion, 6 patients with central retinal vein occlusion, and 12 control subjects (10 macular puckers and 2 macular holes).
Results
Serum EPO levels (9.8 ± 4.9 mU/mL) did not differ between the RVO and control groups and were significantly lower than vitreal EPO levels in all groups. Vitreal EPO was elevated both in branch RVO (91 ± 59 mU/mL) and central RVO (182 ± 70 mU/mL) compared with controls (35 ± 24 mU/mL). Increased vitreal EPO correlated with higher vitreal VEGF (r = 0.64, P = 0.0008) and more pronounced central macular edema (r = 0.66, P = 0.001).
Conclusion
The results from this study indicate that EPO is locally expressed in the retina and that it is upregulated together with VEGF in RVO eyes. Because of its role both in neuroprotection and angiogenesis, ocular EPO might represent an interesting target to investigate in patients with RVO, especially in light of the current anti-VEGF treatments.
doi:10.1097/IAE.0b013e3181d37539
PMCID: PMC4016716  PMID: 20664492
erythropoietin; EPO; retinal vein occlusion; VEGF; macular edema; CME
2.  Validation of an LC-MS/MS method to determine five immunosuppressants with deuterated internal standards including MPA 
Background
Therapeutic drug monitoring of immunosuppressive drugs in organ-transplanted patients is crucial to prevent intoxication or transplant rejection due to inadequate dosage. The commonly used immunoassays have been gradually undergoing replacement by mass spectrometry, since this physical method offers both a higher sensitivity and specificity. However, a switch should be carefully considered because it is a challenging procedure and needs to be thoroughly validated.
From an economic perspective it is reasonable to include mycophenolic acid into the assay, because this saves the necessity for an additional measurement. However, to date very few validation protocols for the measurement of immunosuppressants, including mycophenolic acid, are available. In order to adequately compensate for matrix effects, the use of stable isotope labeled internal standards is advisable. Here, the authors describe a single method suitable for the quantification of cyclosporine A, tacrolimus, sirolimus, everolimus and mycophenolic acid, based on deuterated internal standards.
Methods
Plasma proteins were precipitated with zinc-sulfate, followed by an online solid phase extraction in the flow-through direction. Chromatographic separation was performed by a c18-phenyl-hexyl column. For subsequent mass spectrometric analysis stable-isotope-labeled internal standards were used. Results were available after 3.5 minutes.
Results
Low quantification limits (accuracy: 104 - 118%) and linearity resulted in 2 -1250 ng/ml for cyclosporine A; 0.5 - 42.2 ng/ml for tacrolimus; 0.6 - 49.2 ng/ml for sirolimus; 0.5 - 40.8 ng/ml for everolimus and 0.01 - 7.5 μg/ml for mycophenolic acid. Intra-assay precision revealed a coefficient of variation (CV) of 0.9 - 14.7%, with an accuracy of 89 - 138%. The CV of inter-assay precision was 2.5 - 12.5%, with an accuracy of 90 - 113%. Recovery ranged from 76.6 to 84%. Matrix effects were well compensated by deuterated internal standards.
Conclusions
The authors present a fast, economical and robust method for routine therapeutic drug monitoring comprising five immunosuppressants including mycophenolic acid.
doi:10.1186/1472-6904-12-2
PMCID: PMC3398287  PMID: 22236286

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