Supplementary Material for: The Key Role of VEGF in the Cross Talk between Pterygium and Dry Eye and Its Clinical Significance

Purpose: To examine whether dry eye severity is a risk factor for pterygium activity and whether vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is crucial in the cross talk between pterygium and dry eye. Methods: A total of 103 patients with primary pterygium (Pteg) were included in the study group; they were divided into 2 groups according to the complication of dry eye (DE) (Pteg + DE group, Pteg – DE group). Further, 60 patients with just dry eye (DE group) and 60 normal individuals (normal) were included as 2 control groups. DE severity and pterygium activity were measured, and unstimulated tear samples and pterygium tissues were collected for cytokine detection. Results: (1) Tear detection: VEGF expression increased in the Pteg + DE group compared to the Pteg – DE, DE, and normal control groups; VEGF was especially increased in the active Pteg + DE group. VEGF concentration was positively correlated with pterygium activity. (2) Tissue detection: the mRNA expression of VEGF was upregulated in the active pterygium group. Conclusions: Inflammation played an important role in the development of dry eye and pterygium. VEGF was the core molecule in the cross talk, which might explain the high incidence of the coexistence of these 2 diseases.

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