Purpose: Growth Differentiation Factor 15 (GDF15) was previously identified as a molecular marker of retinal ganglion cell stress in rodent models of glaucoma and was elevated in the aqueous humor (AH) of patients with primary open-angle glaucoma as a possible risk factor for glaucoma progression. The purpose of this study was to determine whether changes in the AH GDF15 levels were associated with intraocular pressure (IOP) changes in eyes undergoing glaucoma surgery. Methods: Here, we performed a prospective, longitudinal pilot study in nine patients to determine whether changes in AH GDF15 levels from surgery to post-surgery follow-up were associated with IOP fluctuation. An initial AH sample was taken from the peripheral corneal paracentesis during planned glaucoma surgery, and a second sample was taken during an outpatient follow-up visit, approximately six months later. Results: There was a statistically significant correlation between GDF15 fold change and IOP standard deviation (r = 0.87, P = 0.003), IOP range (r = 0.87, P = 0.003), and maximum IOP (r = 0.86, P = 0.003). There was no correlation between the GDF15 fold change and baseline IOP (r = 0.50, P = 0.17), final IOP (r = 0.038, P = 0.92), or mean IOP (r = 0.40, P = 0.28). Conclusion: Our findings in this pilot study suggest that longitudinal changes in AH GDF15 may be associated with IOP fluctuation during the postoperative period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ophthalmic and Vision Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Gdf15
  • Glaucoma
  • Molecular markers
  • Neurodegeneration


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