Relationship between glaucoma and selenium levels in plasma and aqueous humor

Document Type





Research Objective: To explore the relationship between selenium levels in plasma and aqueous humor in patients with and without primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG).
Study Design: Case-controlled study. Location University Physician’s Ophthalmology Clinic in Tucson, AZ.
Funding Source: Research to Prevent Blindness Foundation and the National Eye Institute.
Relevant Methodology: The study was composed of 47 POAG cases and 54 controls. Aqueous humor and plasma selenium were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography ion channel plasma mass spectrometry. Potential confounders were assessed through a questionnaire. Biologic samples were collected and processed at surgery and analyzed for selenium content after the collection was complete. Outcome Measures Odds of glaucoma in relation to plasma and aqueous selenium levels and aqueous/ plasma selenium ratio.
Results: After the adjustment for common glaucoma risk factors, the odds of glaucoma in the highest tertile of plasma selenium (odds ratio = 11.3; P = 0.03) and the middle tertile of aqueous humor selenium (odds ratio = 0.06; P = 0.02) was significantly associated with glaucoma.
Conclusions: A causal pathway cannot be inferred from this analysis. This data, added to that of others, suggest that the pathology is selenium related.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Evidence-Based Ophthalmology