Patients with hypertension, diabetes or both exhibited higher levels of urotensin-2 in their aqueous humor, a recent study found. If validated, this may pave the way for future diagnostics that make use of ocular signals for these diseases.

The cohort included 88 patients who had recently undergone cataract surgery. A team of researchers examined participants in four subgroups: Group 1 (hypertension patients), Group 2 (diabetes patients), Group 3 (hypertension and diabetes patients) and Group 4 (healthy controls).

The investigators reported that the controls exhibited significantly lower levels of urotensin-2 than Groups 1-3. Patients with both hypertension and diabetes had significantly higher levels of urotensin-2 than those with diabetes alone.

“The urotensin-2 levels of the aqueous humor were higher in the patients with small pupils (<4mm) compared with the remaining groups,” the study authors concluded in their paper. “Urotensin-2 may play a role in small pupil pathophysiology.”

Bozkurt E, Muhafiz E, Yayla M, et al. The relationship of the urotensin-2 level in the aqueous humor with systemic diseases and pupil size: comparative study. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. November 4, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].