Serum Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 in Patients with and without Pterygia


Purpose: Pterygium is a common fibro-vascular-related eye disease. The fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) helps reduce neovascularization. Previous studies have shown that the serum level of FGF21 correlates with vascular eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity. In this study, the serum FGF21 is compared in patients with and without pterygium.

Methods: This descriptive-analytical cross-sectional study examines individuals with pterygium who visited the Ophthalmology Clinic of Khatam-al-Anbia Hospital in Mashhad, Iran, during 2017–2018. Control subjects were selected from healthy people without pterygium disease. Patients with a history of acute illness, chronic liver and kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, malnutrition and drug use, women who were pregnant or breastfeeding, and subjects who were taking anticonvulsants or glucocorticoids were excluded as these may affect insulin and glycosuria levels. Sixty people (30 in each group) were chosen using the convenient sampling method. Intravenous blood samples were taken from all patients. After preparing the patients, the freeze was checked using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method after samples had been taken. Data were analyzed by SPSS using an independent t-test, Mann–Whitney, Chi-square, Kruskal–Wallis, and Kolmogorov–Smirnov tests (α = 0.05).


Results: The serum FGF21 levels were 319.09 ± 246.93 pg/ml and 608.88 ± 449.81 pg/ml (P = 0.005) in the pterygium group and control subjects, respectively. The average serum FGF21 was 281.55 ± 40.74 pg/ml in males and 361.375 ± 10.298 pg/ml in females in the pterygium group. The difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.19).


Conclusion: Our study showed that FGF21 levels were lower in patients with pterygium than the control subjects to a statistically significant level.


Fibroblast, Growth Factor 21, Pterygium, Serum Levels

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