Purpose: Chronic inflammation is involved in retinitis pigmentosa (RP). We demonstrated previously that intraocular inflammatory levels, as measured by slit-lamp ophthalmoscopy or laser flare photometry, are inversely correlated with central visual function in patients with RP. Here, we investigated the relationship between serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and visual parameters in RP. Methods: We studied 58 consecutive typical patients with RP <40 years old and 29 age- and gender-matched controls. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) was detected by immunoturbidimetry. The relationships between hs-CRP and visual parameters including best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), mean deviation (MD) of static perimetry tests (Humphrey Field Analyzer, the central 10-2 programme) and VA changes over the prior 5 years and MD changes over the prior 3 years were analysed in the patients with RP. Results: The serum hs-CRP levels of the patients with RP were significantly higher than those of the controls (0.06 ± 0.08 versus 0.03 ± 0.04 mg/dl, p = 0.0119). In the patients with RP, there was no correlation of hs-CRP with cross-sectionally assessed VA or MD, but the baseline hs-CRP was significantly correlated with the MD deterioration (r = −0.4073, p = 0.0314). Conclusion: The average serum hs-CRP was significantly increased in the patients with RP, and higher hs-CRP was associated with faster deterioration of central visual function. These results suggest that the systemic inflammatory profile is altered and may be associated with disease progression in RP.
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