The new scanning laser technique allows one to quantify the retinal microcirculation. A digital image analysing system was used to study capillary blood flow velocities and morphological parameters of perifoveal intercapillary areas and foveal avascular zones in normal and diabetic subjects. Diabetic patients showed a significant reduction in capillary blood cell velocities in comparison with normal subjects. Perifoveal intercapillary areas and foveal avascular zones were significantly increased in all stages of diabetic retinopathy, and both parameters increased with progressing diabetic retinopathy. Significant changes in the perifoveal intercapillary areas were observed between normal subjects and patients with no retinopathy.
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