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Alteration of choroidal vascular structure in diabetic retinopathy

Abstract

Purpose The aim of this study was to analyse choroidal structures in normal patients and patients with diabetes with various severities of diabetic retinopathy (DR).

Methods This is a retrospective observation case control study. Three hundred and forty-two diabetic eyes, and age-matched 112 eyes without diabetes mellitus (DM) were enrolled in this study. Patients with DM were classified into no DR, mild/moderate non-proliferative DR (mNPDR), severe NPDR and proliferative DR (PDR). Patients with DM were further divided into two groups based on information regarding systemic DM treatment situation: DM-treated and untreated groups. Central choroidal thickness (CCT), and total choroidal area (TCA), luminal area (LA) and stromal area (SA) were determined using enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography and a binarisation method, respectively. The ratio of LA in the TCA was defined as L/C ratio.

Results The haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) value was significantly higher in the DM-untreated than in the DM-treated subjects. L/C ratio was significantly lower in all the diabetic eyes than control eyes (p<0.05). TCA, LA, L/C ratio and CCT were significantly greater in the DM-untreated than treated group (each p<0.05). In the DM-untreated group, TCA and LAs (p<0.05) and L/C ratio (p<0.01) were significantly lower in mNPDR subjects than normal controls (p<0.05). PDR in the DM-untreated group showed significantly larger SA and LA, and greater CCT than normal controls (each p<0.05).

Conclusions These results suggest that choroidal vasculature was initially involved at an early DR, whereas thickened LA and SA were noted in advanced DR.

  • diabetic retinopathy
  • choroidal vasculature
  • binarization
  • diabetes mellitus
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