Exploring retinal markers of diabetic neuropathy

Moavenshahidi, Ayda, Sampson, Geoff, Pritchard, Nicola, Edwards, Katie P., Vagenas, Dimitrios, Russell, Anthony, Malik, Rayaz A., & Efron, Nathan (2010) Exploring retinal markers of diabetic neuropathy. ARVO Abstracts, 2241-A421.

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Abstract

Purpose

To investigate the application of retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness as a marker for severity of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) in people with Type 2 diabetes.

Methods

This was a cross-sectional study whereby 61 participants (mean age 61 [41-75 years], mean duration of diabetes 14 [1-40 years], 70% male) with Type 2 diabetes and DPN underwent optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans. Global and 4 quadrant (TSNI) RNFL thicknesses were measured at 3.45mm around the optic nerve head of one eye. Neuropathy disability score (NDS) was used to assess the severity of DPN on a 0 to 10 scale. Participants were divided into three age-matched groups representing mild (NDS=3-5), moderate (NDS=6-8) and severe (NDS=9-10) neuropathy. Two regression models were fitted for statistical analysis: 1) NDS scores as co-variate for global and quadrant RNFL thicknesses, 2) NDS groups as a factor for global RNFL thickness only.

Results

Mean (SD) RNFL thickness (µm) was 103(9) for mild neuropathy (n=34), 101(10) for moderate neuropathy (n=16) and 95(13) in the group with severe neuropathy (n=11). Global RNFL thickness and NDS scores were statistically significantly related (b=-1.20, p=0.048). When neuropathy was assessed across groups, a trend of thinner mean RNFL thickness was observed with increasing severity of neuropathy; however, this result was not statistically significant (F=2.86, p=0.065). TSNI quadrant analysis showed that mean RNFL thickness reduction in the inferior quadrant was 2.55 µm per 1 unit increase in NDS score (p=0.005). However, the regression coefficients were not statistically significant for RNFL thickness in the superior (b=-1.0, p=0.271), temporal (b=-0.90, p=0.238) and nasal (b=-0.99, p=0.205) quadrants.

Conclusions

RNFL thickness was reduced with increasing severity of DPN and the effect was most evident in the inferior quadrant. Measuring RNFL thickness using OCT may prove to be a useful, non-invasive technique for identifying severity of DPN and may also provide additional insight into common mechanisms for peripheral neuropathy and RNFL damage.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 67924
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Deposited On: 03 Mar 2014 00:23
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2014 21:37

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