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Stuti Misra, Ha Na Ahn, Jennifer P. Craig, Monika Pradhan, Dipika V. Patel, Charles N. J. McGhee; Effect of Panretinal Photocoagulation on Corneal Sensation and the Corneal Subbasal Nerve Plexus in Diabetes Mellitus. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(7):4485-4490. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-10571.
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To assess the effects of panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) for diabetic retinopathy (DR) on the human corneal subbasal nerve plexus (SBNP) and to investigate correlations between corneal subbasal nerve (SBN) density, corneal sensitivity, and diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Thirty-eight subjects with at least a 10-year history of diabetes mellitus (DM) or DR were included. Subjects were assigned to a PRP group (n = 19), having undergone a treatment of retinopathy in at least one eye or a non-PRP group (n = 19), with no history of PRP. The Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument (MNSI) was administered to enable quantification of neuropathic symptoms. Laser scanning in vivo confocal microscopy was performed to capture images of the corneal SBNP to allow determination of SBNP density. Central corneal sensitivity (CST) was evaluated by noncontact aesthesiometry and peripheral vibration perception threshold was measured with a biothesiometer.
Mean SBNP densities were 12.27 ± 4.28 mm/mm2 in the PRP group and 12.75 ± 3.59 mm/mm2 in the non-PRP group. There were no significant differences in SBNP density (P = 0.71), CST (P = 0.84), MNSI score (P = 0.19), and biothesiometry (P = 0.77) between the PRP and non-PRP groups. When data from both groups (n = 38) were combined, corneal sensitivity was modestly correlated with SBNP density (r = 0.30, P = 0.06), and peripheral biothesiometry (r = 0.26, P = 0.11).
In DM correlation of corneal sensitivity, SBNP density, and peripheral biothesiometry may have a potential role in estimating the severity of peripheral neuropathy. Corneal SBNP density and sensitivity appear to be unaffected by PRP laser treatment compared with non-PRP diabetic eyes.
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