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H. W. Van Dijk, P. H. B. Kok, M. Garvin, M. Sonka, R. O. Schlingemann, F. D. Verbraak, M. D. Abramoff; Selective Loss of Inner Retinal Layer Thickness in Type 1 Diabetic Patients With Minimal Diabetic Retinopathy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):3244.
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Determine whether diabetes differentially affects specific retinal layers by comparing the thickness of six retinal layers in diabetic patients with no or minimal diabetic retinopathy (DR) to age- and gender-matched normal controls.
Forty-four patients with type 1 diabetes and no or minimal DR underwent full ophthalmic examination, stereoscopic fundus photographs and spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT). Following automated segmentation of intraretinal layers of the OCT images, mean thickness was calculated for 6 individual layers of the retina in the fovea, the pericentral area and the peripheral area of the central macula and compared to an age- and gender-matched control group.
In type 1 diabetic patients with minimal DR, the retinal nerve fiber layer (p=0.00) and the ganglion cell/inner plexiform layer (p=0.02) were significantly thinner compared to age- and gender-matched controls. No other layers showed a significant difference.
Thinning of the total retina in diabetic patients with minimal DR relative to normal controls is due to a selective thinning of inner retinal layers and supports the concept that early DR includes a neuro-degenerative component.
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