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Mara Lorenzi, Gilbert T. Feke, Linda Pitler, Fatmire Berisha, Julia Kolodjaschna, J. Wallace McMeel; Defective Myogenic Response to Posture Change in Retinal Vessels of Well-Controlled Type 1 Diabetic Patients with No Retinopathy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(12):6770-6775. https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.10-5785.
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The current approach to the prevention of diabetic retinopathy relies on intensive anti-diabetes treatment and is only partially successful. A marker of retinopathy risk would enable strategies of surveillance, screening of adjunct drugs, and targeted drug interventions. The authors sought to identify early abnormalities of retinal vessels that are not prevented by the current therapeutic approach.
Retinal thickness (an informer of vascular permeability) and hemodynamic parameters at baseline and longitudinally were measured in 27 subjects (age, 32 ± 9 years [mean ± SD]) with well-controlled type 1 diabetes of 12.4 ± 6.4 years' duration and no retinopathy, and in 27 control subjects. In a subset of 17 patients and 11 controls, the hemodynamic response to reclining, a postural change that increases retinal perfusion pressure, was measured.
Baseline foveal thickness and hemodynamic parameters were similar in the diabetic and control subjects. Foveal thickness increased over 12 months in the diabetic subjects, from 217 ± 22 μm to 222 ± 20 μm (P = 0.0036), remaining however within the normal range. Reclining uncovered in 47% of diabetic subjects (P = 0.016 compared with controls) an absent myogenic response (i.e., unchanged or increased arterial diameter instead of the normal decrease). The patterns were repeatable. Only the diabetic group with defective vasoconstriction showed widening arterial diameter over 12 months, a change presaging vascular dilatation in diabetic retinopathy.
Defective myogenic response to pressure was the first detectable abnormality of retinal vessels in subjects with well-controlled type 1 diabetes. Because of its selective occurrence, interpretability in individual patients, and pathogenic potential, the abnormality deserves evaluation as a risk marker for retinopathy.
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