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Ahmed F. Abdel-hay, Ling Zhi Heng, Roxanne Crosby-Nwaobi, Sobha Sivaprasad; Comparison of retinal thickness using Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography (SD-OCT) in diabetic subjects compared to controls. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):832.
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Neuronal changes are thought to precede microvascular changes in diabetes. So this study compared retinal thickness (RT) in diabetic subjects compared to controls in a multiethnic cohort using Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography (SD-OCT).
This is a retrospective study on 72 diabetic subjects (with no or minimal retinopathy) and 46 normal subjects. Subjects were from three ethnic groups (Asian, Afro-Caribbean and Caucasian); with age range 20-86 years and best corrected visual acuity 20/20 or better. The OCT scans were performed using a standard protocol on the Heidelberg Spectralis SD-OCT as part of routine medical care. Retinal thickness (RT) in 9 Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) subfields, including central subfield was compared between the two groups after adjusting for age, gender and ethnicity.
There is no difference in mean retinal thickness between diabetics and non-diabetics after adjusting for age, gender and ethnic origin. In the control subjects, the mean central sub-field thickness (CST) was 261.87 ± 22.24µm, being thickest in Caucasians followed by Asians and then Afro-Caribbeans (p=0.024). There was significant change in RT with age (p<0.01) and males having thicker CST than females (p=0.013).
Neuronal changes in diabetes are not detected by measuring RT on OCT. These results also suggest that studies comparing OCT measurements should carefully control for age, race, and gender-based variations in retinal thickness.
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