May 2006
Volume 47, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2006
Corneal Diabetic Neuropathy: A Confocal Microscopy Study
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • A. Manfre
    Ophthalmology, University, Padova, Italy
  • E. Brugin
    Ophthalmology, University, Padova, Italy
  • A. Ghirlando
    Ophthalmology, University, Padova, Italy
  • E. Moretto
    Ophthalmology, University, Padova, Italy
  • E. Midena
    Ophthalmology, University, Padova, Italy
    Fondazione G.B. Bietti per l'Oftalmologia, IRCCS, Roma, Italy
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  A. Manfre, None; E. Brugin, None; A. Ghirlando, None; E. Moretto, None; E. Midena, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2006, Vol.47, 5569. doi:
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      A. Manfre, E. Brugin, A. Ghirlando, E. Moretto, E. Midena; Corneal Diabetic Neuropathy: A Confocal Microscopy Study . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):5569.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : To evaluate the role of corneal confocal microscopy (CCM) in the diagnosis of morphologic changes of corneal subbasal nerve plexus in diabetic patients, and compare it with peripheral neuropathy and retinopathy.

Methods: : Corneal subbasal nerve plexus parameters (number of fibers, tortuosity, number of beadings and branching pattern) of 42 diabetic patients and 27 age–matched controls were quantified by CCM (Confoscan 4, Nidek Technologies). Peripheral neuropathy was graded with the Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument. Retinopathy was graded using the ETDRS grading system (7 stereoscopic standard fields).

Results: : Number of fibers, number of beadings and branching pattern significantly decrease in diabetics vs controls (p <0.0001; p <0.0001; p =0.0006 respectively), whereas nerve tortuosity significantly increases (p<0.0001). A statistical association was found between corneal neuropathy parameters and peripheral neuropathy, and proliferative retinopathy (p<0.004).

Conclusions: : CCM may represent a new, non invasive way for the early detection and monitoring of diabetic neuropathy, a highly disabling complication of diabetes mellitus.

Keywords: microscopy: confocal/tunneling • cornea: clinical science • diabetes 

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