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Katherine A. Joltikov, Christopher A. Sesi, Vinícius M. de Castro, José R. Davila, Rohit Anand, Sami M. Khan, Neil Farbman, Gregory R. Jackson, Chris A. Johnson, Thomas W. Gardner; Disorganization of Retinal Inner Layers (DRIL) and Neuroretinal Dysfunction in Early Diabetic Retinopathy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(13):5481-5486. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-24955.
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To elucidate the relationship between disorganization of retinal inner layers (DRILs) and retinal function in diabetic patients without diabetic retinopathy (DR) and with nonproliferative DR, but without diabetic macular edema (DME).
Fifty-seven participants with diabetes mellitus (DM) and 18 healthy controls underwent comprehensive ophthalmic examination, fundus photography, and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. Scans of the fovea were evaluated for the presence of DRIL. Retinal function was evaluated using Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) visual acuity, the quick contrast sensitivity function (qCSF) on the AST Sentio Platform, short-wavelength automated perimetry (SWAP), standard automated perimetry (SAP), and frequency doubling perimetry (FDP). ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis were used to compare retinal function in subjects with and without DRIL. Tukey-Kramer test and Wilcoxon were used for post hoc analysis.
DRIL was identified in 9 of 57 diabetic subjects. DRIL subjects had higher body mass index and longer diabetes duration compared to diabetic subjects without DRIL (P = 0.03 and P = 0.009, respectively). Subjects with DRIL had reduced ETDRS visual acuity (P = 0.003), contrast sensitivity function (P = 0.0003), and SAP performance (PSD, P < 0.0001) compared to controls and diabetic subjects without DRIL. Structural analysis revealed inner retinal thinning, and some outer retinal thinning, associated with DRIL.
Diabetic subjects with DRIL have reduced retinal function compared to those without DRIL, and defective retinal lamination may be an early cellular consequence of diabetes responsible for this in some patients. Following further longitudinal studies, DRIL may be a readily available and reliable structural biomarker for reduced retinal function in early diabetic neuroretinal disease.
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