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Wei Wang, Sen Liu, Zhihan Qiu, Miao He, Lanhua Wang, Yuting Li, Wenyong Huang; Choroidal Thickness in Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy: A Swept Source OCT Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(4):29. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.61.4.29.
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Previous studies on the association between choroidal thickness (CT) and severity of diabetic retinopathy (DR) gave conflicting results. The aim of this study was to evaluate the CT changes in diabetic patients and associated factors in a large sample of Chinese patients with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients without history of ocular treatment were recruited from the community health system in Guangzhou, China. The swept source OCT instrument was used to obtain high-definition retina and choroid images. The diabetic retinopathy (DR) status was graded based on the guidelines of the United Kingdom National Diabetic Eye Screening Programme. Univariate and multivariate linear regression analyses was used to explore the association of CT with DR severity, diabetic macular edema (DME), hemoglobin A1c, and vision function.
A total of 1347 patients were included in the final analysis. After adjusting for other factors, the patients with stage R3 DR had significantly thinner CT (β = –29.1 µm, 95% CI –53.8 to –4.4, P = 0.021) in comparison in those with R0. After adjusting for other factors, the CTs were thicker than those in R0 patients with difference of 15.6 µm (95% CI 4.3-26.9, P = 0.007) for outer nasal sector, 15.7 µm (95% CI 3.8-25.5, P = 0.008) for outer inferior, and 12.2 µm (95% CI 0.4-24.0, P = 0.042) for inner inferior sector. The presence of DME and hemoglobin A1c levels did not significantly affect average CT. Higher average CT was significantly associated with better best corrected visual acuity, with a –0.02 LogMAR unit per 100 µm increase in average CT (95% CI –0.03 to –0.01, P < 0.001).
CT increased in the early stage of DR, and further decreased with DR progression. DME was not significantly associated with CT. These findings provide more clues to suggest that choroid alterations play a role in the pathogenesis of DR.
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