Association between retinal neuronal degeneration and visual function impairment in type 2 diabetic patients without diabetic retinopathy

Zhu, T.; Ma, J.; Li, Y.; Zhang, Z.

Science China. Life Sciences 58(6): 550-555


ISSN/ISBN: 1674-7305
PMID: 25951931
DOI: 10.1007/s11427-015-4858-8
Accession: 057251199

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The changes in retinal thickness and visual function in type 2 diabetic patients without clinical evidence of diabetic retinopathy were evaluated. A total of 141 diabetic subjects without retinopathy and 158 healthy subjects were enrolled in this study. Superior macular ganglion cell complex thicknesses were significantly decreased in diabetic cases, and no significant peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness changes were observed. The contrast sensitivities at all space frequencies were significantly different between diabetic patients and controls. The mean P50 amplitude from pattern electroretinogram results was reduced significantly in the diabetic group. In the diabetic group, average superior ganglion cell complex thicknesses positively correlated with both contrast sensitivities at high spatial frequencies and P50 amplitudes. The results indicated that ganglion cell complex thickness and visual function changes could be observed in diabetic subjects before the onset of any significant diabetic retinopathy. Macular ganglion cell complex reduction occurred much earlier than peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thinning in diabetic patients without retinopathy.