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Vision Res. 2011 Jan 28;51(2):224-8. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2010.08.024. Epub 2010 Aug 27.

Association of visual function and ganglion cell layer thickness in patients with diabetes mellitus type 1 and no or minimal diabetic retinopathy.

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Dept of Ophthalmology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Diabetic retinopathy (DR) classically presents with micro-aneurysms, small haemorrhages and/or lipoprotein exudates. Several studies have indicated that neural loss occurs in DR even before vascular damage can be observed. This study evaluated the possible relationship between structure (spectral domain-optical coherence tomography) and function (Rarebit visual field test) in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus and no or minimal diabetic retinopathy (DR). Results demonstrated loss of macular visual function and corresponding thinning of the ganglion cell layer (GCL) in the pericentral area of the macula of diabetic patients (Rs = 0.65, p < 0.001). In multivariable logistic regression analysis, GCL thickness remained an independent predictor of decreased visual function (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1-2.1). Early DR seems to include a neurodegenerative component.

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