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Clin Ter. 2012 Nov;163(6):e393-6.

OCT: Macular thickness in insulin-dependent patients without evident retinopathy: a preliminary study.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Roma La Sapienza, Italy, Rome.



Aim of this study was to evaluate whether OCT would be able to show subclinical retinal modifications in diabetic patients not showing clinical alterations during routine comprehensive eye examinations. Furthermore, we analyzed whether there is a seat of topographical macular predilection for the alterations and the connection between their onset and the duration of the disease.


39 Caucasian subjects, aged between 13 and 33 years, were enrolled. 20 of them were healthy subjects, and 19 were patients affected by insulin-dependent type I diabetes mellitus. OCT scans were performed on all subjects, and macular thickness maps were obtained. Macular thickness was compared between diabetic and healthy subjects. Diabetic patients were divided in two subgroups, on the basis of disease duration (<=/> 16 years), and compared with two age-matched subgroups of healthy subjects.


According to medical literature, macular thickness is significantly greater in men than in women. No further statistically significant differences could be detected in macular thickness if the disease has been lasting for 16 years or less. On the other hand, a statistically significant increase was detected in temporal macular thickness in patients affected by diabetes for more than 16 years.


In patients affected by insulin-dependent diabetes for more than 16 years OCT detects early subclinical alterations in peripheral temporal macular region.

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