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Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 12;8(1):10510. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-28985-8.

Relationship between Systemic Vascular Characteristics and Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Loss in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
2
Department of Ophthalmology, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea. ckpark@catholic.ac.kr.

Abstract

Retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) loss in diabetic patients is especially common regardless of diabetic retinopathy (DR). The correlations between nonglaucomatous RNFL loss and systemic characteristics in diabetic patients have aroused interests in many aspects. 167 subjects with type 2 diabetes who underwent evaluation for arterial stiffness and cardiovascular autonomic function using heart rate variability (HRV) were included in this study. Arterial stiffness was measured using cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) and ankle-brachial index (ABI). Multivariate regression analysis was performed to determine factors influencing the presence of RNFL loss according to age. Factors determining the superior location of diabetic RNFL loss were also investigated. CAVI were worse in patients with RNFL loss, especially in those with old age (≥50 yrs) (p = 0.037). Influential factor of RNFL defect in old group was ABI (p = 0.007). However, in young group (<50 yrs), HRV parameter (low-frequency/high-frequency ratio) determined the presence of RNFL loss (p = 0.040). Significant determinants of superior RNFL defect in old subjects were CAVI and ABI (p = 0.032 and p = 0.024). For young diabetic patients, autonomic dysfunction may have relationship with RNFL loss, but as patients get older, arterial stiffness could aggravate vascular autoregulation and diabetic RNFL loss. RNFL loss in diabetes may be correlated with systemic vascular conditions.

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