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Ophthalmic Res. 2016;56(1):10-6. doi: 10.1159/000444396. Epub 2016 Apr 8.

Correlation between Retinal Vessel Calibre and Neurodegeneration in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in the European Consortium for the Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy (EUROCONDOR).

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Department of Ophthalmology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.



To investigate the correlation between retinal vessel calibre and measurements of neurodegeneration in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and no or early diabetic retinopathy (DR).


Baseline data on 440 patients with T2D from the EUROCONDOR clinical trial were used. DR was graded according to the Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) scale, and patients with ETDRS levels 10-35 were included. Retinal vessel diameters were measured by semi-automatic software. Calibres were summarized into central retinal artery and vein equivalents (CRAE and CRVE).


Median age and diabetes duration were 64.0 and 10.3 years, respectively. ETDRS levels were 10 (42.3%), 20 (27.5%) and 35 (30.2%). The median CRAE and CRVE were 146.7 and 215.3 µm, respectively. CRAE did not differ according to ETRDS level (p = 0.12), but wider CRVE were found in patients with higher ETDRS levels (p = 0.04). In a multivariable linear regression model, CRAE was associated with macular ganglion cell layer thickness (coefficient 0.27 per micrometre, p < 0.01), and CRVE was correlated with macular retinal thickness (coefficient -0.07 per micrometre, p = 0.04) and retinal nerve fibre layer thickness at the optic disc (coefficient 0.32 per micrometre, p < 0.01).


Retinal vessel calibre was independently associated with structural changes of the neuroretina in patients with no or early DR.

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