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Clin Ophthalmol. 2017 Jun 13;11:1135-1141. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S129935. eCollection 2017.

Follow-up of the retinal nerve fiber layer thickness of diabetic patients type 2, as a predisposing factor for glaucoma compared to normal subjects.

Author information

1
Second Department of Ophthalmology, University of Athens, "Attikon" Hospital, Athens.
2
First Department of Ophthalmology, University of Athens, General Hospital of Athens "G Genimatas", Athens, Greece.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To evaluate and follow-up the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness in patients with diabetes mellitus type 2 compared to a group of healthy individuals with similar demographic characteristics.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

This is a prospective, noninvasive, observational case series study. For the purposes of the study, 27 eyes of diabetic patients without diabetic retinopathy, 24 eyes of patients with mild retinopathy, and 25 normal age-matched subjects (control group [CG]) were examined. All participants underwent complete ophthalmological examination and imaging with GDx variable corneal compensation scanning laser polarimetry. Follow-up was 2 years for all three groups.

RESULTS:

The mean inferior average was statistically significantly lower in both diabetic groups compared to CG at baseline examination and during follow-up. The nerve fiber indicator (NFI) was higher in both diabetic groups compared to CG, both at baseline examination and during follow-up. The NFI was 21.7±11.9 and 22.0±11.8 for the diabetic group without retinopathy, 20.8±9.6 and 21.9±9.8 for the group with mild retinopathy, and 15.3±5.4 and 15.9±5.5 for the normal subjects, at baseline and 24 months, respectively. There was no statistically significant reduction of the RNFL thickness in all three groups compared to baseline examination.

CONCLUSION:

This is the first long-term study documenting the RNFL thickness in diabetic patients in comparison with normal controls. Although the lower RNFL was found thinner in diabetics, the 2-year follow-up showed no significant reduction of RNFL thickness in all groups, indicating that RNFL damage may occur early in diabetic patients.

KEYWORDS:

GDx; RNFL; diabetic retinopathy; glaucoma

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.

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