Acta Diabetologica

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 98–102 | Cite as

Early selective neuroretinal disorder in prepubertal type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic children without microvascular abnormalities

  • A. V. Greco
  • M. A. S. Di Leo
  • S. Caputo
  • B. Falsini
  • V. Porciatti
  • G. Marietti
  • G. Ghirlanda


The duration of diabetes before puberty is not considered relevant to the future development of complications. To evaluate the effects of diabetes on the neural retina, we analysed macular function by steady-state focal electroretinography in 20 prepubescent diabetic children without vascular retinopathy and in 39 sex- and age-matched normal children. The mean (±SD) response related to retinal cellular elements between the photoreceptors and ganglion cells was significantly lower in diabetic children than in the control group (0.38±0.12 vs. 0.51±0.13 μV; unpairedt-test=3;P=0.005). Similarly, ganglion cell function showed a significant impairment in diabetic children with respect to the control group (0.4±0.13 vs. 0.53±0.09 μV; unpairedt-test=5.4;P=0.0001), whereas the photoreceptors appeared unaffected. Metabolic control and disease duration were not correlated with functional deficits. Our results suggest that before puberty, early diabetes may have a selective effect on the neural retina prior to the appearance of microvascular changes. A focal electroretinogram could identify diabetic children with neurosensory disorders who may have a higher risk of developing microvascular retinopathy.

Key words

Diabetic retinopathy Retinal function Children Electroretinogram Puberty 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. V. Greco
    • 1
  • M. A. S. Di Leo
    • 1
  • S. Caputo
    • 1
  • B. Falsini
    • 2
  • V. Porciatti
    • 3
  • G. Marietti
    • 4
  • G. Ghirlanda
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Internal MedicineCatholic UniversityRomeItaly
  2. 2.Institute of OphthalmologyCatholic UniversityRomeItaly
  3. 3.Institute of NeurophysiologyNational Council of ResearchPisaItaly
  4. 4.Institute of PediatricsCatholic UniversityRomeItaly

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