Choroidal thickness changes in non-treated eyes of patients with diabetes: swept-source optical coherence tomography study
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To measure choroidal thickness (CT) in diabetic eyes and its correlation with metabolic status and the severity of diabetic retinopathy (DR).
Materials and methods
Prospective cross-sectional study using swept-source optical coherence tomography. CT maps of 96 treatment naïve eyes of 48 patients with diabetes were compared to 46 eyes of 23 healthy controls. CT changes and their relation to diabetes, age, gender, disease duration, hypertension (HT), hemoglobin A1c level, type and severity of DR were evaluated.
A significantly thinner choroid was measured in patients with diabetes compared to controls (p < 0.009). In the diabetic group age, gender, disease duration and HT were significantly correlated with CT in univariable regression models (p < 0.05). In multivariable analysis, the duration of diabetes significantly negatively correlated with CT (p = 0.02). According to analysis of variance, there was a significant difference among means of CT in different stages of DR (p = 0.002), with thinner CT in cases with more advanced DR. In a multivariable predictive model, thinner CT was associated with an increased risk for the presence of DR (p = 0.02).
Diabetes mellitus itself and the severity of DR affect CT significantly, even after adjusting for the effects of confounding systemic factors. Disease duration seems to be associated with a reduction of choroidal thickness. Decreased CT proved to be correlated with the severity of DR.
KeywordsChoroidal thickness Diabetic retinopathy Diabetic choroidopathy Swept-source optical coherence tomography
Compliance with ethical standards
Statement of human and animal rights
All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008.
Statement of informed consent
Written informed consent was obtained before the examination from each patient, as well as the approval from our institutional ethics committee.
Conflict of interest
None of the authors have any financial/conflicting interests to disclose.