HumanInsight The Longitudinal Assessment of Vascular Parameters of the Retina and Their Correlations with Systemic Characteristics in Type 2 Diabetes-A Pilot Study
Vision (Basel). 2022 Jul 20;6(3):45. doi: 10.3390/vision6030045.
The aim of the study was to assess various retinal vessel parameters of diabetes mellitus (DM) patients and their correlations with systemic factors in type 2 DM. A retrospective exploratory study in which 21 pairs of baseline and follow-up images of patients affected by DM were randomly chosen from the Sankara Nethralaya-Diabetic Retinopathy Study (SN DREAMS) I and II datasets. Patients' fundus was photographed, and the diagnosis was made based on Klein classification. Vessel thickness parameters were generated using a web-based retinal vascular analysis platform called VASP. The thickness changes between the baseline and follow-up images were computed and normalized with the actual thicknesses of baseline images. The majority of parameters showed 10~20% changes over time. Vessel width in zone C for the second vein was significantly reduced from baseline to follow-up, which showed positive correlations with systolic blood pressure and serum high-density lipoproteins. Fractal dimension for all vessels in zones B and C and fractal dimension for vein in zones A, B and C showed a minimal increase from baseline to follow-up, which had a linear relationship with diastolic pressure, mean arterial pressure, serum triglycerides (p < 0.05). Lacunarity for all vessels and veins in zones A, B and C showed a minimal decrease from baseline to follow-up which had a negative correlation with pulse pressure and positive correlation with serum triglycerides (p < 0.05). The vessel widths for the first and second arteries significantly increased from baseline to follow-up and had an association with high-density lipoproteins, glycated haemoglobin A1C, serum low-density lipoproteins and total serum cholesterol. The central reflex intensity ratio for the second artery was significantly decreased from baseline to follow-up, and positive correlations were noted with serum triglyceride, serum low-density lipoproteins and total serum cholesterol. The coefficients for branches in zones B and C artery and the junctional exponent deviation for the artery in zone A decreased from baseline to follow-up showed positive correlations with serum triglycerides, serum low-density lipoproteins and total serum cholesterol. Identifying early microvascular changes in diabetic patients will allow for earlier intervention, improve visual outcomes and prevent vision loss.
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