Background Accumulation of multiple pockets of fluid at the fovea, as a complication of poor blood glucose control in diabetes, causes impairment of central vision. A new ability to demonstrate a pre-clinical phase of this maculopathy could be valuable, enabling diabetic individuals to be alerted to the need to improve their glycaemic control. This study aimed to use swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) to measure foveal thickness and macular volume in diabetic individuals without cystoid macular oedema, and in non-diabetic individuals, and relate these measures to participants’ glycaemic control. Methods Centre point thickness (CPT) and total macular volume (TMV) were measured using SS-OCT (DRI OCT Triton™, Topcon, Tokyo, Japan). Participants’ glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) level was also assessed (A1cNow®+ System, PTS Diagnostics, Indianapolis, IN, USA). The diabetic (n = 27) and non-diabetic (n = 27) groups were matched for age (p = 0.100) and sex (p = 0.414), and HbA1c level differed between diabetic and non-diabetic groups (p < 0.0005). The diabetic group comprised type 1 (n = 7) and type 2 (n = 20) diabetic individuals who were matched for duration of diabetes (p = 0.617) and whose glycaemic control was similar (p = 0.814). Results Diabetic individuals had significantly higher CPT (t(37) = 3.859, p < 0.0005) than non-diabetic individuals. In the diabetic group, multiple linear regression analysis revealed a conspicuous relationship between CPT and HbA1c level (β = 0.501, t(21) = 3.139, p = 0.005): there was a 19-μm increase in CPT for each 1% increase in HbA1c level. This relationship was not present in the non-diabetic group (β = − 0.068, t(23) = − 0.373, p = 0.712). Conclusions SS-OCT is the only way to measure macular thickness in vivo. Diabetic individuals en bloc had higher CPT compared with non-diabetic individuals. Moreover, in the diabetic group, HbA1c level significantly predicted CPT. Our results suggest that, in diabetes, sub-clinical thickening may occur at the fovea before cystoid macular oedema becomes clinically evident. This could provide diabetic individuals with an early warning of disease progression and motivate them to improve control of their diabetes, with a view to avoiding the need of intra-vitreal injections with their attendant risks.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology|
|Publication status||Published - 8 Sep 2020|
- foveal thickness, sub-clinical thickening, dibetic cystoid macular oedema
- glycated haemoglobin, swept-source optical coherence tomography