Dynamic responses in retinal vessel caliber with flicker light stimulation in eyes with diabetic retinopathy.
PURPOSE: This study investigated the responses of retinal vessels to flickering light in diabetic patients with various stages of diabetic retinopathy (DR). METHODS: This cross-sectional observational study evaluated adult subjects with diabetes mellitus. The Dynamic Vessel Analyzer (DVA) was used to measure retinal vascular dilatation in response to diffuse illuminance flicker. Diabetic retinopathy was graded from retinal photography. RESULTS: There were 279 subjects in total, with a mean age of 59.9 ± 9.2 years. The majority were male (73%) and the mean HbA1c level and mean duration of diabetes were 7.7% ± 1.4% and 13.9 ± 10.4 years, respectively. After adjustments for age, sex, smoking, duration of diabetes, HbA1c, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, the responses of both retinal arterioles and venules to flicker stimulation decreased continuously with increasing stages of diabetic retinopathy (P = 0.008 and <0.001, respectively). Subjects with reduced arteriolar dilation responses were more likely to have any DR (odds ratio, OR, 1.20, [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01-1.45], P = 0.045, per SD decrease). Subjects with reduced venular dilation responses were more likely to have any DR, moderate DR, or vision-threatening DR (OR: 1.27 [1.04-1.53], P = 0.02; OR: 1.27 (1.06-1.49), P = 0.007; and OR: 1.51 (1.14-1.50), P = 0.002; per SD decrease, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The responses of retinal arterioles and venules to flickering light are reduced in subjects with DR, and decrease progressively with more severe stages of DR.
Lim, LS; Ling, LH; Ong, PG; Foulds, W; Tai, ES; Wong, E; Lee, SY; Wong, D; Cheung, CMG; Wong, TY
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