Retinal vascular geometry in Asian persons with diabetes and retinopathy

J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2012 May 1;6(3):595-605. doi: 10.1177/193229681200600315.

Abstract

Purpose: Our purpose was to examine the relationship of retinal vascular parameters with diabetes and retinopathy in an older Asian population.

Methods: Retinal photographs from participants of a population-based survey of Asian Malay persons aged 40-80 years were analyzed. Specific retinal vascular parameters (tortuosity, branching angle, fractal dimension, and caliber) were measured using a semiautomated computer-based program. Diabetes was defined as random plasma glucose ≥ 11.1 mmol/liter, the use of diabetes medication, or physician-diagnosed diabetes. Retinopathy signs were graded from photographs using the modified Airlie House classification system.

Results: A total of 2735 persons were included in the study. Persons with diabetes (n = 594) were more likely to have straighter (less tortuous) arterioles and wider arteriolar and venular caliber than those without diabetes (n = 2141). Among subjects with diabetes, those with retinopathy had wider venular caliber than those without retinopathy (211.3 versus 204.9 mm, p = .001). Among nondiabetic subjects, however, those with retinopathy had more tortuous venules than those without retinopathy [5.19(×10(4)) versus 4.27(×10(4)), p < .001].

Conclusions: Retinal vascular parameters varied by diabetes and retinopathy status in this older Asian cohort. Our findings suggest that subtle alterations in retinal vascular architecture are influenced by diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Automation, Laboratory
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / ethnology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Malaysia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retinal Vessels / pathology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Singapore / epidemiology