Purpose: To evaluate the ability of frequency-doubling technology (FDT) perimetry in detecting visual field defects in young adults with type I diabetes prior to retinopathy or with minor retinovascular changes.
Methods: This comparative cross-sectional study included 30 healthy subjects and 73 age-matched patients with type I diabetes mellitus. All subjects underwent a full ocular examination including an FDT with the threshold C-20-5 strategy. Only one eye per subject was randomly included in the statistical analysis. FDT results and time to perform the test were compared between the groups.
Results: The mean age was 27.1 years in the control group and 26.6 years in the diabetic group (P = 0.875). The mean period from the onset of diabetes was 12.6 ± 6.7 years, while minimal retinovascular changes were observed in 18 eyes. Mean deviation of FDT did not differ between the groups. Although global indices of FDT were within normal limits, pattern standard deviation of FDT was higher in the diabetic group (P = 0.035). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.647 for pattern standard deviation of FDT (standard error = 0.052; P = 0.017).
Conclusion: FDT can detect retinal dysfunctions in diabetic patients prior to the onset of significant vascular complications.