Patients with diabetic retinopathy have high retinal venous pressure

EPMA J. 2015 Feb 24;6(1):5. doi: 10.1186/s13167-015-0027-1. eCollection 2015.


Background: The introduction of ophthalmodynamometric measurement of retinal venous pressure (RVP) now permits the quantification, or at least an approximation, of the real pressure in the retinal veins.

Methods: We measured the RVP of healthy control subjects, patients with diabetes without diabetic retinopathy (nonDR) and patients with diabetes and diabetic retinopathy (DR).

Results: The mean ± SD RVP for the control, nonDR and DR groups were 23.4 ± 7.33, 22.5 ± 5.78 and 37.7 ± 10.1 mmHg, respectively. In the diabetes patients with DR, the RVP was markedly and significantly increased, and this result was significantly age dependent. RVP was not increased in the group of diabetes patients without DR. In our tested population, diabetes had a minor influence on intraocular pressure.

Conclusion: Regardless of the cause, a marked increase in RVP in diabetes patients with DR is clinically relevant, as it reduces perfusion pressure and increases transmural pressure. The reduced perfusion pressure contributes to hypoxia, and the increased transmural pressure can facilitate retinal edema. Diabetes is an increasing burden, and DR is one of its most severe complications. Strategies to recognize the risk for DR and to develop personalized prevention and therapy therefore have major implications.

Trial registration: ID: NCT01771835.

Keywords: Contact lens dynamometer (CLD); Diabetic retinopathy (DR); Ocular dynamic force (ODF); Ophthalmodynamometry; Personalized prevention; Retinal venous pressure (RVP); Spontaneous venous pulsation.

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