Diabetic choroidopathy: a review of the current literature

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2016 Aug;254(8):1453-1461. doi: 10.1007/s00417-016-3360-8. Epub 2016 Apr 25.


Diabetic retinopathy is an increasingly prevalent disease, and a leading contributor to the burden of all-cause blindness worldwide. In addition to retinal changes, choroidal abnormalities are common in patients with diabetes. The first studies concerning this vascular structure were based on histologic, indocyanine angiography and laser Doppler flowmetry techniques, but the development of new optical coherence tomography (OCT) technologies and imaging software for enhanced depth imaging (EDI)-OCT in recent years has made it possible to provide more detailed images of the choroidal anatomy and topography.In diabetic patients, several choroidal changes have been described in the literature throughout the years; the recent focus is choroidal thickness, which is significantly different from that in healthy patients. However, understanding choroidal manifestations of diabetic eye disease remains a real challenge, and this gap is hindering efforts towards better defining choroidal evaluation as a predictive factor for disease evolution and treatment response.This review aims to summarize the recent literature concerning changes in choroidal structure in diabetic patients, the relationship to diabetic retinal disease progression, and finally, the current and potential application of the measurement of variations in choroidal thickness for patient management.

Keywords: Diabetic choroidopathy; Diabetic retinopathy; Enhanced depth imaging; Optical coherence tomography.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Choroid / diagnostic imaging*
  • Choroid Diseases / diagnosis
  • Choroid Diseases / etiology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / complications*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / diagnosis
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Retina / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence