Effect of an insulin-induced decrease in blood glucose on the human diabetic retinal circulation

Ophthalmology. 1987 Dec;94(12):1614-20. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(87)33257-9.


The effect of an insulin-induced decrease in blood glucose on the retinal blood flow (Q) was studied in 12 type II diabetics, using bidirectional laser Doppler velocimetry (BLDV) and monochromatic fundus photography. Q was first measured during hyperglycemia and then during normoglycemia which was achieved within approximately 3 hours by intravenous insulin administration. At normoglycemia, Q was 15% lower than at hyperglycemia (P less than 0.001). The decrease in Q was larger in patients with shorter disease duration. The authors also determined the regulatory change in Q during 100% oxygen breathing. Although this response remained subnormal, it was improved significantly in normoglycemia (P less than 0.01), particularly in those patients whose blood glucose level was decreased at a slower rate, suggesting that a gradual decrease in blood glucose may be beneficial.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / physiopathology
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Retina / blood supply*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin