Blood-retinal barrier permeability versus diabetes duration and retinal morphology in insulin dependent diabetic patients

Acta Ophthalmol (Copenh). 1987 Dec;65(6):686-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.1987.tb07064.x.


The blood-retinal barrier permeability to fluorescein was quantitated in 54 patients (22 females and 32 males) with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) of different duration. Correlation was demonstrated between permeability and diabetes duration. A normal permeability was measured in patients with up to ten years diabetes duration. A pathologically increased permeability was measured with ten to 15 years diabetes duration and during the next decade the permeability increased rapidly to 5-10 times the normal value. Onset of diabetes in the decade before and after puberty did not change the pattern. However, the pathologically increased permeability after ten years duration of the disease could not be demonstrated in diabetics with onset of the disease after the age of 30 years. The permeability of the blood-retinal barrier correlated well with changes in retinal morphology as seen by ophthalmoscopy and fluorescein angiography. However, there was an overlap in permeability between groups with different retinal appearance. A significant factor was the presence of macular edema, which also apparently indicated a preproliferative state.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood-Retinal Barrier*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / pathology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retinal Vessels / pathology
  • Time Factors