Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine the association between aqueous ET-1 levels and total retinal blood flow (TRBF) in patients with non-insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and early non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR).Patients and methodsA total of 15 age-matched controls and 15 T2DM patients with NPDR were recruited into the study. Aqueous humor (∼80-120 μl) was collected before cataract surgery to measure the levels of ET-1 using suspension multiplex array technology. Four weeks post surgery, six images were acquired to assess TRBF using the prototype RTVue Doppler FD-OCT (Optovue, Inc., Fremont, CA, USA) with a double circular scan protocol. At the same visit, forearm blood was collected to determine plasma glycosylated hemoglobin (A1c) levels.ResultsAqueous ET-1 was significantly elevated in the NPDR group compared with the control group (3.5±1.8 vs 2.2±0.8, P=0.02). TRBF was found to be significantly reduced in the NPDR group compared with the control group (34.5±9.1 vs 44.1±4.6 μl/min, P=0.002). TRBF and aqueous ET-1 were not correlated within the NPDR group (r='0.24, P=0.22). In a multivariate analysis, high A1c was associated with reduced TRBF and aqueous ET-1 levels across control and NPDR groups (P<0.01).ConclusionAqueous ET-1 levels were increased while TRBF was reduced in patients with NPDR compared with the control group. Although not directly associated, the vasoconstrictory effects of ET-1 are consistent with a reduced TRBF observed in early DR. ET-1 dysregulation may contribute to a reduction in retinal blood flow during early DR.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems