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Correlation between glycemic control and peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in Saudi type II diabetics

Authors Fahmy RM, Bhat RS, Al-Mutairi M, Aljaser FS, El-Ansary A

Received 13 September 2017

Accepted for publication 17 November 2017

Published 1 March 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 419—425

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S151564

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Rania M Fahmy,1,2 Ramesa S Bhat,3 Manar Al-Mutairi,4 Feda S Aljaser,5 Afaf El-Ansary4

1Department of Optometry, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt; 3Biochemistry Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 4Central Laboratory, Female Center for Medical Studies and Scientific Section, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 5Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Objective: To evaluate the effect of diabetes mellitus (DM), diabetic retinopathy, and degree of glycemic control (glycosylated hemoglobin [HbA1c]) on peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT) using optical coherence tomography.
Methods: The study included 126 eyes of healthy controls (n=32) and diabetics patients (n=31), whose ages ranged from 40 to 70 years. The diabetic group was divided into: Subgroup 1: with HbA1c <7% and Subgroup 2: with HbA1c ≥7%. All patients underwent full ophthalmic examination. HbA1c level was obtained with the A1cNow+ system and the peripapillary RNFLT was measured using 3D-OCT 2000 Topcon (360-degree circular scan with 3.4 mm diameter centered on optic disc).
Results: The obtained data demonstrates significant decrease in peripapillary RNFLT in superior and inferior quadrants of the right eye (p=0.000 and p=0.039, respectively), and in superior quadrant of the left eye (p=0.002) with impairment of glycemic control. Pearson’s correlation test showed significant negative correlation of RNFLT with HbA1c in the superior quadrant in both eyes.
Conclusion: Impairment of glycemic control affects the peripapillary RNFLT mainly in the superior quadrant. This thickness also tends to decrease with long-standing DM, use of DM medications, and development of diabetic retinopathy. The measurement of peripapillary RNFLT may become a useful method to monitor early retinal changes in diabetic patients.

Keywords: retina, RNFL, optical coherence tomography, diabetic retinopathy, glycosylated hemoglobin

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