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Subfoveal choroidal thickness in diabetes and diabetic retinopathy

Session Details

Session Title: Vascular Diseases III

Session Date/Time: Sunday 29/09/2013 | 08:00-10:00

Paper Time: 08:40

Venue: Hall 3 (Level 0)

First Author: J.Jonas GERMANY

Co Author(s):    J. Xu   L. Xu   Y. Wang   Q. You     

Abstract Details


To examine subfoveal choroidal thickness (SFCT) in patients with diabetes mellitus and patients with diabetic retinopathy.


Population-based study


The population-based Beijing Eye Study 2011 included 3468 individuals with a mean age of 64.69.8 years (range: 50-93 years). A detailed ophthalmic examination was performed including spectral-domain optical coherence tomography with enhanced depth imaging for measurement of SFCT and fundus photography for the assessment of diabetic retinopathy.


Fasting blood samples, fundus photographs and choroidal OCT-images were available for 2041 (58.8%) subjects, with 246 (12.1±0.7%) subjects fulfilling the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and 23 subjects having diabetic retinopathy. Mean SFCT did not differ significantly between patients with diabetes mellitus and non-diabetic subjects (266±108µm versus 261±103µm;P=0.43), nor between patients with diabetic retinopathy and subjects without retinopathy (249±86 µm versus 262±104µm;P=0.56). After adjustment for age, gender, axial length, lens thickness, anterior chamber depth, corneal curvature radius and best corrected visual acuity, SFCT was associated with a higher HbA1c value (P<0.001; regression coefficient B:8.18 (95% confidence interval (CI): 4.02, 12.3), standardized coefficient beta: 0.08) or with the presence of diabetes mellitus (P=0.001;B:21.3 (95%CI:9.12,33.5), but not with presence of diabetic retinopathy (P=0.61) nor stage of diabetic retinopathy (P=0.14). As a corollary, after adjusting for age, region of habitation, body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and level of education, diabetes mellitus was associated with a thicker SFCT (P<0.001). In contrast, presence of diabetic retinopathy (P=0.61) nor stage of diabetic retinopathy (P=0.09) were significantly associated with SFCT after adjusting for body mass index, diastolic and systolic blood pressure, level of education, blood glucose concentrations, and HbA1c value.


Patients with diabetes mellitus had a slightly, but statistically significantly, thicker subfoveal choroid, whereas presence and stage of diabetic retinopathy were not additionally associated with an abnormal subfoveal choroid thickness. While diabetes mellitus as systemic disease leads to a slight thickening of the choroid, diabetic retinopathy as ocular disorder was not associated with choroidal thickness abnormalities after adjusting for the presence of diabetes mellitus.

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