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One-Year Progression of Diabetic Subclinical Macular Edema in Eyes with Mild Nonproliferative Diabetic Retinopathy: Location of the Increase in Retinal Thickness.

Ophthalmic Res. 2015, vol. 54, issue 3

PURPOSE

To characterize the 1-year progression of retinal thickness (RT) increase occurring in eyes with subclinical macular edema in type 2 diabetes.

METHODS

Forty-eight type 2 diabetic eyes/patients with mild nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR; levels 20 and 35 in the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study) classified as presenting subclinical macular edema at baseline completed the 1-year follow-up period, from a sample of 194 followed in a 12-month observational and prospective study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01145599). Automated segmentation of the retinal layers in these eyes was performed, followed by verification and correction by a human grader.

RESULTS

The highest increase in RT over the 1-year follow-up period for the 48 eyes/patients with subclinical macular edema was found in the inner nuclear layer (INL). Progression to clinical macular edema was also associated with increased thickening of other retinal layers aside from the INL. The microvascular disease activity shown by microaneurysm (MA) turnover ≥6 was associated with progression from subclinical to clinical macular edema.

CONCLUSIONS

Increases in RT occurring over a period of 1 year in diabetic eyes with mild NPDR and subclinical macular edema occur mainly in the INL. The development of clinical macular edema appears to be associated with increased thickening of other retinal layers and microvascular disease activity.

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