Relationship of retinal vascular caliber with diabetes and retinopathy: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).

Kleins Lab // Publications // Mar 01 2008

PubMed ID: 18070990

Author(s): Nguyen TT, Wang JJ, Sharrett AR, Islam FM, Klein R, Klein BE, Cotch MF, Wong TY. Relationship of retinal vascular caliber with diabetes and retinopathy: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Diabetes Care. 2008 Mar;31(3):544-9. Epub 2007 Dec 10. PMID 18070990

Journal: Diabetes Care, Volume 31, Issue 3, Mar 2008

OBJECTIVE To examine the relationship of retinal vascular caliber with diabetes, glycemia, and diabetic retinopathy.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Population-based study using data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), comprising 5,976 individuals (whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Chinese) residing in six U.S. communities who were free of clinical cardiovascular disease at baseline. Retinal vascular caliber was measured from digital retinal photographs.

RESULTS There were 4,585 individuals with normal fasting glucose (NFG), 499 with impaired fasting glucose (IFG), 165 with diabetes with retinopathy signs, and 727 with diabetes without retinopathy signs. After multivariate analysis, retinal arteriolar caliber increased from 143.8 microm in subjects with NFG to 144.5 microm in IFG and 146.1 microm in diabetes (P < 0.001 for trend). Retinal venular caliber increased from 214.4 microm in NFG to 216.7 microm in IFG and 218.0 microm in diabetes (P < 0.001 for trend). Retinal venular caliber was significantly larger with increasing levels of fasting glucose and A1C. In a subgroup analysis by ethnicity, the association between wider arteriolar caliber and diabetes was evident in whites only, whereas wider venular caliber and diabetes was evident in Hispanics and Chinese only. In people with diabetes, eyes with retinopathy had larger retinal venular but not arteriolar caliber.

CONCLUSIONS Retinal arteriolar and venular calibers are larger in individuals with diabetes, but the pattern of associations appears to vary by ethnicity. Retinal venular caliber is additionally associated with retinopathy signs. These findings add further to the concept that variations in retinal vascular caliber may reflect early diabetic microvascular damage.