Diabetic macular oedema: a comparison of vitreous fluorometry, angiography, and retinopathy

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Aim: To evaluate the relation between the quantitative measurement of vitreous fluorescein with fluorescein angiography and retinopathy in diabetic patients with and without clinically significant macular oedema (CSMO).Methods: In a prospective cross sectional study, passive permeability and active, outward transport of fluorescein across the blood-retinal barrier were quantitated with vitreous fluorometry in 61 eyes from 48 patients with CSMO and 22 fellow eyes without CSMO, after exclusion of eyes with previous macular laser treatment and vitreous liquification. All patients were recruited from the university hospital's outpatient clinic. Retinopathy and fluorescein angiograms were evaluated on 60 degree photographs.Results: The passive permeability in CSMO was significantly correlated with the severity of leakage on fluorescein angiograms (r =0.73), the level of retinopathy (r =0.61), and visual acuity (r =0.45). Significant differences between eyes with CSMO and eyes without CSMO were found for passive permeability (p<0.001), fluorescein leakage (p<0.001), visual acuity (p=0.02), and retinopathy (p=0.002).Conclusion: Passive permeability of fluorescein quantitated with vitreous fluorometry was correlated both with semiquantitative fluorescein angiography and retinopathy, and a significant increase in passive permeability was found when comparing eyes with CSMO to eyes without CSMO. No such pattern was found for the active transport indicating that passive and not the outward, active transport is the factor of most importance in the development of CSMO.

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