Background: Diabetic retinopathy causes vascular dilatation caused by hypoxia, whereas oxygen tension improvement leads to retinal vessels narrowing. Given that laser photocoagulation aims to increase the oxygen tension in the retina, we hypothesized that the narrowing of vessel caliber after the treatment could be possibly demonstrated. This study aimed to assess the changes in the caliber of retinal vessels before and after laser photocoagulation in diabetic retinopathy.
Methods: This research was a prospective cohort study on the treatment of diabetic retinopathy by laser photocoagulation, and it was conducted at Universitas Hasanuddin Hospital, Makassar, Indonesia between November 2017-April 2018. Retinal vascular caliber changes were analyzed before and 6-8 weeks after photocoagulation in 30 diabetic eyes. Central retinal arteriolar equivalent (CRAE) and central retinal venular equivalent (CRVE) were measured using the vessel assessment and measurement platform software for images of the retina (VAMPIRE) manual annotation tool.
Results: A significant decrease of CRVE was observed after laser photocoagulation (p<0.001), but CRAE was not reduced significantly (p = 0.067). No difference was recorded between CRVE and CRAE post-laser photocoagulation (p = 0.14), implying a reduction in vein caliber toward normal in the treated eyes.
Conclusions: Laser photocoagulation decreases the CRVE in diabetic retinopathy despite the absence of changes in the grade of diabetic retinopathy.
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Laser photocoagulation
- Retinal vascular caliber