1 Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
The Danish Cohort of Pediatric Diabetes 1987 (DCPD1987)
Diabetic neuropathy, nephropathy, and retinopathy cause significant morbidity in patients with type 1 diabetes, even though improvements in treatment modalities delay the appearance and reduce the severity of these complications. To prevent or further delay the onset, it is necessary to better understand common underlying pathogenesis and to discover preclinical biomarkers of these complications. Retinal vessel calibers have been associated with the presence of microvascular complications, but their long-term predictive value has only been sparsely investigated. We examined retinal vessel calibers as 16-year predictors of diabetic nephropathy, neuropathy, and proliferative retinopathy in a young population-based Danish cohort with type 1 diabetes. We used semiautomated computer software to analyze vessel diameters on baseline retinal photos. Calibers of all vessels coursing through a zone 0.5-1 disc diameter from the disc margin were measured and summarized as the central artery and vein equivalents. In multiple regression analyses, we found wider venular diameters and smaller arteriolar diameters were both predictive of the 16-year development of nephropathy, neuropathy, and proliferative retinopathy. Early retinal vessel caliber changes are seemingly early markers of microvascular processes, precede the development of microvascular complications, and are a potential noninvasive predictive test on future risk of diabetic retinopathy, neuropathy, and nephropathy.