Which lab studies are indicated in the workup of diabetic retinopathy?

Updated: Sep 02, 2021
  • Author: Abdhish R Bhavsar, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Renal disease, as evidenced by proteinuria and elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN)/creatinine levels, is an excellent predictor of retinopathy; both conditions are caused by DM-related microangiopathies, and the presence and severity of one reflects that of the other. Aggressive treatment of the nephropathy may slow progression of diabetic retinopathy and neovascular glaucoma. (See Treatment and Management.)

A study by Ito et al indicated that in patients with type 2 diabetes, the presence of reduced peripheral nerve conduction velocity is associated with the existence of early diabetic retinopathy. The report included 42 patients with type 2 diabetes (42 eyes), who had either no diabetic retinopathy or mild nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. The investigators found that the latter group had significantly lower sural sensory conduction velocity and tibial motor conduction velocity than did patients with no diabetic retinopathy, with logistic regression analysis showing these velocities to be independent risk factors for the mild nonproliferative eye disease. [11]


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