For patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D), retinal microvascular parameters are not associated with reduced renal function, according to results published in Scientific Reports.

The study compared multiple retinal vascular parameters between participants with T2D and stable estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFR) defining the nonprogressor group (n=570) vs declining eGFR in the progressor group (n=335). The researchers used VAMPIRE 3.1 software to measure retinal microvascular parameters including vascular spread, tortuosity, and branching patterns. The mean follow-up time was 3.01 years.

In unadjusted analyses and after adjustment for age, sex, systolic blood pressure, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C), and diabetic retinopathy, the researchers did not find any associations between baseline retinal vascular parameters and risk for eGFR progression.

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After a cross-sectional analysis of follow-up data, the researchers found a significant association between retinal arteriolar diameter and eGFR, but this was not maintained after adjustment.

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“These findings are consistent with a lack of predictive capacity for progressive loss of renal function in [T2D],” the researchers wrote.


McKay GJ, Paterson EN, Maxwell AP, et al. Retinal microvascular parameters are not associated with reduced renal function in a study of individuals with type 2 diabetes. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):3931.