Re-evaluating diabetic papillopathy using optical coherence tomography and inner retinal sublayer analysis

Josef Huemer, Hagar Khalid, Daniel Ferraz, Livia Faes, Edward Korot, Neringa Jurkute, Konstantinos Balaskas, Catherine A. Egan, Axel Petzold, Pearse A. Keane

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Background/Objectives: To re-evaluate diabetic papillopathy using optical coherence tomography (OCT) for quantitative analysis of the peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer (pRNFL), macular ganglion cell layer (mGCL) and inner nuclear layer (mINL) thickness. Subjects/Methods: In this retrospective observational case series between June 2008 and July 2019 at Moorfields Eye hospital, 24 eyes of 22 patients with diabetes and optic disc swelling with confirmed diagnosis of NAION or diabetic papillopathy by neuro-ophthalmological assessment were included for evaluation of the pRNFL, mGCL and mINL thicknesses after resolution of optic disc swelling. Results: The mean age of included patients was 56.5 (standard deviation (SD) ± 14.85) years with a mean follow-up duration of 216 days. Thinning of pRNFL (mean: 66.26, SD ± 31.80 µm) and mGCL (mean volume: 0.27 mm 3, SD ± 0.09) were observed in either group during follow-up, the mINL volume showed no thinning with 0.39 ± 0.05 mm 3. The mean decrease in visual acuity was 4.13 (SD ± 14.27) ETDRS letters with a strong correlation between mGCL thickness and visual acuity (rho 0.74, p < 0.001). Conclusion: After resolution of acute optic disc swelling, atrophy of pRNFL and mGCL became apparent in all cases of diabetic papillopathy and diabetic NAION, with preservation of mINL volumes. Analysis of OCT did not provide a clear diagnostic distinction between both entities. We suggest a diagnostic overlay with the degree of pRNFL and mGCL atrophy of prognostic relevance for poor visual acuity independent of the semantics of terminology.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEye (Basingstoke)
Early online date2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

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