Effect of intensive insulin therapy on macular biometrics, plasma VEGF and its soluble receptor in newly diagnosed diabetic patients.
ABSTRACT To evaluate whether intensive insulin therapy leads to changes in macular biometrics (volume and thickness) in newly diagnosed diabetic patients with acute hyperglycaemia and its relationship with serum levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its soluble receptor (sFlt-1).
Twenty-six newly diagnosed diabetic patients admitted to our hospital to initiate intensive insulin treatment were prospectively recruited. Examinations were performed on admission (day 1) and during follow-up (days 3, 10 and 21) and included a questionnaire regarding the presence of blurred vision, standardized refraction measurements and optical coherence tomography. Plasma VEGF and sFlt-1 were assessed by ELISA at baseline and during follow-up.
At study entry seven patients (26.9%) complained of blurred vision and five (19.2%) developed burred vision during follow-up. Macular volume and thickness increased significantly (p = 0.008 and p = 0.04, respectively) in the group with blurred vision at day 3 and returned to the baseline value at 10 days. This pattern was present in 18 out of the 24 eyes from patients with blurred vision. By contrast, macular biometrics remained unchanged in the group without blurred vision. We did not detect any significant changes in VEGF levels during follow-up. By contrast, a significant reduction of sFlt-1 was observed in those patients with blurred vision at day 3 (p = 0.03) with normalization by day 10.
Diabetic patients with blurred vision after starting insulin therapy present a significant transient increase in macular biometrics which is associated with a decrease in circulating sFlt-1.