To evaluate the morphological characteristics in patients with diabetic macular edema (DME), either with co-existent non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) or with PDR.
Retrospective study includes 138 treatment naïve patients with DME, either with NPDR (n = 96) or in combination with PDR (n = 42). All patients underwent best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) measurement, spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and fluorescein angiography, while demographic characteristics were also recorded. Specific clinical and morphological characteristics were analyzed and compared between the two groups.
Patients with DME and PDR presented higher central retinal thickness and mixed type of edema, with predominantly cystoid component and large cysts, extending in the foveal, peri- and para-foveal area, compared to patients with DME and NPDR. The presence of non-perfusion areas in patients with DME and PDR led to additional ellipsoid zone and external limiting membrane disruption in a higher percentage, accompanied with worse visual acuity compared to patients with DME and NPDR. Patients with DME and PDR had also higher vitreomacular traction percentage and higher HbA1c levels than those with DME and NPDR.
Variations in morphological characteristics of DME on SD-OCT existed between patients with NPDR and those with PDR. These differences may explain the alterations in visual acuity and prognosis.