To investigate the correlation between aqueous flare and macular microvascular status assessed by optic coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) in diabetes mellitus.
A cross sectional study was conducted on 52 diabetic patients with non-proliferative retinopathy, 44 diabetic patients without retinopathy, and 20 non-diabetic age-matched controls. Spectral domain optic coherence tomography, OCTA, and laser flare-cell meter were performed.
Compared to eyes without retinopathy, eyes with retinopathy had higher flare intensity (p=0.024), enlarged capillary nonperfusion area (p<0.001) and enlarged foveal avascular zone (p<0.001). There was a significant correlation between flare intensity and capillary nonperfusion areas (p<0.001, r=0.511) and superficial capillary density (p=0.005, r=-0,388) in diabetic eyes with retinopathy.
The results demonstrated a positive correlation between aqueous flare levels, an indicator of intraocular inflammation, and microvascular damage demonstrated by OCTA in the early stages of DR. This finding supports the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of DR.

© 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel.