Corneal advanced glycation end products increase in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy

E Sato, F Mori, S Igarashi, T Abiko, M Takeda, S Ishiko, A Yoshida
Diabetes Care 2001, 24 (3): 479-82

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate corneal advanced glycation end product (AGE) fluorescence in patients with diabetes and in healthy control subjects.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Corneal autofluorescence was measured in 26 eyes of 26 patients with type 2 diabetes (mean age 57.0 years; mean disease duration 12.2 years; mean HbA1c 7.1%) and 13 eyes of 13 healthy age-matched control subjects (mean age 57.9 years). The patients with type 2 diabetes were divided into the following groups: patients without diabetic retinopathy (DR), patients without proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), and patients with PDR. Corneal autofluorescence was measured by fluorophotometry with the wavelength that is characteristic of AGE fluorescence (excitation and emission 360-370 nm and 430-450 nm, respectively). We defined peak corneal autofluorescence levels as corneal AGE fluorescence values. We compared the corneal AGE fluorescence values in the four groups.

RESULTS: In the PDR group (11.9 +/- 3.9 arbitrary units [mean +/- SD]), the corneal AGE fluorescence values were significantly higher compared with the control subjects (6.9 +/- 1.3 arbitrary units), the patients without DR (7.4 +/- 2.1 arbitrary units), and the patients without PDR (6.9 +/- 2.2 arbitrary units) (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: We found that corneal AGEs may increase in patients with diabetes and PDR compared with control subjects, patients without DR, and patients without PDR. In the patients with PDR, increased corneal AGEs may play a role in diabetic keratopathy.

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