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Retinal vascular integrity following correction of diabetic ketoacidosis in children and adolescents.

OBJECTIVE: Increased permeability of the cerebral microvasculature occurs during the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Microvascular changes consistent with diabetic retinopathy have been reported prior to and after the treatment of DKA. This study evaluated the structural and functional aspects of the retina immediately following the correction of DKA.

METHODS: Seven young patients had comprehensive ophthalmologic examinations, including fluorescein angiography, within 24 h after the correction of severe DKA (pH <7.2).

RESULTS: None of the patients had clinical, photographic, or angiographic evidence of a retinal abnormality.

CONCLUSION: The blood-retinal barrier (BRB) does not experience the same degree of perturbation as the blood-brain barrier (BBB) does and may be a protected site during the insult of DKA and its treatment. The greater stability of the retinal microvasculature may be due to the increased number of pericytes in the BRB in comparison with the BBB.

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