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Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in diabetic retinopathy

Veysel Burulday, Kemal Ornek, Mikail Inal, Hatice Ayhan Guler, Birsen Unal Daphan, Nurgul Ornek.


Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a complication of diabetes mellitus (DM) that may causes blindness. The vitreous is an extracellular matrix and it may have changes through liquefaction and syneresis in patients with DM, even in those without apparent DR. Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) is a new technique provide tissue contrast relying on difference with the diffusion of water molecules among tissues, which can be measured by the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) value. We aimed to investigate the vitreous of patients in different stages of DR using diffusion-weighted imaging technique. This prospective study included a group of 100 patients with DR and 100 members of an age- and gender-matched control group. All groups were tested using a head coil in conduction with a Achieva 1.5T magnetic resonans imaging (MRI) system (Philips Medical Systems, Best, The Netherlands). The mean ADC values were calculated and used for statistical comparisons. Mean duration of diabetes was 12.22±10.13 years in patients. Compared to controls, both eyes of the DR group had statistically and significantly lower values of ADC (p=0.025 and p=0.002, respectively). No significant correlations were found among the ADC values and central macular thickness, disease duration and stage of DR (all p>0.05) in patients. Mean ADC values revealed no significant differences among the subgroups of patients at different stages of DR (all p>0.05). Decreased ADCs in the vitreous of diabetes patients seem to be associated with the presence of diabetic retinopathy.

Key words: Diffusion-weighted imaging, ADC, vitreous, diabetic retinopathy

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