Individuals with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) have higher corneal densitometry values compared with individuals who do not have the disease, according to research published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology. These values correlate with T1DM duration and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels, the report shows.
Researchers conducted a prospective, cross-sectional study to examine corneal and crystalline lens changes resulting from T1DM. The team included individuals with T1DM (n=60; mean age, 29.93 years; 30 women) and control group participants (n=101; mean age 27.27 years; 54 women) in the investigation — both groups underwent comprehensive ophthalmic examination, Scheimpflug tomography, and HbA1c testing.
Mean [SD] HbA1c was 8.43 [1.92] and the mean diabetes duration was 14.10 [7.77] years among participants with T1DM, according to the report. Individuals with T1DM had higher corneal densitometry values compared with control group individuals, and these values attained statistical significance in the anterior, central, and posterior sectors of the 0-2 mm zone and in the anterior and central 6-10 mm zone (P =.03, P =.018, P =.001, P =.000, and P =.004, respectively).
While mean crystalline lens densitometry was higher in T1DM, this corneal densitometry value did not attain statistical significance (P =.129). Diabetes duration and corneal densitometry demonstrated positive correlations in the anterior 0-2 (r, 0.263; P =.043), central 6-10 (r, 0.310; P =.016), posterior 6-10 (r, 0.296; P =.022) and posterior 10-12 mm zones (r, 0.262; P =.043).
“In T1DM patients, evaluation of the cornea with optical densitometry will be useful in the early diagnosis and follow-up of clinical structural and functional changes in the cornea,” the study authors explain. “Thus, ocular surface complications of DM, including diabetic keratopathy, can be successfully treated at an early stage of the disease.”
Study limitations include a small sample size and the exclusion of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus or retinopathy.
Yilmaz YC, Hayat ŞÇ, Ipek ŞC. Analysis of corneal and lens densitometry changes in the type 1 diabetes mellitus patients. Am J Ophthalmol. Published online June 1, 2023. doi:10.1016/j.ajo.2023.05.017