Impaired microvascular properties in uncomplicated type 1 diabetes identified by Doppler ultrasound of the ocular circulation

Christopher J. Lockhart, Aaron McCann, Christina A. Agnew, Paul K. Hamilton, Cathy E. Quinn, Vivienne McClenaghan, Christopher Patterson, R. Canice McGivern, Mark T. Harbinson, Gary E. McVeigh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
277 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Quantification of Doppler flow velocity waveforms has been shown to predict adverse cardiovascular outcomes and identify altered downstream haemodynamics and vascular damage in a number of organ beds. We employed novel techniques to quantify Doppler flow velocity waveforms from the retro bulbar circulation.

Methods and results: In total, 39 patients with uncomplicated Type 1 diabetes mellitus, and no other significant cardiovascular risk factors were compared with 30 control subjects. Flow velocity waveforms were captured from the ophthalmic artery (OA), central retinal artery (CRA) and the common carotid artery. The flow velocity profiles were analysed in the time domain to calculate the resistive index (RI), and time-frequency domain using novel discrete wavelet transform methods for comparison. Analysis of flow waveforms from the OA and CRA identified specific frequency band differences between groups, occurring independently of potential haemodynamic or metabolic confounding influences. No changes were identified in the calculated RI from any arterial site.

Conclusion: Novel analysis of the arterial flow velocity waveforms recorded from the retro bulbar circulation identified quantifiable differences in Doppler flow velocity waveform morphology in patients with diabetes prior to the development of overt retinopathy. The technique may be useful as an additional marker of cardiovascular risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-220
JournalDiabetes and Vascular Disease Research
Issue number3
Early online date08 Jun 2011
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2011


  • Adult
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Carotid Artery, Common/diagnostic imaging
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/complications
  • Diabetic Retinopathy/diagnostic imaging
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Eye/blood supply
  • Humans
  • Laser-Doppler Flowmetry
  • Microvessels/diagnostic imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Northern Ireland
  • Ophthalmic Artery/diagnostic imaging
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Retinal Artery/diagnostic imaging
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Pulsed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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