Multimodal functional and anatomical imaging identifies preclinical microvascular abnormalities in type 1 diabetes mellitus

C. J . Lockhart, A. J. McCann, R. A. Pinnock, P. K. Hamilton, M.T. Harbinson, G. E. McVeigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Structural and functional change in the microcirculation in type 1 diabetes mellitus predicts future end-organ damage and macrovascular events. We explored the utility of novel signal processing techniques to detect and track change in ocular hemodynamics in patients with this disease. 24 patients with uncomplicated type 1 diabetes mellitus, and 18 age-and-sex matched control subjects were studied. Doppler ultrasound was used to interrogate the carotid and ophthalmic arteries and digital photography to image the retinal vasculature. Frequency analysis algorithms were applied to quantify velocity waveform structure and retinal photographic data at baseline and following inhalation of 100% oxygen. Frequency data was compared between groups. No significant differences were found in the resistive index between groups at baseline or following inhaled oxygen. Frequency analysis of the Doppler flow velocity waveforms identified significant differences in bands 3-7 between patients and controls in data captured from the ophthalmic artery (p<0.01 for each band). In response to inhaled oxygen, changes in the frequency band amplitudes were significantly greater in control subjects compared with patients (p<0.05). Only control subjects demonstrated a positive correlation (R=0.61) between change in retinal vessel diameter and frequency band amplitudes derived from ophthalmic artery waveform data. The use of multimodal signal processing techniques applied to Doppler flow velocity waveforms and retinal photographic data identified preclinical change in the ocular microcirculation in patients with uncomplicated diabetes mellitus. An impaired autoregulatory response of the retinal microvasculature may contribute to the future development of retinopathy in such patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H1729-H1736
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of physiology: Heart and circulatory physiology
Issue number12
Early online date03 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2014

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Copyright © 2014, American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology.


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