Diabetic retinopathy is traditionally viewed as a disease of the retinal blood vessels, although there is increasing evidence that retinal neurons and glial cells are also affected. This article describes the changes in the diabetic retina that precede the development of clinical diabetic retinopathy, including changes in the rate of retinal blood flow, alterations in the electroretinogram and breakdown of the integrity of the blood-retinal barrier. The long term lesions of diabetic retinopathy are characterised by a complex array of vasodegenerative changes that lead directly to areas of retinal ischaemia. This frequently triggers the onset of macular oedema and/or the proliferative stages of diabetic retinopathy with risk of visual impairment and blindness. Neurodegeneration has also been reported in the retina during both human and experimental diabetic retinopathy, although presently it remains unclear to what extent such changes contribute to visual loss in diabetic retinopathy.
|Title of host publication||Diapedia, The Living Textbook of Diabetes [internet]|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2014|