Comparing carotid intima-media thickness in type 2 diabetes between patients with and without retinopathy

Minoo Naroi Nejad, Maryam Yousefi, Hossein Nazari, Adel Ghasempoor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Microangiopathy and macroangiopathy frequently coexist in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Both types of the vascular complications share traditional risk factors but it is not clear whether the presence of microangiopathy, such as diabetic retinopathy, constitutes a predictor of atherosclerosis in carotid arteries in patients with the disease. In this study we looked for the association between diabetic retinopathy and intima-media thickness in carotid arteries of patients with T2DM. Methods: In this case-control study we examined 100 consecutive patients with T2DM in Rasoul Akram Hospital in Tehran, Iran during 2009-2010. We assessed intima-media thickness of carotid arteries by ultrasonography. All patients underwent ophthalmo-logic examination. Results: Diabetic retinopathy was found in 50 (50%) patients. Intima-media thickness was higher in patients with diabetic retinopathy than those without it (0.77±0.17 mm vs. 0.71±0.2 mm, respectively, P=0.041). Moreover, intima-media thickness was more prevalent in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy than patients with non-proliferative form of the disease (0.87±0.16 mm vs. 0.68±0.1 mm, respectively, P<0.001). Conclusion: Diabetic retinopathy seems to be associated with increased intima-media thickness of carotid arteries in T2DM. It may be a common denominator of pathogene-sis of microvascular complications and atherosclerosis in T2DM. Evaluations of carotid arteries are to be done by non-invasive methods such as color Doppler sonography for screening and preventing prospective cereberovascular accidents in patients with diabetic retinopathy, especially proliferative retinopathy, in routine ophthalmological examination of patients with T2DM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-155
Number of pages6
JournalTehran University Medical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Carotid intima-media thickness
  • Diabetes
  • Retinopathy


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