Hypoxic viscosity and diabetic retinopathy

T. Rimmer, James Fleming, E. M. Kohner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Diabetic and sickle retinopathy have features in common - for example, venous dilatation, microaneurysms, and capillary closure preceding neovascularisation. Bearing in mind that haemoglobin in poorly controlled diabetes is abnormal and that extremely low oxygen tensions (known to cause sickling) exist in the healthy cat retina, we wished to explore the possibility that diabetic blood, like that of sickle cell disease, may become more viscous when deoxygenated. To do this we measured whole blood viscosity, under oxygenated and deoxygenated conditions, of 23 normal persons, 23 diabetic patients without retinopathy, and 34 diabetic patients with retinopathy. The shear rate used was 230 s-1, which is similar to that thought to prevail in the major retinal veins. The viscosity of blood from normal persons, corrected for packed cell volume, did not change significantly on deoxygenation: mean 4*54 (SD 0.38) cps, versus, 4*57 (0-39) paired t test, p=0-66. Similarly the blood from diabetics without retinopathy showed no change: 4.42 (0.45) versus 4*42 (0O30), p=0.98; whereas the blood from patients with retinopathy changed from 4.82 (0.48) to 4.95 (0.63), p=0027. The hypoxic viscosity ratio (deoxygenated divided by oxygenated viscosity) correlated with total serum cholesterol (r=0.44, p=0O018) but not with HbAl, serum glucose, triglycerides, or age. A disproportionate increase in venous viscosity relative to arterial viscosity would lead to increased intraluminal and transmural pressure and therefore exacerbate leakage across capillary walls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-404
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume74
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

Fingerprint

Diabetic Retinopathy
Viscosity
Blood Viscosity
Retinal Vein
Sickle Cell Anemia
Serum
Cell Size
Retina
Dilatation
Hemoglobins
Triglycerides
Cats
Cholesterol
Oxygen
Pressure
Glucose

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

Hypoxic viscosity and diabetic retinopathy. / Rimmer, T.; Fleming, James; Kohner, E. M.

In: British Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 74, No. 7, 01.01.1990, p. 400-404.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rimmer, T. ; Fleming, James ; Kohner, E. M. / Hypoxic viscosity and diabetic retinopathy. In: British Journal of Ophthalmology. 1990 ; Vol. 74, No. 7. pp. 400-404.
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