Purpose. To evaluate the presence of hyperreflective spots (HRS) in diabetic patients without clinically detectable retinopathy (no DR) or with nonproliferative mild to moderate retinopathy (DR) without macular edema, and compare the results to controls. Methods. 36 subjects were enrolled: 12 with no DR, 12 with DR, and 12 normal subjects who served as controls. All studied subjects underwent full ophthalmologic examination and spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). SD-OCT images were analyzed to measure and localize HRS. Each image was analyzed by two independent, masked examiners. Results. The number of HRS was significantly higher in both diabetics without and with retinopathy versus controls (P 0.9). Conclusions. SD-OCT hyperreflective spots are present in diabetic eyes even when clinical retinopathy is undetectable. Their number increases with progressing retinopathy. Initially, HRS are mainly located in the inner retina, where the resident microglia is present. With progressing retinopathy, HRS reach the outer retinal layer. HRS may represent a surrogate of microglial activation in diabetic retina.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism