Macular micropseudocysts in early stages of diabetic retinopathy

Gemma Tremolada, Luisa Pierro, Umberto De Benedetto, Sergio Margari, Marco Gagliardi, Gisella Maestranzi, Giliola Calori, Mara Lorenzi, Rosangela Lattanzio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To identify by noninvasive means early retinal abnormalities that may predict diabetic macular edema. Methods: The authors analyzed retrospectively data from consecutive patients with Type 1 (n = 16) or Type 2 (n = 23) diabetes who presented for routine follow-up of early retinopathy, had no clinical signs or symptoms of diabetic macular edema, and were evaluated with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. Age- and gender-matched nondiabetic subjects provided normative data. Results: Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography revealed in the macular region of diabetic patients small hyporeflective areas (median diameter, 55 μm) contained within discrete retinal layers that we named micropseudocysts (MPCs). Micropseudocysts are associated with vascular leakage. The patients showing MPCs had more frequently systemic hypertension and increased central foveal thickness than those without MPCs. The association with increased central foveal thickness was only in the patients with Type 2 diabetes. Conclusion: Macular MPCs in patients with mild diabetic retinopathy appear to reflect leakage and can precede macular thickening. The association of MPCs with increased central foveal thickness in patients with Type 2 diabetes, but not in patients with Type 1 diabetes, points to a greater tendency to retinal fluid accumulation in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Studies in larger cohorts will determine the usefulness of MPCs in strategies to abort diabetic macular edema.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1352-1358
Number of pages7
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • diabetic macular edema
  • diabetic retinopathy
  • macular micropseudocysts
  • optical coherence tomography
  • prevention of diabetic macular edema
  • spectral-domain optical coherence tomography
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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