BACKGROUND: Diabetes mellitus is frequently associated with vascular pathologies and hemorheological disorders. METHODS: 105 patients with diabetic retinopathy (DRP) (mean age 64.64±9.01 years, 56 males, 49 females), 35 age-matched non-diabetic (mean age 61.65±7.6 years, 14 males and 21 females) and 42 young healthy volunteers (mean age 25.52±3.32 years, 22 males, 20 females) were recruited. Lower extremity artery disease (LEAD) and microcirculatory alterations were screened by hand-held Doppler, transcutaneous partial tissue oxygen tension (tcpO 2), tuning fork test, 6-minute walk test, erythrocyte aggregation and deformability. RESULTS: High prevalence of LEAD was detected in diabetic population: 55.3% fulfilled the criteria of LEAD based on ankle-brachial index; severely impaired tcpO 2 was measured in 18.6%. The results of non-invasive measurements of the diabetic patients were significantly worse than those of the control groups (p<0.05). Hemorheological disturbances could be characterized by the significantly higher erythrocyte aggregation (p<0.05) and lower erythrocyte deformability (p<0.05) in the diabetic population. CONCLUSION: Macro- and microcirculatory lower limb disorders could be revealed at high prevalence in diabetic patients with retinopathy. Measurement of tcpO 2 and hemorheological variables could be useful to discover patients at higher risk for diabetic foot complications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)