Systolic blood pressure control might reduce macular edema in diabetic patients.


Medical records of 378 patients who were hospitalized in Asan Medical Center from November 1st, 2007 to June 1st, 2011 were reviewed retrospectively. All the patients were diagnosed as non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy and were tested with Stratus optical coherence tomography (OCT) for macular edema. Blood pressure which was checked three times a day for three days and central foveal thickness (CFT) data from OCT were evaluated. Severely uncontrolled diabetic patients, patients with decreased renal function, patients with history of vitrectomy or intra vitreal injection for macular edema treatment and patients who took heparin or wafarin were all excluded.

Effectiveness / Safety:

138 patients met the inclusion criteria. Averaged systolic blood pressure and highest blood pressure were significantly associated with central foveal thickness (p=0.039; 0.041; respectively). Patients withgreater difference between systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure (difference greater than 70mmHg) showed greater central foveal thickness (230.72 μm) than patientswith smaller difference (difference lower than 50mmHg, 203.81 μm)(p=0.022).

Take home message:

Vascular damage from high blood pressure may have association with macular edema. Strict blood pressure control may help reduce macular edema in diabetic patients.