Increased blood viscosity in diabetic proliferative retinopathy.Diabetes Res 1986; 3(2):67-70DR
Blood rheology and haemostasis were assessed in 18 diabetics with proliferative retinopathy and in 18 diabetics without proliferative retinopathy, matched for age, sex, smoking habit and type, duration and treatment of diabetes. Proliferative retinopathy was associated with significantly higher levels of blood viscosity at high and low shear rates, which were related to higher levels of plasma viscosity and fibrinogen. Blood urea, glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin and white cell count were also significantly higher, whereas haematocrit, red cell deformability and several other haematological and biochemical variables did not differ significantly in the 2 groups. In view of these findings, and of our recent demonstration that increased blood viscosity also exists in those patients with retinal vein occlusion who develop a similar proliferative retinopathy, we suggest that hyperviscosity may contribute to retinal ischaemia and hence proliferative retinopathy.