Relationship between retinal ischemia and cardiovascular autonomic damage in diabetes

Angela Giardullo, Luigi Ricordi, Marco Rossi, Giuliano Marti, Giulio Vandelli, Pietro Fratino, Luciano Bernardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to investigate the relationship between ischemic diabetic retinopathy and cardiac autonomic dysfunction we studied 40 diabetic patients (mean age ± SEM: 48 ± 2 years). Retinopathy was evaluated by fluorescein angiography and patients were divided into three groups: a) with ischemic retinopathy (15 patients), b) with edematous retinopathy (13 patients) and c) without retinopathy (12 patients). Cardiac autonomic function was assessed by 4 tests based on cardiovascular reflexes (heart rate response to Valsalva maneuver and to deep breathing; systolic blood pressure fall after standing and diastolic blood pressure rise during handgrip) and by the cross-correlation test, a computerized technique for the analysis of respiratory sinus arrhythmia based on spectral analysis of electrocardiographic and respiratory signals. Abnormalities of cardiac autonomic tests were present in 26/40 patients (65%); considering the retinal angiographic classification, autonomic test abnormalities were found in 13/15 (86.6%) patients with ischemic retinopathy, in 7/13 (53.9%) patients with edematous retinopathy and in 6/12 (50%) patients without retinopathy. The prevalence of cardiac autonomic dysfunction was significantly higher (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-255
Number of pages11
JournalActa Diabetologica Latina
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1989


  • Autonomic neuropathy
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Fluorescein angiography
  • Spectral analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship between retinal ischemia and cardiovascular autonomic damage in diabetes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this